After two years in Early Access, Dream has finally been released for PC. The premise is fantastic and at the same time unusual for a game: Lucid Dreaming. This allows the game to be as creative and as fun as possible at the same time. It was developed by indie studio Hypersloth and it is published by Mastertronic.
Dream is a great game. Good enough to recommend it. Besides a good premise, Dream is a high quality game . From the “get go” the game looks, sounds and feels great. I give much importance to soundtracks in games and the song that plays when we enter the first dream sequence blew my mind. It is absolutely beautiful. The graphics are not the very best but the game looks great, I enjoyed transiting through the various dream sequences just to admire the design. The scenarios are fantastically detailed and beautiful and it’s great to explore them due to non-linear game design. The puzzles are varied and at the same time are difficult to solve. The deeper you travel deeper into Howard’s dreamland a very beautiful and at the same time appropriate music for each scene is played. All these things speak a lot about the ambition with which developers faced this project. In general, I commend them for the courage with which developed this game.
Regarding the gameplay, basically we need to explore different dream sequences and solve puzzles in each one. The puzzles are very good, although at first they seem a bit ambiguous, they are easy to understand once you sit down to solve them (Sometimes the main character gives spoken hints on how to solve the puzzles). Yet they are quite complicated to solve, but I do not recommended at all the use of guides to finalize them. It is something that is much better and more rewarding to do by yourself.
I must be honest about the history. It is not as good as it could have been. Although the premise is interesting, it focuses on the life of a lonely young man whose life seems empty and not progressing, and he depends on his ability to lucid dream as a pretext to find reasons to live. And that simplicity would be fine if the plot was well executed. You’d think a plot that focuses on psychology and dream interpretation would open the door to deep and surreal material that could spice perfectly what would otherwise be a very basic plot. Unfortunately, this potential wasn’t fully exploited. I understand that Dream is an indie game made by a small, inexperienced team, but it would have been nice to play with these aforementioned elements. One thing that I have to thank is the variety of “endings” that complement the story perfectly.
This review is not without criticism, of course. To be set in the subconscious of a person, one would expect to be given more “freedom” in its gameplay and movement. I wish there had been sequences in which you could fly instead of walking all the time. Although the game is far from becoming a dreaded “walking simulator”. Besides, the nightmares are a bit short. While they have the proper atmosphere and a “bizarre” design, they feel more like genuine anxiety episodes instead of nightmares. They do not make the player feel truly “at risk” and they only slightly alter the game’s setting. Because nightmares are an important part of the plot, one would expect them to be a little more terrifying and also make some progress over the plot.
I applaud the team for facing such an ambitious project, particularly because it was their first too! It is a game totally worth buying to support developers. I am quite excited that there is a game about lucid dreaming and at the same time is so ambitious, I give it an approving review. I encourage you to take an interest in this game because it is a title full of potential.