Remember that game you used to play when you were a child, when you and a friend would make up a story, one word or sentence at a time. Usually it made little or no sense, but 90% of the time it was still hilarious somehow! Well, this is that game, but instead of just words, it’s pictures, actions, characters, and directing. It’s a story.. which is also a game.. which is also a basic form of Photoshop. Sound confusing? That’s because it’s so absurdly, ingeniously unique! It’s great fun once you pick up the controls and options available to you.
Sleep is Death is a simple game created by indie developer Jason Rohrer that came out on April 17th last year, which is when we first got it, but sadly it seems to have never quite taken off, where we have seen the insane success of other indie games such as Minecraft, this one seems to have remained underground ever since its release. Thankfully though, there’s a page devoted to the stories people make with SiD, where you can upload your bizarre adventures about flying frogs that smoke tree trunks and drive delorians through the Taj Mahal whilst bathing in a tomato-juice filled tea pot that can talk, for everybody else to enjoy. It’s only playable by two people, no more and no less, but this back-and-forth dynamic between two players (one ‘playing’ the game/story, and the other ‘directing’ it) makes for some outstanding random scenes that you neither of you will expect or see coming.
We’ve had a lot of fun playing with Sleep is Death; so much so that we even attempted to start our own mini-series that would attempt to break the mold of the incredibly insane – but ultimately hilarious – stories that make the bulk of what pops up on the submission site. So we started a random story, increased the time limit per turn from 30 seconds to 9999 seconds so we would have as much time as we wanted to make each scene as cool as possible, and then quite simply had a blast! We made the first ‘episode’ probably around 7 months ago, Mr Black – Episode One, and we had a lot of fun making it (go see it!), and then after kind of forgetting about Sleep is Death for a rather long while, we came back to it yesterday and decided to have a crack at the inevitable Mr Black – Episode Two, which is now online as well, and we had a whale of a time playing (writing?) this one too.
Sleep is Death is only a cheap little indie game, and yet it proves that imagination and a bit of spare time can yield some of the most unique two-player fun you’ll be able to get playing a game online with a buddy, or even someone you don’t know!
Your imagination truly is the only limit here. Well, that and your grasp on the glorified MS-Paint style functions…