Creepy monsters lurk in the dark. Your parents don’t believe in monsters because they are old and infirmed. It’s up to you to defend yourself night after night against this relentless evil that has invaded your otherwise quiet life. Sleep Tight is a combination twin stick shooter and tower defense game. The child you choose to become your avatar in this fight decides the difficulty of the game. Your main weapons against this evil horde are, obviously, dart guns. Everyone knows that dart guns are the ultimate weapon to defeat the closet infesting, probably scream harvesting, creatures of the night.
You begin with basic training and start with a simple dart gun. Luckily you’ll work your way up fast and before long you’ll have the option to purchase new weapons and other handy items like barricades and turrets to keep the creatures at bay. Early on I kept having trouble keeping track of the monsters entering through the bottom area of the screen so I quickly built some walls to funnel them into a spot where I could easily take them out. By filtering them near the windows on the right (which allowed for some pale moonlight to seep through), I was able to see their shadows in advance and pick them off one by one. Tactics like these organically evolve through the course of the game and it’s fun to discover new ways to deal with the mobs of baddies.
There isn’t much of a learning curve to the game, other than through experience and figuring out the best way to defend your position. As you destroy monsters you can pick up stars that allow you to research things to help you in your battles. Each night you earn suns that you can spend on a variety of items, skills, or perks. The game takes place in your bedroom and you have four specialization stations on the four corners of the rug. You have 4 stations on the four corners of the rug in your room.
The northwest corner holds the Research New Skills station where you can develop helpful gadgets like Magnets, which increase the radius to pull drops by a percentage, or Scientist, which gives you more stars for each one you collect. The Power-Ups section allows you to enhance your play experience in several ways with Shields, Thorns, and Damage Boost. The Weapons section allows you to purchase better and more lethal guns. Finally, in the Defenses section you can give your walls explosives, so they blow up when they are destroyed (dealing damage to the enemies) or upgrade the level of the turrets you can place to help defend you.
The northeast corner of your rug has the Weapons station, which not only allows you to buy new weapons, but upgrade them as well. This is also the station where you buy ammunition for your dart guns. You can easily run out of ammo during the night and that is never a good thing. So make sure to conserve ammo as much as you can and take note of how much ammo you have left over each night. As the difficulty increases you may find yourself using more ammo; plan accordingly.
The southeast corner of your rug is where you build your walls and turrets. It is crucial to not only defend yourself, but also your turrets since monsters seem to be able to pack quite a punch if they get their hands on them. The stations have four walls that are indestructible, so you can use this to your advantage by placing walls around them with space to walk between. This allowed me to venture out and collect stars and other drops from the monsters pretty easily.
Lastly, in the southwest corner you can purchase health and power-ups that last a set number of nights. You can buy things like over shields, extra damage, speed boost, and a few other useful perks.
The control scheme utilizes the L button for changing weapons and the R button for firing said weapons. You use the left control stick to move your tyke around the room and the right stick for aiming your weapon. These controls work well and start to become second nature the longer you play. I recommend the pro controller for this game and playing on your TV, but it does play just as well on the portable screen. As with first-person shooters, I feel like the stick throw is just too short on the Joy-Cons, although it’s not as pronounced in a game like this.
I didn’t notice any problems with the performance of Sleep Tight. It ran well and didn’t lag at all no matter how many enemies flooded onto the screen. When I first started playing I felt like this was going to be a boring title where you just fight monsters each night, wave after wave, and it just wouldn’t keep me interested in playing for very long. In some respects this is what you get, but the added defensive building and getting new power-ups and abilities give the game more depth and that keeps the fun factor rather high throughout. Still, when all is said and done the game is rather shallow and some might tire of it after several hours of play.
Sleep Tight is one of those games you pick up and play every now and then when you feel like you just want to play an action game where you don’t have to think all that much. I would recommend it for younger gamers as I believe it would really help build up that special skill gamers have called eye-hand coordination. Just don’t go in expecting an epic experience. In fact, the cost of admission being $15 seems a bit high for what you get. The first time you see it on sale would be a good time to pick up Sleep Tight if you’re interested in this type of action tower defense game.
Sleep Tight was reviewed using a final retail Nintendo Switch download code provided by the publisher.
Jay has been an avid gamer since the Intellivision days. His hobbies include building PCs, 3D modeling and printing, and spending time with his children and dog.