I first heard of Gareth Damian Martin and their work from a random tip in a "Hidden Indie Gems" type of YouTube video that led me to In Other Waters. In Other Waters is an interesting adventure game that uses a deep sea diving interface to both make the world feel alien and put the focus on the excellent writing. When I heard that Martin's game studio Jump Over the Age had a new game out in 2022, I instantly put it on my wishlist, sight unseen.
Citizen Sleeper takes the same writing quality from In Other Waters, but shifts the focus away from uncovering a mystery and places it on characters and worldbuilding. You play as a Sleeper, an emulated consciousness inside of a robot shell, created to work off a person's massive debts while the real body is placed in cryosleep. Your character has escaped this indentured servitude, however, and is now being hunted by the corporation that owns the robot shell. This opening hook absolutely grabbed me, and in tandem with an elegant dice system, Citizen Sleeper quickly became a game I couldn't put down.
Joining me for this episode is Christopher Love, also known as DeadbeatPunk, from the lovely WTFDYW?! podcast. WTFDYW?! is a weekly 30 minute podcast where a guest is asked the simple question- "What the fuck do you want?", the guest kindly tells Punk what the fuck they want, and the discussion is on. It's a fun show, and the grab bag nature of it means that you get something interesting each week. You can find podcast links and everything else at the show's website.
You can listen to episode 50 of Tales from the Backlog (Citizen Sleeper) of Tales from the Backlog in the player below, or you can follow the links to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or search "Tales from the Backlog" in your favorite podcast app!