Dream is a first person exploration game published by Mastertronic and developed by HyperSloth. This is HyperSloths first ever title, the game itself has come through greenlight and early access.
The story revolves around a character by the name of Howard Phillips who discovers he has the ability of lucid dreaming, meaning he can explore the various dreams he has. Howard inherited the house and belongings of his uncle after his tragic death. His uncle was a famous writer to whom he was extremely close. As Howard finds his waking hours dull and tedious, not to mention missing his uncle, he finds himself spending more and more time dreaming. As Howard explores his dream worlds he finds that he discovers many different things about himself and his relationship to his uncle.
As you explore Howard’s different dreams/nightmares there are various different puzzles to complete which will provide you with items that will allow you to discover something about yourself. There are also a number of collectable quotes from a “Dream Bible” which provide a little bit of explanation to the elements found in the various dream worlds.
Whilst the game is focused on “your own exploration and discovery” it can sometimes be a little bit difficult to figure out what’s going on and how to progress. The puzzles can be on occasion tedious as well as difficult which is a little bit unexpected for this kind of game. Mostly because it doesn’t fit with the basic storyline as it doesn’t really make sense for someone whose life is tedious and dull to also dream of puzzles that are equally tedious and dull. Whilst only the completion of certain puzzles are required to progress, you are required to complete all of the puzzles in order to complete your collection of items which ultimately will allow you to discover more about yourself. Graphically the game for the most part is beautiful and breath-taking and is complemented with an excellent soundtrack and sound assets.
Also worth mentioning is there appears to be at least one unfinished level and another that appears to have no point whatsoever. I noticed an issue with the menu and experienced tearing effects due to a problem with v-sync or optimisation. Additionally some of the audio has not been correctly normalised and is difficult to hear. The developer has said however that they are working on these issues. It should be noted also there are drug and alcohol abuse references.
Overall as mentioned earlier, the game has come through greenlight and early access, and this is supposed to be a full launch. However unfinished levels, bad optimisation, bad (sound) normalisation and poor localisation would indicate a beta title. One final thought and this is a very personal one and obviously subjective, I didn’t like nor see the point of the alcohol and substance abuse references. Whilst as mentioned the developer is working on this I am left having to review it based on its current state, it’s not a “bad game” per-se just a poor launch, so my score is 4/10
(note that the developer has since released a patch and I will be revisiting Dream in a video on PA2J’s youtube, to see what has changed.)
Dream was reviewed on the PC.
Disclosure: Game copy was provided by the developer/publisher
- Visually stunning
- Interesting and immersive content
- Puzzles are a welcome change of pace at times
- A level made specifically for those with the ingame product placed AR equipment
- Lack of objectives (markers or otherwise) to assist with navigation
- Puzzles can be confusing, difficult and tedious.
- Unfinished game at full launch.