Dreamview Weekly Roundup #48
Depending on when you’re reading this, our playable hub for the 3rd Annual Impy Awards - featuring tonnes of amazing coMmunity tributes and hidden secrets - is either about to release or already available in Dreams RIGHT NOW. Time is of the essence for the humble blog writer this Friday, their audience poised to flit away to untold interactive delights at any moment.
If only we could condense the Dreamview Weekly Roundup into a pill that you could swallow to instantly absorb all of our critical insights and bad jokes, we’d save everybody a lot of time. Sadly, we’ll just have to deliver our recommendations the old-fashioned way - dripping them letter by agonisingly slow letter into your eyeholes (or earholes, if you’re using a screen reader).
Sorry, we’re still holding you up, aren’t we? Er… Creations! New! Reviews! Read! Hurry!
Last Days Of Light#
At points, it feels like every cell in our body is singing. This walk through a dead or dying sci-fi world boasts an atmosphere as thick and rich as blood - created through the presentation of several astonishing sets. The most apt comparison for this place is Blade Runner 2049’s Las Vegas ruins, as eclipsed planets and rotting cities puncture an all-consuming crimson haze, and giant statues of the feminine form are cast in silhouette. It’s quickly clear that ELEVATE2ELEVEN has more experience in art direction than they do level design - it’s easy to lose your character, and your way, in this aesthetics-first world of static camera angles, and frustration can colour some of the many emotions this experience evokes. The creator’s solution? A helpful red point of light that indicates the main path - a sensible idea, if not quite as elegant as pointing the way forward through more readable environment design. Even so, this is a breathtaking display of artistry - we find ourselves observing an awed hush for our entire playthrough, in exile under the shadow of abandoned goddesses.
Who else misses the old Internet? If you’re anything like us, venwave’s interactive Dreams creations - often colourful, experimental and winsomely lo-fi - make us nostalgic for simpler times. Housewave is the essence of this, a hand-painted hangout space that reminds us of ‘90s kids’ browser games. You’ll dance your imp through the rooms of this charming house and gardens, poking at lamps and bird eggs, looking for sparkling treasures to hoover up, listening to classic venwave tunes on the turntable, revealing delightful secrets and playing a variety of minigames. (Special mention must go to Drag Flower parody Drag Flour to the Oven and its hilarious sound effects.) The best is yet to come, however: there are a variety of doors in this house that are marked ‘WIP’, as venwave plans to expand this brick-and-mortar representation of their artistic philosophy as their body of work in Dreams grows. Whenever we fancy a blast of good venwave vibes, we’ll come calling again.
Parkderk’s attention-to-detail when sculpting and painting is magnificent stuff - even better, it’s visible between each and every one of their creations. Peaceful landscape piece Serenity is the latest example of this: coming hot on the heels of the similarly lovely Low Tide, the improvements are immediately noticeable. The lush green moss catching the light around the mouth of the cave; the variations in tone of the grassy fields in the background; the subtle movement of bulrushes in a lazy breeze: all of this lends much more contrast, depth and liveliness to this living painting set in a frame carved by Mother Nature herself.
While we know and love BenderRodrigas for their characterful 2D art, it’s exciting to see them branching out into short, snappy interactive follies. QCAT proves that Bender’s got a good head for minigames, offering a chaotic - but secretly sophisticated - survival challenge. Explosive, homing cube enemies are out to destroy not only you, but the tiled floor around which you’re running. Success depends not only on dodging the blasts, but working to set them off purposefully in certain areas so that you don’t fall through the tiles to your death. It’s a fun, fast mix of bullet-hell crowd control and the cheeky tactics from that one Hex-A-Gone final from Fall Guys - presented with Bender’s unmistakable (and often dark) sense of humour.
Alright, we’ll bite: what’s up with dreamers and weird bubblegum monsters? Like, we’re not complaining, but one bubblegum monster is odd. Two, however? Two… is a party, obviously. Ragnar_VE’s sticky-looking dragon-thing is an unsettling blend of sweet and scary, with eyes like freshly-licked jawbreakers and teeth like… well, teeth. The title, too, is fascinating - the mention of ‘roots’ might suggest that the ‘gum’ on display here is more mouth-meat than sweetmeat. Ugh. Well, they and Globula should have plenty to bond over.
Want an easy way to view all of these creations in one convenient collection? Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
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