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You are a sleeper, a digitised human consciousness in an artificial body, owned by a corporation. You escape and are thrust amongst the colourful inhabitants of the Eye - an abandoned, run-down and unruly space station held together by anarchic alliances, ramshackle factions and a shared desire to be free from corporate control. To survive you'll need to build friendships, earn money and navigate the political factions.
You play in cycles where you roll a set of dice that can then be spent on specific activities. The higher the number of dice you use, the better the outcome of that activity. Do you work in the yards or the bar? Or perhaps search the markets for rare components? Grab some street food, maybe? The choices you make each cycle affect you and the world you live in. You can make or break alliances, uncover truths, and learn to survive one cycle at a time.
As you progress you meet characters from all walks of life: salvagers, engineers, hackers, bartenders, and street-food vendors. Talking to them uncovers their rich history which brought them here. Or you can learn things by hacking into the station's archive to find new areas and unlock secrets. Your choices slowly shape your character's five skills (Engineer, Interface, Endure, Intuit and Engage), unlocking perks and bonuses that reflect and change how you choose to live in this world.
The result is an intricate game that feels like a Dungeon & Dragons adventure. On each loop, your careful allocation of dice and conversation decisions affect the story and the world. Along the way the game deftly engages with themes of the commodification of people, abusive systems and exploitation by corporations. Like the Westworld TV series, can you escape the makers of your decaying body and chart your own path in a future you choose?
Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Citizen Sleeper 21 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 6 months ago.
11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. You need considerable comprehension skills to parse a large amount of writing and make sense of the layered story. You also need to be able to consider the unintended implications of choices. Finally, being able to prioritise your dice and cope with failure is crucial.
Release Date: 05/05/2022
Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Content Rating: PEGI 12
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Accessibility: 24 features
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon, Dice, Grid and Text