Citizen Sleeper isn't done yet. The grimy, cyberpunk narrative game from developer Jump Over The Edge has three free updates on the way, with the first arriving next month.
The first episode, Flux, takes place in the same rusty space station that you explore in the base game and focuses on a group of refugees. New character Eshe is "a stubborn and driven spacer, whose fate becomes tangled up in that of the refugee flotilla which had begun to arrive at the Eye." You'll have to dice-roll your way through her story and make decisions on how to deal with a threat that affects the entire station.
There's not much else about Flux to go on, but that's fitting for a game about poking mundane things until something interesting falls out. In Citizen Sleeper, you play as a runaway robot husk and try to make the most of each day on the station by chasing clues and scrounging enough money to eat. Clocks tick and dice roll as you try to progress several interconnected storylines while trying to avoid being caught by the corporation that wants your body back.
The game is about trying to survive one day at a time as a gig worker, and the importance of friendships and community when you live precariously.
"We've all had days where we feel like we have woken up having rolled 'all ones': nothing goes right, and fate itself seems stacked against us," developer Damian Martin told us last year. "For a gig worker this feeling is even more extreme I think, as the support structures other jobs have just aren't there. Luck is so much harder to mitigate when you are living on the edge of poverty or homelessness. So the question when you roll a handful of ones and twos is how do I make something out of my day?"
Our own Jody Macgregor praised the writing in his review: "All that focus on the mundane, the scavenging and surviving, makes the occasional glimpse of something profound feel potent—perhaps a poetic description of the flowing cyberspace data cloud and the impossible entities who live in it, or the endless physical space the station spins in, and the tiny individuals who find hope there."
The following two episodes will continue the story and focus on other new characters. They're currently planned for release in October and early 2023.
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Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.