If you find yourself capable of reading this article right now, there’s a pretty good chance you made it past the age of two. You might not remember much of it — in fact, you might not remember any of it — but nonetheless, it’s a fascinating time in the development of the human psyche: the mind is just starting to make perceptions about the outside world; the brain and its synapses only beginning to connect one abstract thought to another; the imagination, an enigma at any age, is unrestrained.
It’s this confluence of conditions that also gives rise to our first nightmares. A scary image on TV, a spooky sound from the creaky attic, stories of evil and magic in a fairy tale — it’s all condensed in those fleeting moments of slumbering terror, and made worse by the frail helplessness of the human body at such a young age.
To help us go back to that time — because, let’s face it: nightmares are a little cool in retrospect — Danish developer Krillbite Studio is hard at work on Among the Sleep. Overcoming ghoulish creatures and lapsing into surreal dream worlds, players will walk in the Velcro shoes of the game’s two-year-old protagonist (aided only by his loyal teddy bear companion) as he struggles to find his back home. Back to reality.
The game is targeted for a release next year on the PC and Mac, so Krillbrite is hoping the trailer and accompanying screenshots that debuted this week will start luring gamers in to its kaleidoscopic, yet creepy world. (The Krillbite blog is also posting recent updates on the studio’s progress.) The footage serves as a gameplay teaser for one of the game’s early levels, and even though it cuts out before a major encounter unfolds, it exhibits a promising premise for the building of suspense: eerie lighting, spontaneous sounds, fear of the unknown.
How our tiny hero does go about toppling his inevitable adversaries remains to be seen. Will he conjure up new weapons or methods of attack as the nightmares progress? Will the game have a heavier focus on evasion a la Mirror’s Edge? Ranters, tell us what you think about the concept for Among the Sleep and reliving nightmares as a petite two-year-old.
Among the Sleep is scheduled to release sometime in 2013 for the Mac and PC.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.