Your immediate response upon seeing a game called Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply might not be positive for a number of reasons. However, despite its name, this is not an incredibly gruesome game. The premise is that of a man who drank extra strong 99.9% alcohol beer and is now unconscious and must wake himself up by killing himself. Two notes here, 99.9% alcohol is an industrial cleaner, not a beverage – even though Everclear exists – and the concept of needing to die to wake up is basically the plot of the movie Inception. So while the name is a bit blunt, the concept itself isn’t as dark as it initially seems.
Now, on to the gameplay. The premise, as has already been established, is to try and wake up the guy who just drank industrial cleaner, typically by solving a series of puzzles. Each level has a theme that either consists of one or many puzzles that need to be solved to complete it.
Ironically, my favorite level is the Rube Goldberg machine level which doesn’t actually have a puzzle. Since most of you are probably confused by what that is, a Rube Goldberg machine is something that is designed to perform a simple task in an overly complicated way. In the world of Sleepin’ Deeply that task happens to be shooting a gun at you. But there is no puzzle in this level; all you need to do is climb over the obstacles fast enough to make it to the gun in time.
This wouldn’t be a problem if there were enough other levels to justify having one that is more atmospheric than anything else, but there are only six levels in total and not all are created equally. Many of them contain, or just are, references to pop culture, which can be fun to see but the content in them is usually lacking.
There is a Mad Max-style level, which again doesn’t really have a puzzle, and I won’t spoil it but it’s built around more platforming than anything. While the level itself is large, it’s also incredibly empty and it feels like many of the stages fall into the same trap where they opt for size instead of engaging content. And the content that does exist is still hit or miss.
The worst offender by large is the ACME map that looked to be pulled straight out of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons. The design isn’t the issue, but the optimization for the controls is terrible. This one actually has a puzzle that consists of finding buttons that unlock blueprints of items that you can use to reach new areas in the level. These items can also be combined into new tools that allow for more exploration.
The item combination aspect is really cool to see, but moving the items and getting around is atrocious. Certain items, when they are picked up, won’t pivot with the character model; the only way to move them is by strafing and then letting go of them and repositioning. Interacting with items, in general, is just awkward and clunky since the character model never actually interacts with items that you pick up.
What I mean by that is if you pick up a ball, or some other tool, the item just floats in front of you with a silhouette. There is a slingshot on the ACME-inspired map, and instead of holding it in your hand when you use it, it just floats in front of you. It’s at least usable and you can pivot to move it, but it feels so awkward.
And that’s the same for everything. I didn’t run into any major issues with the game – no crashing or bugs – but even so things just felt clunky. Which I guess makes it a good thing that Sleepin’ Deeply can be beaten in just a couple of hours. The description of the game says three to four hours to beat, but I’d say three hours is probably on the upper end of how long it will actually take.
Something that is nice is each achievement you earn will give you a solid chunk of Gamerscore, and the 1000G won’t take much extra effort to acquire if you feel inclined to put in the time. But whether or not you will feel inclined to is going to be another issue altogether. On one hand, the game has some unique elements that are cool to see and experience, but it’s poorly optimized and just not as fun to play as it really could be.
I know Sleepin’ Deeply on Xbox is attempting to be funny with the main character being a drunk and the level designs being as wacky as they are, but for me it’s just not humorous; a bumbling alcoholic walking around burping and mopping up poop just doesn’t do it for me. But you may find that stuff hilarious, and if you do then Sleepin’ Deeply might be just the game for you. You may have to struggle with the mechanics but you’ll come out of it with more Gamerscore than you can imagine, taking in a few laughs along the way. That’s great, but for me I just couldn’t get into it.