Check in the closet, check under the bed, make sure your feet aren’t dangling over the edge, and last but not least, curl up tightly in the blanket. That is the routine for many young kids and their parents for checking for monsters when laying down to sleep. Well, the kids in Sleep Tight take a more direct approach to deal with the monsters in their rooms. Armed with dart guns, power-ups, barricades and auto turrets (in the style of Codename: Kids Next Door) you play as one of 12 unlockable characters and fight wave after wave of monsters during the night in a top-down, twin-stick shooter, tower defense game.
I used to play a ton of tower defense games on sites like OneMoreLevel.com when I was a kid, wasting away the time on the computers in my school library. Sleep Tight feels a lot like those with the option of being a bit more active in the defense. The reason why I said the “option” of being more active is because if you choose to go heavy into the power-ups you can literally stay in the middle of the map for an entire round and never take health damage. It is a bit more difficult to do with most characters but when I was trying to complete 8 nights without firing a single shot, using the starting kid Joe, I quickly noticed how effective the shield/speed power-ups can be. Add in the synergy, and thorns power-ups and you can do nothing but run in circles only stopping if you want to kill some monsters.
So I easily completed the first eight nights with Joe without firing a single shot and then I decided to see how long I could go and wanted to get the character that has a bonus to power-ups. So I bought the other power-ups, which when you initially unlock them you get the power-ups for the full duration for only the sun and star cost of getting the unlock. I managed to get through thirty-five nights and get an A grade while barely shooting. That’s the reason I started that run through to unlock what I suspected was a turret themed character, Rosie, and I was right.
Rosie has a bonus to turret targeting speed and damage, plus starts with light turrets researched right off the bat. So I went full force into turrets and getting the shield upgrade to help protect me every now and then. Well while I had to do more initially I shortly could just stay in between my turrets I built and upgraded only moving out to collect the stars the monsters dropped so I could research upgrades for my turrets. But still, I enjoyed the game nonetheless.
Besides the two more overpowered characters when used with their set play styles. I did get a decent challenge in my first playthrough with the starting character building barricades with some light turrets behind them and shooting with the starting gun until I got a water balloon launcher. There are a variety of weapons you can unlock during your playthroughs and even some characters that start with the tier 1 weapons so if you find a weapon you really like you can start with a character that uses that gun. Each of the kids has their own personality and a handful of voice lines that they say such as “Don’t touch the comic books!” for the superhero-themed Dexter, or “Careful! Turret zone!” for the Rosie. All of which is a bonus.
Overall, I feel that the game is fun but more or less a time sink if you’re just looking to kill thirty minutes before doing something else. I would recommend getting it on the Switch for that reason. That in mind the loading times on the PC seemed a bit long for how graphically simple the game is, being a Pixar-styled game with fairly few things starting on the screen. Though the art style, theme, and characters all make it a charming game. I recommend this to anybody who just wants something to do while waiting at the doctor’s office or for kids. The monsters are simple and almost goofy looking so I doubt it would scare kids, it may even help them with those monster in the closet type fears. – TS
Sleep Tight is now available on Nintendo Switch & Steam
Steam review code provided by Stride PR