Tuesday, October 30

Review: Suicide Guy - Sleepin' Deeply [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Before even rolling with the merits (or in this case, the lack thereof) of this title I wanted to say that at its base premise level I’m not a fan. Having a daughter who has struggled with mental health and problems with suicidal thoughts at times, having that as a core mechanic is already something I’m not thrilled with. But, for it to have a “light and fun” tone to go with it and feature it in the title with a somewhat cavalier attitude I consider a bit ignorant of the seriousness of it as a problem. With that out of the way, I can now discuss why even completely disregarding those reservations I’m not much of a fan of this title.

Occupying a space somewhere between being a physics game, an action game, and an adventure Sleepin’ Deeply for the most part seems to take a central theme and then run with it to make each level. This makes sense since it seems everything is happening in his dreams and the only way to “wake up” and progress is I suppose to kill himself. The trick is that doing so tends to be a somewhat elaborate affair and you’ll need to trial and error your way through the environment to figure out what you’re supposed to do in order to trigger your demise. While I’ll credit the degree of creativity in some cases, with one level having you try to make your way through a literal Rube Goldberg machine in order to shoot yourself, is admirable most everything past the premise itself is a hot mess.

Too often games that go the “physics route” allow that label to be an excuse for poor controls and things like collision detection. That’s definitely on display here, with everything feeling a bit wonky as you move around and interact with the environment. This includes having platforming sections where you can’t see your feet (I suppose it’s funny his gut gets in the way of this) and while somewhat forgiving they just feel awkward and sloppy. In general you’re left to stumble your way through what it is you’re even supposed to be doing, perhaps giving it a puzzle-like adventure vibe but mostly in an annoying way since this can just feel like it’s wasting your time.

I suppose Sleepin’ Deeply has a weirdo novel appeal to it, and with its budget price could provide a few hours of entertainment, but setting your expectations low on all levels would need to be in order. It feels quite a bit like a last-gen (or maybe even more than 1 generation ago) title not just visually but in terms of mechanics and everything else as well. Outside of the environments you find yourself in being weird there’s not very much that qualifies as satisfying, it’s just something to stumble your way through for the most part.

Score: 5

  • Some strange environments and situations
  • I love the Rube Goldberg level, though you can’t appreciate its complexity very well as you try to run through it
  • A budget price

  • Sloppy controls mixed with clumsy platforming
  • Everything is very trial and error in figuring out what you need to do to proceed, and in some cases it simply doesn’t make much sense
  • While I appreciate this is in dreams, prominently featuring Suicide in the title and premise I’m not a fan of considering the seriousness of the problem