CTA's original IP stars a toon dog called Ralph who must stop his sleepwalking master Lee from waking up. Ralph must bridge gaps, beat up baddies, stop Lee falling into water, inflate his own body and float above obstacles, and generally be a selfless version of man's best friend.
Between each of the major levels, there is a dream sequence where Ralph can collect various tokens and trigger what he "really" thinks should happen to Lee.
The are six huge parallax scrolling main levels and five bonus levels. There are several full motion video sequences setting the story.
There is also a special Amiga 1200 version which has enhanced full motion video and in game graphics.
Imagine Tom and Jerry, Lemmings and Commander Keen put into a large pot and cooked for a few hours. Put the "stew" into a bowl, add some nice comic graphics and a big spoon of humour. Decorate it all with some sound effects and here you go, having "Sleepwalker". Well, actually the only thing Lemmings and Sleepwalker have in common is that you do not play the person that is responsible for your life count.
The world is asleep - and so is your master "Lee". Things would be just wonderful if he didn't have the habit of sleepwalking. The game begins as Lee stands up (asleep), stepping on your head and falling out of the window. Having a very deep sleep nothing serious happens - he just walks across the neighbours roof top. Now here is your heroic job: Keep Lee safe and asleep as you direct him through the streets, the zoo, the graveyard, the building site and the factory back to the city-centre and back to his bed.
Sounds easy? Well, should be if it was just pushing him from one side of the level to the other. There are perils lurking in every gap and around every corner. Just think of snakes that wait on their trees to strangle poor Lee. Again: Your only mission is to get him to the end of the sixth level without waking him up.
You always know how deep asleep Lee is when you take a look at the sleep-o-meter at the bottom of the screen. Every time Lee walks into a brick or gets hurt by a trap it takes some sleep away. To get Lee over a gap you (being selfless as hell) jump into it a build a dog bridge so that he can walk over you instead of falling. When the gap is too broad for that you have to be brutal and kick Lee. (He doesn't wake up from that.) To get rid of snakes, elephants and evil dogs you have a small club and with it you can disable any living peril for your little zombie-like master.
It - still - sounds easy ? Try the game and you will know better. Endurance, timing and composure are the main characteristics you need to finish this game. It happens from time to time that you will have to start all over again just because Lee falls down the last platform and find himself right back where the level started. This games is quite hard from the beginning so I recommend all players to do the training levels first. You get lots of hints on what to do and what NOT to do.
Talking about the technical stuff .... The sounds are nice but too few. We have some sort of digital speech here but no cool background music. (If you choose Adlib as sound card you just have some cruel MIDI sound effects). I did not get my joystick to run in this game but even if I had I would recommend the keyboard. (You need to be quite precisely in many situations.)
Conclusion If you like Lemmings as a jump-and-kick platformer this game is your choice. It is nice, but lacks from variation. You always kick Lee, close gaps, disable traps or attack foes. All six levels have exactly the same game play. And collecting the bonus-items cannot raise the fun that much. Due to NO save option or level passwords most players are going to use cheats or fail in the second or third level - that really kills some of the fun in the comic atmosphere. All this makes it a "3 out of 5 points"-game for me.
One of the most unique platform games ever made, Sleepwalker was OCEAN's final game before being bought out by French software giant Infogrames. You are Ralph, the ever-faithful dog (yes, dog) who must lead your master safely home one night. The catch is that your master, a little boy named Lee, sleepwalks, and so doesn't have a clue of where he is going. It is therefore up to you to guide Lee past a bunch of traps and baddies that would either wake Lee up, or worse, do him some physical damage.
Gameplay lives up to the really cool premise, with excellent graphics, smooth controls, and a wide variety of hazards. There are also dozens of curious puzzles that you will have to solve to pave the way for Lee. Although they are mostly of the "how to I get from point A to B" variety, the puzzles add a fun layer of challenge to the already captivating game. If you like unique platform games, Sleepwalker is one of the best there is.
Note: The game was actually produced for the Comic Relief charity, but there was no telling how much money actually went to the cause, since it didn't sell well despite many positive reviews for the Amiga version.
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