A good casual game on iOS needs a few things: Simple gameplay, interesting level design, and charm. Sleepwalker’s Journey has all of these things, even if they’re not quite on the level of the biggest titles on the platform.
Simple gameplay: Check! All you have to do is make sure a celestial sleepwalker named Moonboy gets from the starting point to the end of each stage safely. You do this by manipulating a playful variety of objects on the screen with your finger. At first you just slide a few obstacles out of the way, but later stages add cannons that can launch Moonboy, tightropes you can draw, and even a unicycle he can sleep-pedal. If you’re the easily frustrated type, then you’ll appreciate the rewind button that lets you take back mistakes rather than having to restart the whole stage.
Interesting level design: Check! While getting Moonboy to safety is the only requirement to progress, players looking for a bit more challenge can try to puzzle out how to grab all the Stars and Moons strewn about each stage. There’s also a timer you can try to beat, limiting how much you can use the rewind ability, if you care about getting a Gold Medal on each stage. Most stages integrate several mechanics for an enjoyable variety of experiences, from those that require a careful thinking to figure out, to others that feel like a slightly frantic platformer.
Charm: Check! The first thing that caught my eye about this game was the style. The art is surreal, relaxing, and the developers took obvious care to fill every inch of the screen with it. Even the backgrounds are filled with crazy objects and little details. The music is similarly dreamy and makes me want to put on a sleeping cap and play under a pile of covers.
I tend to be demanding even with $0.99 games on the App Store, but Sleepwalker’s Journey has the kind of quality I expect from one. If you’re not sold, give the free version a try. It just might be the sleeper hit you’ve been waiting for.
A review copy of the game was provided.