Have you ever wanted to take part in an escape room that ended in your own death? Well, now you can as Sleepin’ Guy falls onto PS5 in this Deluxe Edition. Sleepin’ Guy is an unremarkable 3D physics-puzzle-platform game, set in the headspace of the titular guy, where your ultimate goal in each of its 31 levels is to kill yourself…
Release Date: March 17th, 2022 (PS5) December 3rd, 2021 (Xbox)
Developer: Chubby Pixel
Publisher: Chubby Pixel
Availability: PSN, Microsoft Store
Sleepin’ Guy (formerly known as Suicide Guy) opens with a disclaimer about its content and advises those suffering from suicidal thoughts and mental health issues to not play the game and to seek professional help. While the likes of Grand Theft Auto regularly make headlines for its content, Sleepin’ Guy’s narrative seems unintentionally darker in tone. The opening disclaimer sits starkly, juxtaposed against the game that follows it.
The game opens with Sleepin’ Guy, lazing on his sofa in his dimly lit apartment with a beer in hand, watching TV. This bearded protagonist nods off, releasing his grip on his bottle of booze and before it can hit the ground we’re transported into his unconscious mind. His mind palace, it seems, resembles an empty, American diner and this dream world serves as the game’s hub. Each of the game’s levels are accessed by interacting with items on the numerous tables within the diner.
The set-up is simple and provides a jumping-off point for each of the games’ levels. The main objective in each level is to solve a series of puzzles that will ultimately provide a way to kill off your character. Gameplay is straightforward and basic with limited controls owing to the restricted interactions available within each puzzle space. The controls are so basic in fact that multiple buttons on the Dualsense go unused and there is even a dedicated button to perform a burp (yes, really) and a punch button that isn’t used for anything other than flinging coffee cups and small items around within the levels.
Levels are varied, with scenarios inspired by anything from Moby Dick to Super Mario and from Jurassic Park to Portal. While it’s great to see these homages, the execution is consistently poor, with uninspired puzzles, tedious first-person platforming and an overwhelming lack of polish.
The puzzles on offer in Sleepin’ Guy Deluxe Edition are shown some promise and I genuinely enjoyed figuring out what to do next. Most levels exhibit creativity in the way you reach the demise but they all suffer from inconsistent physics. On multiple levels, I experienced puzzle items not adhering to the laws of gravity. This would normally have prevented me from progressing but the design of the puzzles is flawed in a way that allowed me to complete some objectives without using their intended solutions, which relieved some of my frustrations.
The visuals are bold and bright and have the occasional impressive element like a decent fire effect in an Indiana Jones inspired temple level or a strangely detailed goat in the that features in a level that requires you to summon Satan to meet your demise. Despite these anomalies, the graphics reminded me of an upscaled PS2 game and fail to make any meaningful use of the power of the latest generation of consoles.
Upon beating the game, players are rewarded with a new camera filter (talk about your consolation prize) that applies a cel-shaded filter that actually looks better than the default graphics. Why this filter wasn’t applied to the game from the offset I’ll never know.
The sound in Sleepin’ Guy doesn’t perform much better. There are small radios in each level that play unique pieces of music and while some of them are tolerable and add to the limited atmosphere, others will grate instantly. Mercifully the radios can be turned off, unlike the grunts and huffs from our protagonist. His guttural moans and groans are particularly annoying during platform sections as the three or four sound bites cycle ad-nauseum.
Aside from the puzzle platforming, there are Sleepin’ Guy statues to collect in each level but unfortunately, they don’t present any challenge to hunt down with some even sitting on pedestals in front of you when you enter a level. I was able to find every statue during my three-hour playthrough without actively looking for them. Sleepin’ Guy Deluxe Edition will offer some value to the trophy hunting community as by the time I’d finished the game I was just a couple of miscellaneous trophies away from earning the platinum.
I was hopeful for some positive resolution at the end of the game but instead, the final level is a non-sensical event involving throwing trash cans at a witch. The game offers no form of closure or meaningful development to the Sleepin’ Guy character beyond him achieving his objective of catching his falling beer.
The biggest issue I had with Sleepin’ Guy Deluxe Edition was its narrative concept. The makings of a good puzzle game are apparent and with more time and polish could have produced an enjoyable game but why frame it around suicide. Suicide has a devasting and world-shattering effect on thousands of people every single year but Sleepin’ Guy is unsympathetic to those that live with mental health issues beyond its opening disclaimer.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS5
Summary - Really BadSummary - Really Bad
- Level variety
- Puzzles occasionally provide a decent challenge
- Quick and easy platinum trophy for trophy hunters
- Awful concept that makes light of suicide and mental health issues
- Broken physics prevent puzzles from being fun
- General lack of polish throughout