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DON’T REST YOUR HEAD Charles Dunne Gives his opinion on this game from Evil Hat Productions


ight, first things first. I’ve been reviewing rather mental Indie games for the past couple of issues of The Gazebo, Lacuna in Issue #1 and Dead Inside in Issue #2, so, on a similar theme, I wandered on to Don’t Rest Your Head, a game which conflicts me no end. I’ll explain why in a moment, but first, the basic blurb or set up. You are an insomniac, unable to sleep, the reasons for which are entirely your own from the mundane to the profound. Then, you went beyond the limits of normal insomnia and something clicked. You found yourself able to see the Mad City, the one that lies beneath and around the everyday metropolis you live in. But that clicking wasn’t a final puzzle piece snapping into place as you became one of the Awake, but rather the Mad City sitting up and noticing a new arrival. Nightmares exist and they are on to you. Don’t Rest Your Head, don’t fall asleep because you can’t turn it off and you can’t go back. They WILL find you. Can you do what needs to be done before they do? So far so Neverwhere-esque, really. The main factors of this little game are the wacked out setting, echoes of Lacuna here but less medically

derived, and the focus, the absolute focus on the characters. The setting is a blend of the nightmarish aspects of every city you could imagine, from the tales of the Scissormen to the weirdness of “Dark City”. Shell Beach would easily fit into this milieu. You can take the characters and situations given, such as Officer Tock, the head policeman with a clock face (literally) and Mother When (who runs a reform school but is probably Death) and the Paper Boys (again, literally) and substitute them for your own horrors and twisted realisations to achieve the same ends as the author, and perhaps you should. Personally, I’d choose different ones, but to each their own.

...don’t fall asleep... They WILL find you.”

The focus on the players’ characters is of major importance in this game since each character is unique, truly unique, and having a player design a different character will completely change the nature and style of the stories told and the lives explored. My alcoholic who can’t sleep because he lost his

Charles Dunne Charles Dunne has been frequently described as insane, immortal, invincible and sleepless. He is none of these things, preferring as he does a nice snooze of an evening with a copy of The Strand magazine and a slipper of good tobacco. The other slipper he wears as an odd type of shoulder ornament.

daughter in a car crash where he was driving will generate a different story and dynamic from my architect who can’t sleep because he has over committed himself on too many projects and keeps awake using pills. Their focus,

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The Gazebo - Issue #3  

The Gazebo is a free, quarterly e-zine dedicated to gaming in the UK and Ireland.

The Gazebo - Issue #3  

The Gazebo is a free, quarterly e-zine dedicated to gaming in the UK and Ireland.