Game Reviews

Sleepwalker's Journey

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Sleepwalker's Journey

If you happen to have your historic hat on, you might remember a 1993 Ocean game called Sleepwalker.

Sleepwalker's Journey is quite a lot like that, but in place of a canine assistant you've got your finger. Using that tool you've got to guide perpetual somnabulator Moonboy across 45 twilit casual platform stages, adjusting the world with a series of carefully timed swipes.

Each 'dream' features three moons and a number of stars - all of which must be gathered within a devilishly tight time limit to score gold.

The trouble is, you've no direct control over Moonboy himself. Lost in the land of nod, he marches ever-onward - and only contact with a strategically placed pillow can flip the poor soul in the opposite direction.


Each craftily designed stage is a maze of platforms and gaping holes, and swipes are all it takes to shift ledges, activate gadgets, and guide Moonboy safely to bed.

Success rests on quick observations and even quicker reactions - particularly if you want to snag all the stars in a level. Slamming into an object or toppling off a ledge causes Moonboy to drop some of his star stash, meaning that perfect runs demand careful, constant vigilance.

While shiftable platforms are a mainstay throughout, new layers are added to the core shuffle-and-swipe mechanics through the introduction of ever-more-elaborate gadgets.

Cannons help you leap over chasms, for instance, while fans let you float delicately through the air, light sources illuminate the path ahead, and unicycles - well!

All these elements are brought together in a solid display of design ingenuity, adding a cerebral edge to the already digit-twisting action.

Hard day's night

With so much to juggle, it's no surprise that Sleepwalker's Journey can be quite a handful, and there's a decent level of challenge for completists hidden behind the game's soothing moonlit facade.

Thankfully, developer 11 bit studios has incorporated a nifty time-rewind feature, ensuring your most calamitous errors can always be remedied, keeping the action accessible and fury to a minimum.

All in all, Sleepwalker's Journey is a smart, handsomely produced reaction-based puzzler that's only let down by its relative brevity and a slight lack of variety in the core action. But thanks to the game's slick design and nifty central conceit, those minor issues aren't likely to cause too many sleepless nights.

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Sleepwalker's Journey

A slick, accessible platform-puzzler with a satisfying emphasis on fast reactions and quick thinking
Matt Wales
Matt Wales
Following a lifetime of adventure on the high seas, swabbing the editorial decks of the good ship IGN and singing freelance shanties across far-flung corners of the gaming press, Matt hung up his pirate hat and turned his surf-seared gaze toward the murky mysteries of the handheld gaming world. He lives to sound the siren on the best mobile games out there, and he can't wait to get kraken.