Just last week, seventeen games released on Nintendo Switch and I had heard of exactly one of them. A lot of great indie titles are coming to Switch like Dead Cells, The Messenger, and some that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing like Gardens Between and Pilot Sports. A lot of other indie titles ending up on Switch are repurposed mobile games, and budget PC titles looking to find new life on Nintendo’s hybrid handheld and home TV console. Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply caught my attention because of its frankly tasteless title, and so I thought I would take a chance and check it out.
If you are considering thoughts of self-harm, just seeing the word suicide can be triggering and accelerate these thoughts. Please reach out and call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Someone will talk with you 24 hours a day. If you are outside the US, you can find other resources here. Please talk to someone, don’t try to face these kinds of thoughts alone.
The game follows the adventures of a drunk man as he tries to wake up from his crazy beer-fueled dreams. Unfortunately, the only way to wake himself up is to kill himself, but even then he goes back to an empty diner where he selects the next dream at one of the tables. All of these dreams have their own theme, and the Guy runs around them in first person, solving physics-based puzzles. The Guy can jump, pick up things, operate machinery and other items, and there’s even a burp button.
An empty diner serves as the hub between levels, where the Guy can go up to a table that has an icon on it, and enter the next dream. He can also run around and eat cheeseburgers, and burp, if that’s your thing. The first time you visit the diner, the Guy says something about being here before, which was my first clue this game was a sequel. More on that later.
The first scene is pretty self-contained and small. A sea monster lost his eyeball and can’t see to kill you. What’s a guy to do? The puzzle involved using a crane and a catapult, and the situation was entertaining because of the ridiculousness of shooting an eyeball into a monster only to clobber the newly restored eye with a boulder. The puzzle was not rocket science, there was literally only a few items to interact with, so the solution was pretty obvious. I had some trouble getting out of the crane when I was done with it, simply walking away wouldn’t do it, I had to push the use button while pushing the cursor away from the instrument panel. At least, I think that’s what I did. It was confusing and I was stuck for a bit.
The second dream introduces vehicles and platform jumping. After placing an engine in a dune buggy, the Guy zooms around a very empty desert until he comes across spiked towers that descend below ground as he approaches so he can’t ram them and die. A hatch next to the tower leads to an underground area where the guy can hop moving platforms to get more parts to speed up his kamikaze buggy. Jumping platforms in first person isn’t my favorite, but it works pretty well for this level. The driving is alright, but there’s not much to do except smash boxes and look for the next tower, and eventually ram it when you’re fast enough.
The third dream ratchets up the difficulty to a ridiculous level. A Rube Goldberg device runs the entire length of the level, and at the end of the room eventually sets off a shotgun to dispatch the Guy. As the Guy, you must leap from platform to platform with unerring precision, not taking even a half second to line up your first person jumps. That would be challenging enough, but this level also has disappearing platforms, and if you miss them, that’s it, start over. Seriously there is no room for error, and no time for careful jumping. After falling off a platform because of rushing a turn 20 times, or not getting to the disappearing platform in time many many times, I finally made it to the last quarter of the level. Imagine my expression when I came to a damn elevator that I had to wait for in order to win the dubious prize of having my head blown off. And yes, the time it took waiting for the elevator was more than enough to make me miss my date with destiny.
I had to walk away. Even for a review, I will not let a game insult my time like that. I put over an hour into trying to complete that third level, and I’m willing to wager a hefty percentage of the Switch audience will do the same. I wish this level had some kind of checkpoint, like maybe a ladder appearing over the wall of each quarter of the level as you pass it the first time, or just an option to skip this level. It brought the game to a screeching halt for me.
I can’t recommend Suicide Guy Sleepin’ Deeply.
The wonky controls while using items I can deal with, even the simplistic graphics are fine since the levels have a cartoony humorous feel. There is a lot of potential in the platform puzzle solving format, but this game didn’t give me enough motivation to push through that poorly designed, hair-pullingly frustrating third level.
When I was researching this title, I learned it was a sequel to a game called simply Suicide Guy. This original game gives an Inception-style reason for the purgatory diner, and had a bunch of fun looking levels that parodied everything from Super Mario Brothers to Portal. If you can get past the terribly insensitive title, maybe get that game instead. Unfortunately, the game I played doesn’t feel like a full game, more like DLC for the original Suicide Guy. Just like the Guy in the game, I would do anything to wake up from the awful dream of Suicide Guy: Sleepin’ Deeply.