I’ve never really been one for text-based adventure games and have so far avoided playing anything from the genre. Recently, however, I’ve been after a good story to really sink my teeth into. Electric Sleep provided a narrative so emotionally engaging and gripping, I had to play through until the end.
*Just a quick heads up: minor spoilers ahead.*
Without giving too much away, you play as a robot who reboots after a long time in an electronic slumber. But you aren't just any cold, heartless robot. You have feelings and emotions, and these start to awaken inside of you, becoming more complex with each playthrough.
Electric Sleep is entirely text-based with some decision making to be had, that ultimately shapes your fate and where you end up in the world. Overall, there are eleven different emotions to play through with a total of forty-four endings. The emotional states start off fairly basic with things like joy and sadness, but things become more complex when you start feeling things like nihilism and nostalgia.
Playing through the lens of these emotions means you perceive and experience the world differently. It affects your thoughts and actions, and even if you end up down the same branch of storyline with an emotion like joy, you are promised a completely different ending if you were to visit that same path with an emotion like sadness.
The writing is superb for each scenario. I found myself experiencing these emotions too as I was playing. My pace quickened with the adrenaline playthrough, becoming more anxious with every twist and turn of the story. However, the strongest feeling that I empathised with while playing was that of nostalgia. I often found myself pondering feeling nostalgic about my own past. This was down to the evocative writing - which I promise will have you gripped - and the absolutely fantastic soundtrack.
The music in this game is excellent. Immediately after playing, I had to buy the DLC soundtrack. I honestly think this is my favourite soundtrack in a game so far this year. The music first starts off as mere ambient background noise before growing more elaborate as you advance the story, either quickening the pace or slowing it down to a crawl. It complements each emotional state perfectly.
There is some wonderful pixel art in here too that shows off the different landscapes and areas you end up travelling through, although there isn’t much in the way of animation, which is a bit of a shame.
Overall, Electric Sleep is a text-based adventure that will have you running through it multiple times. Made by a small team of just four people, you can really feel the time, effort and love that was put into this game. Although, it is short - about four hours in total - I can promise you, those four hours are nothing but quality that you need to experience.
Electric Sleep (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
A fantastic text-based adventure that will keep you coming back for multiple playthroughs. Combined with a fantastic soundtrack and superb writing, Electric Sleep is a must play.