PAX East 2018 Games Showcase: Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight is a shooter that brings out the kid in all of us. An arcade style, twin-stick shooter that has the main character building pillow forts and nerf-gun-like turret against monsters coming out of their closets, for a Q1 release on the PC and Nintendo Switch.

With a very talented crew consisting of Dylan Ekren, animator for major Pixar titles like Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero Six; Maxx Burman, an artist who contributed to projects like Titanfall to Iron Man 3; and Oscar Mar, a Ubisoft developer, they were able to create a shooter that feels as if Monsters Inc. came to life. The art style, with help with these amazing animators, makes the game feel simple and very approachable, while still adding a large amount of depth, like fort-building strategy and ammunition management. The game is played in day/night cycles where the player is a monster killer at night and can restock on ammo and guns, and build forts and turrets at night with various in-game currencies.

At PAX East, the We Are Fuzzy development team also released four different starting characters, each with its own unique art and a different loadout of guns. I got a chance to play the Cowboy-like character who started with a pistol and a four-shot burst gun, which allowed me to deal with massive waves or individual monsters. After my first wave, I purchased the movement speed power-up, definitely, a must have, which allowed me to kite the monsters better and I built a few walls with the remaining resources I had. I played a few more waves of gameplay before establishing a full base due to the heavy amount of ammo I consumed and need to regain health, so I thought the pacing of the game felt really well made. I didn’t feel too strong or weak when dealing with the waves.

Although this game was very fun, I definitely also had some criticisms. When players place turrets during the morning/day phase after they use up all of their suns - the currency used to build structures - the game automatically snaps it to night mode, which I was not initially ready for. One major gameplay change I would like to see is the room darkening into the night as users finish using their suns.

Another change I’d like to see is a low ammo warning of some sort. Within my first few waves, I had spammed my 4-shot burst and after a wave or two, I finally noticed the ammo system and how my primary gun was using so much ammo. Something simple as a notification when you go under 50 ammo would have been much appreciated.

Lastly, I look forward to this game to allow and scale for multiplayer. With the game coming to the Nintendo Switch and PC, I hope they will make a multiplayer mode one of their concerns as they move forward.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. It was a great mix of tower defense and top-down shooter elements, which was simple to get into and definitely difficult to master due to the costs of turrets and forts and wide variety of guns and power-ups. I will definitely be looking to pick this up for my Nintendo Switch.