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Dreams Review

Posted By Drunk_Monk

Dreams is a game you can’t have missed in the media.  Since its confusing announcement it became apparent that it was more a toolset for creation than it was a game. As it rolled out in Beta, we have seen some cool stuff being made, but I wanted to see what that cool stuff was on my PlayStation rather than in news articles, so I was excited to experience Dreams first-hand.

When you kick off Dreams you are introduced to Imp, a fuzzy creature that will be your conduit for the game.  After a short introduction here you use Imp to grab an object and complete some simple tasks after which you are thrown into the game.  At this point you make the choice of flexing your creative muscles by making something or playing games/looking at peoples art.

If you jump into making things, then you will be taken through a deep tutorial that demonstrates how to get stuck in and start creating.  I didn’t complete the tutorial because after a few lessons, I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  There are a handful of times and places where I would want to do something like that, but I need to be a certain mood that I wasn’t in at the time, so I jumped into playing games instead.

Playing games showed me something truly wonderous.  There are a series of headings which can show you new stuff, well rated stuff, and so on.  I jumped straight into the Media Molecule ones to see what they did.  Initially I skipped Art’s Journey, the main story, and dove straight into some of the smaller puzzle games.  The first few were one where I had to run around grabbing collectables on a time limit, another that was a short platformer, and a game where you rocket through a course trying to stay on the platforms.  All were plenty of fun, and I lost a few hours on these.

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Then I dove into the community made ones and all I can say is some people have a lot more talent than I.  Initially I jumped into some experiments and works in progress, such as a game where you drive a car in a simple but big area.  Then I slid right into a person who is making a Lego Star Wars game, which was mind boggling that they had made these bits, but it was WIP as there was a box labelled ‘damage test’ which slowly kills you when standing on it.  I may have stood on the box a few times for immature giggles.

Then there were other experiences.  Dreams lets you make music, videos, and art, so I needed to know more.  I saw a crudely recreated the opening to Star Wars which was still more than I would have pulled off, and a Pokéball which was built on the screen as an instrumental version of the Pokémon theme played.  This was the start of the rabbit hole that has consumed hours of my life so far.  There is a lot there, but half the fun is discovering it yourself, so I don’t want to elaborate too much.

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Then there was Art’s Dream.  This is the game’s campaign which had many people intrigued, including myself.  If you are buying the game for the campaign you will be sorely disappointed.  It’s short story of a couple of hours as a musician named Art goes through his dreams which show a lot of what can be achieved in games.  You play as a couple of his childhood toys in a short platforming stage, then you move to a point and click adventure phase as you try to get on a train after a short musical number is played. There is more but I would be spoiling it too much.  As I said it’s short but it’s a neat little story that shows the diversity of what can be made in Dreams.

If you are the creative type that likes making levels and engines like RPG maker, then Dreams is a no brainer.  The tools are here for you to build some truly amazing stuff.  The interesting pitch is for the rest of us.  I have already enjoyed my hours with Dreams a lot, and far more importantly it has essentially given me the platform to enjoy more cool indie games as they come up.  It is a game I will return to regularly to see what other gems have risen to the top, and to dig deeper for ones that haven’t.

 

Blair was given a code for review

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