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Published on August 9th, 2018 | by Michael Newman

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Sleep Tight

For most kids growing up there is a fear of what lurks under the bed or in the closet when the lights go off and their parents go to bed.  Usually, the comfort of their favorite stuffed toy or a flash light is enough to scare away all the things that go bump in the night.  I know I always made sure I was surrounded by my furry friends and had my handy dandy flashlight just in case.  Today, you can go to your local Target or Wal-Mart and stock up on enough NERF guns and ammo to survive the boogie man apocalypse.   After all, the creatures that come out at night are easily killed with foam darts…aren’t they?

Sleep Tight is a twin-stick survival shooter game where you take on the persona of 12 different kids protecting yourself and your room with your handy NERF guns.  You build defensive walls made from pillows and hockey sticks, and place numerous NERF turrets around your room to slow down the various nighttime boogie monsters who are trying to make you their next meal.

You begin the game with one playable character but unlock other characters as you progress, each with their own special abilities and weapons.  All the characters are colorfully animated and have their own unique catch phrases they use during combat.  The characters each provide a unique challenge, and your favorite character will come down to your own personal choice and your style of play.  Slower, heavier hitting kids or quicker, more agile kids, the choice (once you unlock them all), is yours.

The gameplay has two phases for each round, a nighttime and a daytime phase.  The goal is to survive the night in any way you can, and each round the levels get progressively more difficult.  Nighttime lasts for 60 seconds and is when the hordes of creatures invade your room.  Your goal is to kill them and prevent them from attacking you and consuming all your health.  Each monster you slay will drop a star that you will have to run around and collect, which can then be spent like money on upgrades and power-ups during the daytime phase.  The stars slowly degrade and will disappear if you do not collect them in time, so much of the night phase is spent killing baddies and running around picking up the stars that were dropped.  After every 10 rounds there will be a special “Blood Moon” nighttime event, where the enemies are more numerous, and the rewards are greater, but the risks can definitely outweigh the rewards if you are not careful.  All I can say is you want to tread cautiously when the Blood Moon comes a callin’.

Daytime is used to prepare for the nighttime assault from the monsters.  This is where you spend your suns (that you acquire each day) and the stars you have collected from your slain foes.  You will spend them on numerous items such as new guns, upgrades to existing fortifications, and unlocking new and powerful power-ups that will help you survive yet another night.  There is no time limit on this phase, so you are free to plan your upgrades and fortifications with as much time as you need.

The game plays in the standard way other twin-stick shooters do, one stick controls the character’s movement and the other stick controls the direction of your gun.  You can swap between two weapons, giving you the chance to pick the best weapon to defeat a particular monster.  You have a life bar that takes damage each time a creature attacks and if it falls to 0, you lose.  Your barricades and turrets will also take damage throughout the night, so you’ll be constantly spending your suns and stars to ensure that they are kept in tip-top shape.  The key to surviving each night is to ensure you have the best possible defenses configured and that you have purchased enough ammo, so you don’t run out.

The game is filled with vibrant colors and the voice acting is top-notch.  In a world full of violent video game shooters, the lighthearted look and feel makes this a game that both young and old alike can enjoy.  The “violence” in the game is literally shooting NERF type dart guns at monsters, and when the monsters are killed they simply vanish back into the night.  There is no animated blood or gore here, just a game filled with family-friendly fun.

Sleep Tight is an incredibly cute and fun twin-stick shooter.  It will take you back to your childhood when you would build your own pillow forts and pretend to stop monster invasions.  It never takes itself too seriously which makes it a great game to pick-up for a few hours of fun.  The only downsides I see are that gameplay does get repetitive, as many twin-stick shooters do, and while there are leaderboards to compare your score against others, there may be little reason to return to it after you have unlocked everything.  For those looking to scratch an arcade style itch, this is the game for you.  Now I’m off to Target to stock up on NERF darts, I fear a Blood Moon is on the way.

What I liked: Responsive controls, Fast arcade action, Colorful design

What I liked less: Gets a bit repetitive over time, No multi-player gameplay

4 out of 5 stars

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