One one one! (And let us hear you say way-oh, way-oh.) Feels like a significant number for a Dreamview Weekly Roundup to be. With three of the same digit in it, maybe it’s one of those trendy ‘angel numbers’ we see stylish ladies on the Internet talking about all the time?
According to the sacred online texts, 444 is a sign that symbolises stabilisation, and being grounded. Seeing 777 somewhere means good fortune coming to you - particularly financially. And 111 means you’re about to read five lovingly-written recommendations for great things to check out in Dreams this weekend. Well, that, or you’re going to get hit in the head by a low-flying pigeon. A weirdly specific one, that, but we suppose the universe works in mysterious ways. (And the stylish Internet ladies have never led us astray before. Our skin has never looked better.)
Puppetry: Ep 1#
Estimated playtime: 45 mins
Big week for puppets in games, innit - though JMBarr-’s hero doesn’t look like they’d ever think to tell a lie. Mainly because their brain’s hanging halfway out of their head. This evocatively-titled 3D platformer makes an immediate strong impression with its art direction: neon halos of colour illuminate an eternal dusk in this world. And, thanks to a real brainwave on the part of the creator, the character you control is that rare thing in a thirdperson adventure - more fun to look at from the back than the front. (Not like that, you weirdo.)
The platforming is satisfying, but can be tricky: bouncing across mushrooms in a pipe-filled facility, we get mild flashbacks to American McGee’s Alice games. It’s a tough thing to make a character that feels like it controls with pinpoint accuracy - but the designer’s level design and lighting skills, as well as their generous checkpointing, ensures that we feel compelled to continue our quest. Good game design is a kind of exercise in player puppetry, perhaps, and based on this we’re happy for JMBarr- to take control.
At the bar#
Estimated playtime: N/A
A thief, a robot, and a giant mech walk into a bar. What do you mean, where’s the punchline? It’s not a joke. We’re simply describing Petronius’ animated scene, which shows two unusual patrons and a bored-looking bartender killing time in a cosy, slightly grimy little taproom. It’s small, but the details sing like a drunk at the local karaoke night. A bin lid slightly ajar. The mistrustful glance that the rogue is sending the way of the mech. The mech being so large that it’s resting its palm on an entire table. It’s a beautifully considered composition that we could watch for some time. The thief says ‘Ow’. OH YES!!! JUST WHEN YOU HAD GIVEN UP! THEY NEVER SEE THE SUCKER PUNCH-LINE COMING!
Character Gallery: giant585dark Dynamic Character Sets#
Estimated playtime: Replayable
With London Fashion Week serving look upon look this week, we on the curation team decided to feature a clutch (wahey! Oh, it’s a type of bag, you dripless wonder) of fashion-related Dreams creations in the Daily Dreamsurf. One of these, The Impsider hadn’t yet played: giant585dark’s stylish character gallery. Featuring anime-style models and breathtaking interior and exterior scenery - in much the same mode as their egg hunt creation - it shows off a rather advanced sartorial ability. With the press of a single button, the model and her outfit will randomise, pulling from a wide selection of intricately designed clothing pieces to offer up a brand-new fit every time. If only someone could install similar technology in our own wardrobe.
Estimated playtime: N/A
Don’t mind if we do. The Dreams community are doing a roaring trade in Tren expansion creations - Gren Tren is a new favourite of ours here at the blog - but we’d like to direct a nod of appreciation towards the community curators helping would-be Trengineers find even more inspiration. More Tren is a neat collection of extra community-made Tren elements, assembled with care by waldermangopuree. Doweel_the_Dude’s adorable and robustly-designed Tenk gets a spot here, as do Suebob14’s meticulous recreations of the instruction cards, and many more. We find ourselves most drawn, however, to StepkneeBoi’s tiny ode to Knapford Station, and its glorious green arches - a real distillation of the spirit of Tren in how much it appeals to our nostalgia around a childhood spent messing about with wooden toy trains.
Estimated playtime: 10 mins
The magic of a great game conceit is powerful. All told, this is a simple, short side-scrolling platformer - its creator calls it a platformer romance game. The theming is strong here: you’re running back and forth across a place strewn with soft pink petals and dark obstacles, towards the far-off image of a fairytale castle. But there are plenty of times on our journey where we find ourselves frustrated with the occasional bit of jank, or repeatedly missed jumps.
But here’s where the storytelling comes in, Dark_Reflection0 showing a gift for identifying grand ideas that keep you invested despite an occasionally bumpy ride. This game is far from perfect - but what love story is? And there are moments of wonder that call us forward nonetheless, like the odd but lovely pink cubes that float and scatter when we move through them. There’s lots of falling, but also lots of us climbing back up from our falls. There’s even a part involving being granted an invincibility power that means we can take on a painful hazard like it’s nothing - and if you’re not starting to catch onto the metaphor there, then perhaps you’re yet to find your own love. The end we achieve is a ‘good end’, we’re told, which gets us thinking about what the bad one might be. Perhaps, like in love, the only bad end is not to play at all.
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