Sleep is Death is a set of tools to create an adventure game with point-and-click and text adventure elements. The game is played by the second player with the story-teller moving, adding, and altering characters, objects, and text.
Each player has 30 seconds to complete their turn, so story-tellers are typically restricted to pre-made objects and locations. Upon being told a story, assets from that story are transferred to the player's library for them to use in their own stories.
The visual style is ultra-low resolution, meaning creating pixelated items is relatively easy. The music creator is similarly simple, comprising a short loop of three midi instruments which the story-teller has limited control over. Rohrer has said he intentionally restricted users to a minor key, and that it is impossible to make up-beat music, forcing a sombre mood.
When the story is over, the game saves an archive of screenshots so players can review the story. Many of these have been collected here and here.
Sleep is Death was commissioned for the Art History of Games symposium in Atlanta, GA and was originally installed in a gallery as two locally networked back-to-back PCs.