Games about dreams

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Games about dreams

Post by almos666 »

"Neverending Nightmares" is the one of the latests games which are explicitly about dreams - and perhaps the finest so far - but not the only one to touch upon this subject. Several other games tried to depict the world of dreams with varying success; there are the few I'm aware of. If you know other dream-related titles, please let me know:

- "Weird Dreams". A game by Rainbird Software, written in the late Eighties for Amiga, Atari ST and C64. A guy strikes relationship with a girl he doesn't know is possessed by a demon, who in turn plagues said guy with bizzare and threatening dreams. When the game is taking place our protagonist is undergoing surgery, and if he dies in a dream his heart stops beating, killing him in reality. The gameplay involves solving puzzles and evading traps and monsters. The world the game is taking place in is surreal rather than dreamlike; a dark sense of humor pervades through the story. One example is a garden where innocent-looking young girl tosses a ball towards the protagonist. The ball, it turns out, is carnivorous, and while playing with the girl the player has to look out for it so as to not get eaten.

- "Dreams: To Reality". The game that I had great hopes for when it was announced. The protagonist is a muscular guy trying to save the dreamworld from some kind of unspecified evil. The backstory is about the egyptian priests creating the gateway to dream-world through magic, and now that it is in danger the protagonist willingly enters it as its savior. The game is an early 3-d, with low polygon count and smeared textures. The gameplay involves flying between surreal islands floating in the air, solving puzzles and fighting evil dream-creatures. Fell quite short of my expectations.

- "Dream Flight" - the latest addition. A game for the Android devices set in a dream of flying. The player has to avoid obstacles, as hitting one will cause him to wake from the dream, and collect floating "clouds". Took me less than half an hour to complete. In a way, a nice departure from the morbid atmosphere of NeN.

The characteristics of said games is that:a) the games usually involve some kind of supernatural stuff to explain why the protagonist found himself in the dream-world, such as the egyptian magic in "Dreams: To reality" or demonic intervention in "Weird Dreams" , and b) the games veer towards the surreal rather than try to accurately mirror the dream-logic. In contrast, NeN seems to steer away from facile supernatural excuses and is the best rendition of nightmare-logic I've seen in a game so far.

Do you know of other games taking place in dreams? How do you think they compare with NeN?
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Re: Games about dreams

Post by matt »

The only other game that comes to mind is LSD: Dream Emulator. It is a psychedelic PlayStation 1 game released only in Japan inspired by the developer's dream journal. I've never played it, but I want to at some point. It sound crazy!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games
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