I love tabletop games, especially tabletop RPG games, but setting them up, the hefty rulebook read, and then getting a big enough group together can be a little bit of a challenge. That’s why I enjoy the prospect of a game inspired by tabletop RPGs, taking away all the hassle but leaving the fun. So was this the case with Citizen Sleeper?
Citizen Sleeper is an adventure game that is heavily inspired by tabletop RPGs. You play as a Sleeper, an artificial being that has been cloned from a human who has signed their body and mind over to Essen-Arp – the bad guys. You have somehow escaped their prison-like fort and washed up on Erlin’s Eye, a station thriving with people to meet and places to see.
Citizen Sleeper is equal parts storytelling and RPG, with very little gameplay to experience. Everything you do will be explained to you in immense detail and so you’re going to have to use your imagination a lot in order to get the best experience, but boy is it worth it.
Days in Citizen Sleeper are laid out into Cycles – almost like a clock – and you are free to do whatever you choose within that time, provided it is unlocked. See, the more you explore and meet people, the more options open up for you. If you need to earn some quick money (Cryo), you’re free to go and do some work at a bar, go for a quick snack, or even perform odd jobs for the folk around you. The choice is yours, well, sort of.
Now, this is where things get interesting. You have a specific number of actions you can perform each cycle; these are determined by several dice you roll each morning. You can have up to six dice at your disposal, which in return, means six actions; the number of dice you can use depends on your current condition. Your artificial body is falling apart day by day without vital medication that is only made by Essen-Arp. So, the better your condition, the more dice you will hold.
Each dice has a number between one and six; six gives you a better chance of succeeding at your desired action, and one gives you a higher chance of failing. See, each action you choose to take has a positive and negative reaction, with different percentages of success dependent on the dice you choose to use. This all helps you complete Drives, which are basically your missions, and gain you upgrade points which you can allocate as you see fit to improve a specific part of your character.
The beauty of Citizen Sleeper is within the stories it tells, you really start to feel connected to your character, and to the people they meet. Before long, you will know how to live and survive in Erlin’s Eye, adapting to it just like you would in your own life. It almost begins to feel like home, and it constantly feels familiar.
On top of this, the artwork within the game is great. Each main character you meet has a wonderfully detailed piece of art to accompany them, allowing you to get a feel for those characters through the way they look. The soundtrack is lo-fi and chilled, creating a more relaxed atmosphere too.
Simply put, Citizen Sleeper is a must-play.
Citizen Sleeper £17.99
Overall, Citizen Sleeper is a fantastic game, with many quirky characters to meet and interesting stories to get engrossed in. If you are into tabletop RPGs and are looking for an easy-to-play substitute, this is the game for you.