The interesting design is hurt by too much repetition combined with new abilities roped off for elite schmup players only
A City Sleeps is a great looking shooter with compelling mechanics, but it suffers under the weight of its ambitions and prohibitive difficulty.
A City Sleeps has too little content and a frustrating main conceit
A City Sleeps feels like a half-made game. Perhaps if they had a little more time or budget to add a few more Dreams, and even out the experience for players of all skill levels, it might have been something special. As it is, A City Sleeps is strictly for hardcore shoot-'em-up fans and people who are intensely curious about the future of rhythm games (an interesting Venn diagram for sure).
A City Sleeps' high difficulty level is bound to limit the game's appeal to hardcore players. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say that the game is unbeatable, but there were times when I felt hopelessly stuck, and it's probably one of the longest "short" games I've ever played.
In the end I hate to say it, but I've never been so bored with a shooter before.
Harmonix's rhythm-based shoot-em-up A City Sleeps is nightmarishly difficult, but that shouldn't stop you from playing.
A City Sleeps is a better experiment than it is a game for dedicated fans of rhythm games and shoot-'em-ups. The fusion makes for a game that sounds great on paper, but tying the shots so tightly with the predetermined rhythm makes for a less-than-satisfying experience. The difficulty spikes and haphazard way in which the power-ups are strewn about makes for a game that seems tailored for hardcore shooter fans, despite some seemingly inviting mechanics and graphics. Since the game is so brief, it becomes tough to recommend the game to all but the most dedicated of shooter fans.
A City Sleeps may tend to favor its least interesting and impressive elements, but while it runs short, in its most accessible state it is also its most ingenious.