Well, well, well. WELL. What a week it has been. We announced the release date for our latest made-in-Dreams game, nostalgic puzzle adventure Tren, via this snazzy trailer(opens in new tab). We also revealed that Dreams is coming to PlayStation Plus next Tuesday, August 1st - with Tren in tow, naturally. Oh, and we also managed to finally get to the bottom of our laundry basket. Big, big week. Huge.
As a result of our Imminent Plus Absorption, we’re hoping we might have a few more eyes on the Dreamview Weekly Roundup this week. If so, hello! Welcome! And apologies in advance, as we recommend five fantastic creations for you to play in Dreams, but also try to crowbar in a bunch of “funny” “jokes” for our own amusement. We’re told it’s incurable.
Estimated playtime: 20 minutes a day for ??? days
As with many of Pixel_Gorilla’s games, to say too much about the elegant and surprising details of Daily Observer would rob it of its essential magic. This firstperson, real-time puzzle game is another masterclass in game design from its creator - a fascinating silent conversation between developer and player that plays out over the course of many days. You’re living on a space station. Your job? To awaken from hypersleep each real-time day and perform your duties, observing and travelling to new planets to collect resources, synthesising ethically-questionable lifeforms from scraps of DNA, charting constellations, and growing plants aboard the ship. Many of these actions are presented in the form of neatly pixelated, thoughtfully designed minigames, with rules and challenges often shifting according to the day.
But - much like with recent indie card RPG Inscryption - there’s much at work under the surface here. Prod around your small ship, and you may start to notice curious details. None of these are accidents on the part of Pixel_Gorilla. Nothing is superfluous. Poke a little more, and a larger mystery will begin to unravel beneath the mundanity. If the shrewd ‘one go per day’ allowance of the minigames doesn’t encourage you back day after day, we can all but guarantee the nagging feeling that there’s a thread to keep pulling on - and the astonishment of just how far it all goes - will.
Estimated playtime: 1 hour
The in-game convention event returns - this time, in the hands of the Dreams community. Like every DreamsCom before it, DreamsCom 23 boasts a huge showfloor made up of multiple halls - each one filled with community-created booths promoting upcoming Dreams games, advertising amazing assets available in Dreams for others to use, offering interactive experiences, silly jokes, or simply a place to sit and relax.
We at Media Molecule know a thing or seven about the sheer amount of work, creativity, technical know-how, communication, collaboration, logistical skill, QA magic and community support it takes to organise a massive event like this. It’s even more wonderful, then, to see how this dedicated team has evolved the event and truly made it their own. The aesthetic theme of this year is pure Dreams community spirit - a flourishing and unabashedly weird garden - and in addition to varying sizes of booths, includes decorative statues sculpted by creators, as well as a challenging minigame about protecting a travelling sunflower from disaster. Our personal favourite new idea, however, has to be the tannoy announcements, which are packed with nods, winks and cheeky in-jokes - a completely fresh and funny idea that we are delighted we didn’t think of first.
Spiders Have 4 Legs#
Estimated playtime: 15 minutes
Spiders aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. (For one thing, they shouldn’t be trying to drink them.) Spiders Have 4 Legs knows this, reframing the classic nursery rhyme of Incey Wincey Spider as a picturesque and compassionate playable storybook. You may remember from our DreamsCom interview with pierogigon(opens in new tab) that Spiders Have 4 Legs was originally intended to be a leaderboards-focused speedgame - almost like a competitive QWOP. And while we would also have enjoyed playing that version, we’re enamoured by the genre shift in the final product for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the visuals look unlike anything we’ve seen in Dreams before (and we’ve seen a LOT of Dreams) - stylised and painterly, yet precise, with the glow of light and growth all throughout its climbable and swimmable caves. Secondly, the movement system feels much more intuitive and approachable, meaning positioning your four sticky limbs feels far more mindful than the previous panicked scramble - even if not all the frustration and awkwardness is eliminated. And that’s a good thing, because what we appreciate most about Spiders Have 4 Legs is the way it links mechanics and narrative. It’s not easy being a spider, from the difficult climbs you must perform, to the general distaste the world has for your existence - but this is a game that gently teaches you the power of persevering, and reminds us that sunshine often follows the rain.
Cherry Blossom Garden#
Estimated playtime: N/A
You know what’s always nice? A reminder that you can make excellent art in Dreams without having to create it all from scratch. You only have to peek at APE_MONKEY_BOY21’s profile to see what a skilled sculptor they are in their own right - which makes it all the more joyful that they chose to create this serene, living painting entirely using assets from other Dreams creators. The selection and placement of each piece in this super-wide (you can move your firstperson view around slightly to take in the full scene) shot is highly considered, while this creator’s eye for atmospheric lighting helps bring together visual elements from across the Dreamiverse in a way that feels cohesive. What a lovely thing to arrive just before Dreams is available to download via PlayStation Plus - proof from one of the pros that there’s no shame in building something amazing from what others are willing to share with you.
Estimated playtime: 1+ hours
Turns out Tren’s not the only tactile, brainteasy, nostalgic, wooden wonder available in Dreams. The latest mind-bogglingly polished release from julio_grr and the InfiniDreams team is Cubille, a game in which you must plug together your own wooden marble runs just so in order to have your balls roll happily to the goal. With 16 puzzle levels, things start off sedate enough, as you rotate blocks and line up curves and straights to make a path. Soon, however, you’re boosting about at top speeds and even defying gravity itself in an effort to not totally lose your, er, marbles.
This mode is a delightfully meditative experience that would be impressive in its own right (and gives us the same sort of good feelings that earlier levels of Enhance’s recent puzzle game, HUMANITY, does). But there’s more. Incredibly, the creators have also built a full, complete creative editing suite in as part of Cubille, Dreams-esque UI and all, so that you can design your very own marble runs. We have already seen some positively sprawling constructions come out of it - and with a player-community like Dreams, no doubt there is more creativity to come.
Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
Which creations caught your eye in the Dreamiverse this week, and why? Tell us about your personal picks over on the official Dreams forums!(opens in new tab)
The Dreams User Guide is a work-in-progress. Keep an eye out for updates as we add more learning resources and articles over time.