The Deep Sleep flash games are a free-to-play survival-horror trilogy created by scriptwelder and currently hosted on several online gaming sites, including Armor Games and Newgrounds. The basic premise is that you’re an individual interested in lucid dreaming who never bothered to consider the consequences of your rabid curiosity.
The first game is the only flawless entry in my opinion, as it sets up the world and atmosphere exquisitely. It aims to be unsettling without depending on overt jump-scares, and succeeds. The second chapter has the best interconnected string of puzzles in the series as well as a collection mechanic that results in a more satisfying glimpse at the overall plot. It does ape something from a popular movie series, but having a laugh and a bit of an eye-roll over one thing isn’t enough to dampen my enthusiasm, in this case. While all three are short, the final installment is almost disappointing in its brevity. However, the environments and story reveals make it entirely worthwhile.
A staggering amount of interconnectivity is displayed across all three games and something seemingly random in the first game actually allows you to achieve the full ending of the second. There’s even two endings to the finale and the menu provides you quick access to see the one you didn’t choose initially. There are several points in each game where you can “die” and doing so only puts you back a screen, a la the Kemco-Seika trilogy. You can also quit and save at almost any time, but don’t clear your browser history or cookies after doing so, because, well, that’s how it’s accomplished.
While it will help to keep your expectations in check, I still genuinely feel that these are handily the best flash games I’ve experienced. The care that has gone into crafting the stellar atmosphere, paired with the references made to other games, paints this series as a sincere love letter to the genre.
Buyer’s Guide: Click the links just above to play them on Armor Games. They can also be found on Newgrounds, Kongregate, Game Jolt, and Crazy Games.
3½ Delinquent Hotel Receptionists out of 5