I did expect Citizen Sleeper to be different from the usual RPG’s in quite some ways, when I read that it was a TableTop inspired RPG - I am not 100% sure what exactly I expected, but what I did get was amazing!
The game pulled me into its world fast and in a great way by mixing the storytelling bits with its game parts in a good way and by adding my favourite ingredients: Mystery, enjoyable world building, player choice with impact for the ongoing story, a great soundtrack and very fitting graphics style for a visual novel told with the help of light rpg elements and nicely written dialogues and descriptive texts.
Starting out with only a few places and NPC’s to interact with, I began to wonder about the scope of the game and how it would keep its few ‘gamey’ parts interesting during the playthrough. Not much later did I realise that the games’ scope grows (to a degree) at a perfect pace. While I enjoyed the short-ish texts that I read through, to follow the Npc’s I encountered and their stories, I realised that the game slowly introduced more mechanics, still not a complex RPG here mind you, and more scope to the story and more world to explore. You are free to do what you want only to a degree, since the game keeps you in a framework of time sensitive tasks and events that you want to follow and interact with, nothing too stressful though. In that sense it is not an exploration game, but really more of a story, guided by an (nearly) invisible game master.
In your playthrough you get various time sensitive tasks and points of interest , telling you to either accomplish something or wait for an event or someone to get around for you to interact with. Meanwhile you try your best to survive and keep in good shape, while trying to figure out the main bit of the story. There is always something you either have to or want to do. No boring stretches here!
The plot seemed a bit too straight forward at first, which then changed and opened up some options to develop in various ways. I think there are quite some different ways to play and finish the main storyline and also some side-stories, but I would not say that Citizen Sleeper has a huge replay value. Which is totally fine, the story is very enjoyable and my time spent with the playthrough was great fun. The game achieves a lot with only a few moving parts, which was very impressive. The setting, while used in many games, was also presented and utilised in a fun and inventive way. So no copy-pasting of the usual Sci-Fi tropes, with a few cute exceptions. But not to spoil it, I’d rather have you play the game - Well worth your time!