I’m not going to deny it–I still think about Deep Sleep. It’s a really short, browser-ready atmospheric point-and-click adventure game I played last year that, by all means, should’ve just been a thing that ate up a few minutes of my day and then disappeared into a void, not worthy to take up space in my actual sliver of brain memory devoted to gaming. Trust me, over the years, I’ve dabbled in a number of instantly forgettable yet fun, small games, just things that you experience for a moment and then move on. In fact, Deep Sleep inspired me to try some of that very popular “talk and play games” video stuff, though I’ve not really done much else with that medium since.
Anyways, Deeper Sleep is the direct sequel to Deep Sleep, where you basically find yourself stuck in a waking nightmare. The original game had a wonderful sense of atmosphere, a murky, pixelated look, sounds that could shake you still, and some highly tense action moments where timing your clicks was vital to staying alive. I really loved it, but never moved on to the readily available sequel…that is, until now. Also, this is my fiftieth game beaten in 2014, and we’re only halfway through the year, so we’ll see if I can break one hundred or not by the time that big ball in New York City drops.
In Deeper Sleep, you go to the library to investigate more about lucid dreaming, seeing as you are now obsessed with the subject. Unfortunately for you, the world dissolves, and you find yourself back in the nightmarish stomping grounds from Deep Sleep. This time, however, you get to learn a bit more of the world(s) and its inhabitants through a prisoner and his various dialogue options though, when I think about it, that’s all this prisoner is there for, so could be totally skipped or missed by some players. Regardless, it is much of the same pointing and clicking and scouring of dark rooms for clues or items that can help you progress. I believe the inventory system remains the same, too, so it should be familiar territory for many.
Overall, I found Deeper Sleep to lack a clear goal, which, let me tell you, is basically descend down the well in the woods and see the “to be continued” screen. And don’t get killed by the creepy girl in the attack. However, in the original game, you didn’t want to be asleep, and so your goal was to find a way out, a means to wake up. Here, you are probably not surprised to find yourself back in this maddening dream-world, and all you want to do is find out more about it…but where and how is never explicit. Once you are able to unlock the door to the outside woods, the game sort of becomes convoluted, having you wander this way and that, and there are two paths that are extremely difficult to notice, which made puzzle-solving impossible until I looked up a walkthrough to see what I was missing.
The use of items always makes logical sense, such as putting batteries in a flashlight and combining thread and the sewing needle, and then using them on key parts of the screen is easy enough to figure out. I just worry that a few of the locations are purposely hidden and shrouded in gloom to force the player to initially miss them, elongating their plight. This proved extremely frustrating, as I felt like I was on a good track for most of the game until I hit the outdoors and that empty flour bag puzzle and had no idea how to fix the bag without thread; nope, going back to the room with the sewing machine resulted in nothing. Turns out, I had just missed a path four or five times in a row.
There’s a collectible this time around in the form of scraps of paper, which ultimately make up one complete note. These are depicted as tiny balled-up wads of paper, often in plain sight, but also easy to gloss over. I got 14 out of 15 by the end of the game, so yeah…no idea where the last one is hidden. Either way, it’s a decent thing to collect that also tells us a bit more about these lucid dreams, but also a bit of a cliché in the survival horror genre, as I think you pick up notes in both Slender Man and Daylight, as well as a number of others.
While Deeper Sleep doesn’t pack the same punch as the original game, both in terms of scares and exploration enjoyment, it’s still a worthy, entertaining adventure to see through to the end, and I’m very much looking forward to the release of The Deepest Sleep, the last in the trilogy, in just a few days.