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Silence of the Sleep – Review

Silence of the Sleep - Review

Silence of the Sleep – Review

Silence of the Sleep review by Scott Alan. With Halloween upon us, this might be just the game to get you in the spirit: "There are some moments where I was tempted to half-cover my eyes."


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Psychological horror games have a special place in my heart, particularly when that place tells me to make sure all the lights are on and that at least one other human being is nearby. What draws us to games that scare and frighten us? The excitement of possibly being hunted by apparitions, the sinking feeling in your gut as you travel further into darkness? Or perhaps it’s the engrossing storytelling (if it exists).

Silence of the Sleep fosters all of these feelings, emotions, and of course that sensation of “Am I alone here?” after one racks up numerous hours of gameplay. This side-scrolling adventure game also comes with the added benefit of not only telling a story, but having a deep and engrossing one.

It Starts with the End

The game begins with you, Jacob Reeves, standing atop a cliff glancing over the side, contemplating suicide. Eventually he moves into position, and it’s up to you to start his plunge. Just like that you start the game, with the ending of a man’s life. After a few moments you come to and discover that perhaps you didn’t die. Or maybe you did. Jacob is obviously confused and unable to remember his past, but here begins your adventure.


Silence of the Sleep runs as clean as possible in the form of having no HUD. Aside from accessing your inventory and some interaction icons, your screen is as open as possible to show every bit of detail, be it gruesome or exquisite. The animations and background are wonderfully done, and are filled with character and uniqueness. Jacob himself is just a solid black silhouette who has a white shirt under his jacket as a defining feature. This sort of character design is done throughout the game, with some colors tossed in to help define specific characters. It works extremely well and keeps with the tone that despite not seeing any real faces, you can still easily identify the characters you meet; even their personalities.

Fans of adventure games that minimize hand-holding will appreciate the approach Silence of the Sleep takes – there are no hint systems in place to help solve puzzles, no auto-save, and death is instantaneous. The puzzles you’ll encounter as you take Jacob through torturous chapters require a bit of thinking, and it helps to have a scribble pad and pen at the ready to take notes and make drawings.

Controlling Jacob requires a hand on your keyboard utilizing typical WASD control and a mouse to help search and inspect your surroundings. You’re able to face both forwards and backwards to enter different doors or inspect areas against a wall. This adds a bit of depth to the game and requires a keen eye. I got the feeling that Jacob’s movement was a bit stiff which led to a few deaths due to not being able to face the correct direction or move fast enough. Don’t expect to control Jacob like an action game, but more of a plan-ahead type. There is a run ability to help you get out of tight spots from the horrendously creepy and startlingly “shrieky” demons you’ll run across in several chapters, but as with any normal human being, the ability doesn’t last forever and you’ll need to rest. This sort of limited use of the run ability adds to the tension of several situations, especially when you’re desperately trying not to lose an hour or so of gameplay because you forgot to save at one of the gramophones (remember Resident Evil’s typewriters? Same thing minus needing ribbons).

Somewhat unfortunately, I did find myself developing an over-reliance on the gramophones due to the absence of an auto-save. In dealing with running about avoiding demons, I would grab an item and then rush back to my safe area where the gramophone was and save. It became such a habit that even when I was in safe areas, if I advanced the plotline or found an item I would almost invariably run off to the gramophone to save.

This didn’t necessarily detract from the game. It did add tension while trying to avoid the demons, and gave a sense of accomplishment as I solved the puzzles without getting poor Jacob slaughtered like a pig. Don’t worry, it’s not that graphic.

Auditory and Visual Horror Engagement

Silence of the Sleep does a good job of keeping you on the edge of your seat in any environment. Be it with lights on or lights off, headphones on or with low volume, Silence of the Sleep is a very tense and frightening game. There were some moments where I was tempted to half-cover my eyes as I maneuvered Jacob down a dark hallway with just my flashlight penetrating the darkness whilst hearing the asthmatic gasping of a demon ahead. The game’s combination of visual and auditory aspects are just well done all around.

My recommendation on how to play? Play with the lights on and without headphones as there’s less of a chance of being scared out of your seat and pulling the computer with you as you inadvertently trip over the dog.

Definitely Worth Playing

Overall, I couldn’t find any reason for any psychological or horror adventure game fan to avoid Silence of the Sleep. Aside from a small amount of bothersome quirks such as the aforementioned gramophone reliance and stiff movement, it’s a very engaging game. As you progress you can’t help but appreciate the plot and what sort of story the game is really telling. I have to hand it to the one-man development team Jesse Makkonen for putting together such a wonderfully complex story that takes on an emotional message as you near the end. If you’re a fan of psychological horror games, Silence of the Sleep is definitely one to check out.


Final Grade: B+
Engaging and complex story
+ Genuine puzzles with no hand-holding 
+ Detailed art and tense sound effects  
– Lack of an auto-save encourages reliance on constant location-based saves
– Stiff movement


OS: Vista, 7 or 8
Processor: Dual Core 2.0 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 1024 MB card capable of shader 3.0
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 1500 MB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9c Compliant
Additional Notes: Monitor that supports refresh rate of 60Hz

Scott Alan

Scott Alan

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