A straightforward take on the tower defence/survival genre, Sleep Tight fails to capture the imagination and excitement of its setting.
Sleep Tight sees you take control of one of the many playable characters with the goal of fighting back against the monsters of the night. You’ll be surviving waves of enemies by building gear, weapons, and defences. It’s simple to get a hang of and very easy to master the flow of the game.
Without too much of a challenge and little extended content, Sleep Tight will most likely appeal to a younger audience. Older, or more serious, gamers will most likely find themselves getting bored after a while. While it can be entertaining at times, Sleep Tight‘s major flaw is that it never changes its gameplay up enough to make you crave that next wave of enemies.
Crafting through the night
Sleep Tight takes place in a small bedroom which you must defend and build up over time. You have four main ways of spending your currency: defences (turrets/walls/etc.), research, power-ups, and weapons. In order to build anything aside from the small selection of starting gear, you must first research it. It can get a bit tedious after a while, having to continuously spend your money on research rather than actually making yourself a stronger player. However, the amount of craftable and researchable items is actually fairly ample. You can easily craft your defences in your own way; the only issue comes with the limited space to do so. It’s easy to feel like you’re out of space for new things after 15-20 waves.
Combat is solid, but nothing noteworthy. Simple twin stick mechanics are accompanied by a weapon system that feels a bit incomplete. Most weapons dispatch even the largest monsters in a few shots, and single fire weapons like snipers and shotguns have fairly high rate of fire so no weapon feels truly unique. The lack of a fleshed-out weapon system makes the already somewhat stale combat feel all the more bland. Enemies don’t engage quickly, few pose threats, and most can be handled with little regard. Even during the rare ‘Blood Moon’, it’s really just the amount of enemies that spikes, not the overall difficulty of them. Sleep Tight would massively benefit from a difficulty modifier.
Surprisingly peaceful nights
Sleep Tight just doesn’t put enough pressure on the player. You never feel panicked and you never feel at risk, even when your defences are falling apart. Knowing how little effort goes into each battle really pulls you out of the fight. Even as you survive for longer and longer, as the nights tick past 25 waves, you fail to gain a sense of urgency. After a while, it was just as easy for me to completely stop building defences and instead just stock up on ammo and power-ups.
I wish I felt the need to better prepare, but no single experience made me feel that was necessary, which sucks. I really like the concept and setting of Sleep Tight. A kid fighting back against the monsters of the night. Who didn’t imagine that as a kid? But without any real sense of peril or urgency to the gameplay, it soon feels pretty redundant.
Itching for some diversity
Sleep Tight has a number of easily unlockable characters, but no particular character offers any benefit that seems game changing enough. There are fun mixups to explore, like having different starting weapons or increasing the potency of certain power-ups, but the game doesn’t really respond in any drastic way to different characters.
In terms of weapons, there is plenty to love. You have your basic, mainstay weapons that are all fun to use, but they don’t offer enough individuality over time. Get the burst rifle, or even the quick shooting sniper, and it’s a cakewalk for sure. Some additions to the weapon system, such as the ability to craft better identities for these guns, is something I wished for a lot during my playtime.
Still fun for a few nights
All together, Sleep Tight does what any tower defence/survival game should; it gives you a place to protect and the tools to do so, and does its best to keep you engaged. The issues really only pop up the longer you survive. At times, I would purposefully let myself die just so I could get a character unlocked and start over. For the first little while, between 10-20 waves, it’s good fun and a great portable game to have. But as the nights drag on, and you’re expecting the excitement to ramp up, you’re instead met with the same old story. While it certainly has its moments as an engaging shooter, Sleep Tight might be better being slept through.