Have Game, Will Play: A City Sleeps

Leave it to Harmonix to put a twin-stick shoot ’em up and infectious music into a blender and confidently hit frappe. The result is A City Sleeps, a game where you’ll fly around as a ghost wielding woman named Poe. Poe flies around with the left analog and shoots rhythmically with the right. She is constantly pursued by the Kami in various shapes and sizes. The Kami can be dispatched with projectiles or melee attacks. Enough melee attacks allows Poe to temporarily use her ancestor’s blade to slice enemies from greater distances.

Where A City Sleeps separates itself from many other shoot ’em ups is with its strategic approach. There are a handful ghosts that Poe can place into random objects called idols. Idols come in in two types, fast and slow. There are many times when A City Sleeps delivers bullet hell experiences and having the right ghosts in the best position can mean the difference between life and death. Poe can initially only carry 2 ghosts with a maximum of 3. Anger(offensive), vanity(defensive) and mercy(healing) were my favorite ghosts. Along with them, relics and be unlocked and used to augment many of Poe’s ghostly abilities.

While there are only 3 multi-staged areas in A City Sleeps it goes have 5 difficulty settings per stage. The third and fifth difficulty settings employ a curse which like the other settings changes things up quite a bit in addition to being extremely challenging. A City Sleeps is a fun and familiar ride so much so that you may not feel the need to ask or dwell on when it ends.

Recommendation: Worth a buy – brief but worthy
Full Disclosure: This Steam version of this game was provided to GameEnthus by the publisher.
Genre: music-infused shoot ’em up
Developer: Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Publisher: Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Platform(s): PC, Steam
Price: $14.99


Worth a buy – paying full price for fans of the series or genre makes sense – often includes a caveat
Worth a buy on sale – not quite full price worthy but close, – often includes a caveat
No – borrow it if you must play it
Please no – Don’t waste any time and/or money on it

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