Title: Sleepwalker’s Journey
Systems: Android (reviewed), iOS
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Publisher (Developer): 11 bit studios
Pros: Gorgeous art, simple and practical puzzles, promise of additional levels
Cons: There’s no incentive to collect stars and moons, may be too tranquil for its own good
Overall Score: One thumb up, one thumb sideways, 85, B, ** out of 5
Sleepwalker’s Journey is a game we don’t see very often. It’s one of the few games that doesn’t put you in the shoes of a particular character. In Sleepwalker’s Journey, you’re playing as yourself. It’s your responsibility to be the unseen guardian of Moonboy, an innocent little boy that has no idea what’s going on as he sleepwalks throughout his dream. Your job is to guide Moonboy through dozens of levels until he eventually makes his way back into his bed.
A Beautiful Dream
Before I get into gameplay, I want to talk about the art in Sleepwalker’s Journey. 11 bit studios said a lot of work went into the visual style of Sleepwalker’s Journey, and it certainly shows. The imagry across the various stages shimmer and shine with gorgeous colors. The art assets 11 bit studios incorporated into this game are very fitting for the dreamworld it has created. Pillows have smiley faces, hot air balloons move gradually in the background and tiny animal heads help make up the various platforms. Yes it’s random stuff, but that’s exactly what dreams are made of. The art isn’t cell-shaded, but it’s not entirely composed from polygons either. Everything looks hand drawn and elegant.
11 bit also did a good job of highlighting the colors on Moonboy. Moonboy has a noticeable, almost spirit-like glow surrounding him. This helps accentuate his presence within his dreams.
Sleepwalker’s Journey borrows elements from platforming and puzzle games. You don’t have direct control over Moonboy. Instead, you use a series of gestures to affect the environment around Moonboy as he slowly walks across the levels. For example, you’ll come across ledges in the beginning of the game that can be flicked up or down to create ramps. You’ll also have to move platforms to essentially create bridges for Moonboy to walk across. As the game goes on, you’ll be introduced to other interactive items such as cannons (yes, Moonboy can be shot out of cannons), unicycles, pillows that change Moonboy’s direction, torches and elastic ropes that can also be used as bridges. Eventually, you’ll have to pool everything you learned to make it through each level.
I didn’t find Sleepwalker’s Journey to be difficult. There’s no real consequence for failure. If you happen to mess something up, you can rewind time to erase your mistakes. The game encourages you to find all the stars and moons on each level and completing them within a short period of time, but there’s no reason to do this other than self satisfaction. No matter how good or bad you are, you’ll always proceed if you complete the stage. I’d like to think 11 bit studios wanted player consequence to behave like consequences in a dream in that nothing you do can have real negative effects, but I ended up not caring about how many stars and moons I collected.
Worth Waking Up For
By the end of the game, I enjoyed my journey through Moonboy’s dreams. It did drive me into a lull at times because nothing particularly exciting every happens. Don’t let that turn you off though. For $0.99, I easily recommended this game for anyone looking to expand their Android gaming collection.
Google Play Link [Moonwalker's Journey]