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A Thought-Provoking Space Odyssey – Citizen Sleeper Review

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Image: Jump Over the Edge

Citizen Sleeper, developed by Gareth Damian Martin, is an indie sci-fi narrative-driven role-playing game that delves into the depths of artificial intelligence, memory, and identity. Set in the far reaches of space, players take on the role of an android seeking to unravel their own mysterious past. As a fan of both science fiction and narrative-driven games, here is my review of Citizen Sleeper.

Story (9/10) Citizen Sleeper's narrative places players in the role of an android who awakens aboard a space station with no memory of their past. The game's story unfolds through dialogue, exploration, and a unique card-based system that allows players to make choices and interact with the environment. The game's writing is compelling, with complex characters and intriguing plotlines that immerse players in its futuristic world. The narrative explores themes of artificial intelligence, identity, and memory, raising thought-provoking questions about the nature of humanity and our place in the universe. The non-linear storytelling approach allows for multiple playthroughs, as players can make different choices and explore various narrative paths. However, the game's relatively short length may leave some players wanting more from the story.

Gameplay (8/10) Citizen Sleeper's gameplay is primarily dialogue-based, with an innovative card system that allows players to make choices and interact with other characters. The card mechanics add a strategic element to the game, as players must carefully consider their options and weigh the consequences of their actions. Exploration and discovery play a significant role in uncovering the secrets of the game's world and the protagonist's past. While the game's unique mechanics are engaging and well-executed, the lack of traditional combat or action sequences may not appeal to all players. Additionally, some may find the game's pacing to be slow, particularly during sections that require extensive dialogue or card-based interactions.

Graphics and Sound (8/10) Citizen Sleeper's visuals feature a blend of pixel art and 3D graphics that create a retro-futuristic atmosphere reminiscent of classic science fiction. The game's environments, character models, and interface are well-designed, with an aesthetic that effectively conveys the game's themes and setting. The game's soundtrack, composed by Eli Rainsberry, is atmospheric and evocative, enhancing the sense of immersion in the game's world. The sound design is well-executed, with appropriate sound effects and ambient noises that contribute to the overall experience. However, the game lacks voice acting, which may detract from the narrative's impact for some players.

Content and Replayability (7/10) Citizen Sleeper's non-linear narrative and choice-driven gameplay allow for multiple playthroughs, as players can explore different story paths and outcomes. However, the game's relatively short length and lack of traditional gameplay elements may limit its appeal to some players after the initial playthrough.

Citizen Sleeper offers a thought-provoking and immersive narrative-driven experience, with its compelling story, unique gameplay mechanics, and evocative atmosphere. While the game's pacing and lack of action may not appeal to everyone, those who appreciate science fiction and narrative-focused games will find a memorable and engaging journey in the depths of space.

Overall Score: 8/10


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