November 18th, 2012 | By Christian Leed
From 11-Bit Studios, the brilliant minds that brought us Funky Smugglers and Anomaly: Warzone Earth, comes Sleepwalker’s Journey, a brand new side-scrolling puzzle game for Android and iOS. In Sleepwalker’s Journey you meet Moonboy, a sleepy little boy who has been blown away into the depths of space by a lunar sneeze. Acting as Moonboy’s guardian, it’s your job to guide him safely across the vast expanse of his dreams and back to the safety of his bed. But, not all is well in Moonboy’s dreams; the landscapes are fraught with dangerous traps and obstructions that must be cleared to ensure that Moonboy can reach the safety of his bed once again.
Gameplay in Sleepwalker’s Journey is handled in terribly simple manner; when the level starts, Moonboy begins to walk gradually across the level, left to right. It’s your job to make sure his path is clear; by using the touch screen you can raise and lower movable platforms for form a path or remove obstacles, or tap on an enemy to remove it before it does any damage to Moonboy. You can also hold down the fast forward button to speed up Moonboy’s walking speed, which is essential to obtaining the maximum score for each level, or rewind time if you manage to get yourself into trouble. New mechanics are introduced steadily through the course of the game, with each new level increasing the complexity of the puzzle with either a new use for an already-introduced mechanic, or an entirely new mechanic altogether. While the game does seem rather simple and easy at first, things quickly become much more challenging as the game progress and new twists are added, leaving precious little time for careful consideration of your strategy.
The game’s art is gorgeous, colorful and cartoony, almost whimsical. It’s rather appropriate to the game’s theme, and it only reinforces the feeling of being in a waking dream. Pickups come in the form of small stars and crescent moons, which over in the air in front of your path, and pillows dot the landscape, blocking off the most direct routes to your end goal, your comfortable and terribly inviting bed. The music is similarly befitting to the game’s aesthetic; gentle and relaxed, almost like a lullaby.
While each individual level is quite short, with bonuses awarded for completing them in a timely manner, the game features over 45 levels, ensuring you’re not going to breeze through the game in an instant. Despite this, however, it’s a game you can simply pick up and play for a few minutes before putting it down for the day. The levels are short enough that you can finish one or two during a bathroom break, and the controls are easy to remember.
All in all, Sleepwalker’s Journey is a extremely well-executed game, with lots of replayability and very little to criticize. 11-Bit Studios have done a fantastic job of putting together a game that’s easy to learn, yet hard to master. With the distinct possibility of new content being released in the near future, as well as a price of only $0.99 for Android or $1.99 for iOS, you’ll be hard-pressed to pass up such a bargain.