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    dkirschner's Citizen Sleeper (PC)

    [June 28, 2023 07:57:03 PM]
    This game has a wonderful, expertly written story that kept me in my chair long after the novelty and challenge of the gameplay wore off. Also, I'm...a slow reader. I have nearly the longest completion time for the game over on So, what is Citizen Sleeper? It's a narrative game with tabletop mechanics. You roll a number of dice corresponding to your character's health at the beginning of each cycle (day), and you have different outcomes for various actions depending on which dice you choose for which actions. It's an engaging loop of sleeping, getting your random dice rolls, exploring the space station, triggering events, speaking with characters, and sleeping again to get new dice rolls and do it again the next cycle. It adds a constant forward momentum to the game.

    That forward momentum is consistently interesting in terms of narrative, but not in terms of gameplay, which is the same at hour 20 as hour 1. Except, once you start spending skill points (obtained through completing "drives" [aka quests]), the tension of poor dice rolls ("Oh no, I have to slot a 3 into this dangerous action! It's got a good chance for a negative outcome with nasty penalties!") dissipates ("Ah, that +2 modifier on every single skill means that anything 4 and above is perfect, and even 1s are only moderately risky! I'll just sink into my chair and read the story then.").

    And so, really, that's what Citizen Sleeper becomes: reading a good story. I would have liked the whole thing to be half as long, and the three free DLC added a chunk of story too. But man, I really enjoyed the tale. Basically, you are a "sleeper," which is (and I'm simplifying) a human consciousness semi-transplanted into an android. You wake up on The Eye, a space station with a few factions and a history rooted in corporate expansion and exploitation. You eke out survival with other people, meet them, learn their stories, solve their problems, learn the history of The Eye, become embroiled in its underbelly. But you're special. You're being hunted. By whom? Why? Do you even want to stay here? You can try to leave, you can stay. There are a variety of endings (I think I read 8), plus a couple endings in the DLC, which brings a larger threat to The Eye.

    This was a good one, AND, I found out was made by the same person who created In Other Waters (the interface has a similar feeling), which was quite interesting, too (and, I realize, also places you in the role of a newly awoken AI). Citizen Sleeper 2 has been announced, and I hope the quality surpasses this one. Shorter, though, I hope. I'd rather read a good 20-hour book than have 5 hours of good story and gameplay, but then followed by 15 hours of good story and mundane gameplay. Or maybe I should learn to read faster.
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    dkirschner's Citizen Sleeper (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 25 June, 2023

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 28 June, 2023

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    No real preconception! Hopefully it's a compelling story. -------- Very compelling story. Gameplay becomes repetitive and tension dissipates after a while, but still cool.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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