We feel confident in saying that there are enough Fridays and Dreamview Weekly Roundups behind us to have established a real relationship with our readers. (What are we?) As such, it’s probably time we allowed you into the Circle of Trust. Come on in. Don’t mind the Triangle of Self-Doubt, or the Square of Ambiguous Thought - they’re for later.
It’s time to answer the question on nobody’s lips: what is the process behind writing a Roundup intro? Well, Nobody, we’ll tell you. First, you come up with some nonsense concept to tell a protracted joke around - bonus points if it’s something meta, like being about writing the thing you’re writing. Next, you construct some sort of fantasy space before inviting the reader in to join you, employing a bit of classic British self-deprecating, surrealist humour.
Then about 135 words too late, you remember you should tell the reader what the article’s actually about: five excellent Dreams creations that you can play in Dreams this weekend! And then you get out of the way as quickly as possible while cursing the day you were born. It’s as easy as 1-2-embarrass yourself! Congrats on becoming a writer!
Estimated playtime: N/A
Could you build a whole world from a single block? Skfletch1 proves you don’t need much more than your own inventiveness to construct something of incredible scale and variety. It’s a really good block, in fairness: irregular, stepped corners and a line of neat square indents mean that this piece is an effective shapeshifter at different sizes and rotations. Even the creator’s lighting setup adds to the illusion, as those indents catch the light at certain angles and appear almost like windows.
The result is a gigantic, sci-fi, surrealist cityscape that also manages to lead you through itself with an incredible naturalness - a testament to skfletch1’s talent for level design. Most impressive of all is how this environment, despite its monochromatic stylings, manages to express a real personality and point of view.
“Three Neighbours” (A Random Dream)#
Estimated runtime: 3 mins
Dreams creations based on actual dreams that their creators have had are some of our very favourites. The subconscious is capable of coming up with stuff you’d never purposefully invent. Like face glove: the glove for your face! (Just getting word that someone did, in fact, purposefully invent that. God, the Victorians were weird.) This Lynchian short sees three characters settled in lawn chairs on an oddly still summer’s day.
It’s wonderfully apparent that this really is the product of an actual dream, with DrJones20 making every effort to faithfully recreate their night-time neuron-firings. These three are chatting to each other in a kind of intense, unintelligible way that doesn’t quite square with normal small talk, and the slight visual blur over proceedings provides the kind of smeary lens you often see your dreams through. A shocker of a final beat caps it all off: a brief, but fantastically familiar representation of the eerie stuff our brain gets up to when we’re not thinking about it.
High Fashion Space Couture Dinner (In Space)#
Estimated playtime: N/A
Everything about this showcase is full of flavour and intent. Firstly, the title: punchy, evocative, and funny, it immediately sets the table for a glamorous - and ridiculous - alien tasting menu. You can’t tell us molecular gastronomy isn’t camp, a highly performative and ironic affair with its globules of pea-flavoured goo and shavings of lightly berated carrot. Orionvalentine beautifully and knowingly captures it here. Observe the trio of - fruits? Vegetables? - fregetables on one plate, pleasantly arranged. The neat procession of what looks like a kind of dumpling on the left side, a barely-there smear of dark and savoury ooze underlining it.
Look closer, and things get even sillier: the soup is sparkling, all siren-like, and whatever metallic pulse is in the bowl on the left looks like it’s got anger issues. A real feast for the eyes, this one, and everything feels as purposefully and precisely presented as any Michelin-star meal. As for what The Impsider is doing digging around in orionvalentine’s creative vault? We couldn’t possibly comment - but watch this space. (In space.)
My Music Made in Dreams#
Estimated playtime: 1 hr
Music isn’t always the simplest thing to access in the Dreamiverse, which is why it’s always nice when a creator puts together a listening hub. This one’s got a lovely retro aesthetic, packed as it is into a desktop computer that will play floppy disks full of Gianni_no_Mitaka’s best Dreams-made tunes. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly easy to get it to take them - imagine trying to feed a baby with a long reach grabber when you haven’t the faintest idea where its mouth is, and you get an idea of the struggle we went through.
Still, once you get the hang of it (you’ll want to pop disks into the right side of the keyboard, feel the rumble, and be patient with slotting it in until you see a camera change) this is a magical way to experience the back catalogue of one of the Dreamiverse’s finest musical talents. Not least because of just how tactile the environment around you is: noodling along on the playable keyboard, or taking a break to play a round of Space Trek on the mini arcade, takes us right back to lazy, cosy summer nights spent surfing the web, jamming to tunes, playing with our grown-up toys and staying up way past our bedtime.
Estimated playtime: Replayable
At our advanced age, we’re grateful when we get socks for our birthday. Imagine receiving an entire custom-made videogame. In honour of curator molecule Ally’s birthday this week, and to represent their passion for the noble yet niche game of lawn bowls, MonocledRobot has designed an astonishingly robust simulator. Rounds begin with setting up the jack, to which you’ll have to bowl as close as possible while knocking away the other player’s previous efforts. You’re able to adjust your shooting angle left and right, as well as adjust the power of your shot - and even switch between cameras to get the juiciest angle on the action (big shoutout to the ‘follow cam’ option).
Not only can you play a full championship in Career Mode, complete with various steely AI opponents to face off against, but you can also play local co-op with a friend by passing the pad. There’s even an accessibility match option that reduces the amount of inputs down to a single button press. While the level of detail is to be admired, it’s only there because of the driving force behind it all: this is a creator who clearly cares about their friend to go to such effort, as evidenced by them making Ally the playable hero of this tale. When it comes to gifts, “It’s the thought that counts” is often a bit of a euphemism. Here, though, it’s never felt truer.
Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
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