The moon is high. The frogs are singing. And it’s the first weekend of Dreams being free to download and play via PlayStation Plus. The time has come to enact our dark ritual of technomancy, to summon as many new players as possible to our broiling wellspring of expert recommendations for what to play in Dreams.
Dreamview Weekly Roundup warlocks! Let us chant the sacred phrases, as passed down to us by our great overlord, Google:
“The best games to play in Dreams
Best Dreams creations
Fully search engine-optimised incantations
What to play in Dreams
We obey the algorithm’s dark machinations
Best remakes in Dreams
Media Molecule’s being weird again
I’ve accidentally spent seventeen hours playing Tren.”
There, that should do it. Ah, yes - I can see them breaking through the veil, now. Welcome, friends! Have a read of this.
FEEDING DUCKS 2#
Estimated playtime: 3 hrs
Remember the days before YouTube and doomscrolling, in which feeding the ducks was one of the headline activites of daily life? Good times. Simpler times. Just you, the ducks, the wind in your hair. Some bread. A shadowy being that lurks in your peripheral vision. Alright, that last bit might just be FEEDING DUCKS 2. (But hey, we don’t know your life.)
Yes, once again, ItsMeJuvy has managed to create a delightful, deep, and secretly petrifying RPG. You might be able to explore this sleepy voxel town freely, befriend NPCs, bake goods and solve mysteries small and large - but everything is backgrounded with a consistent sense of dread. The hunger meter for your adorable ducklings plummets and screams ‘YOUR DUCK IS DYING’ with alarming frequency; you’ll have to balance mining crystals for duck food, weapons and more with the pressure of being a bird parent. Not to mention keeping your own curiosity sated: in a similar manner to indie RPG hit Undertale, there’s all sorts of fascinating horrors swimming beneath the surface of this stillwater pond - including eight different endings to see.
Estimated playtime: N/A
The Internet does a roaring trade in characters with unexpected things for a head, as Siren Head appreciators well know. But in our opinion, there’s an extra-special twinkle in the many eyes of Lamp-Head. And by twinkle, we mean approximately 40 zillion watts. Unlike a speaker, there’s something more human about the many bulbs on this head, which flicker on and off randomly as if mimicking the blinking of multiple eyelids. These - and the trembling firstperson camera - are the only signs of movement in this terrifyingly alive art piece. There’s something so much worse about the fact that this predator’s body isn't stalking around the corner, but frozen in place, just waiting for you to make a wrong move.
This Side Up!#
Estimated playtime: 30 mins
Forget Katy Perry and feeling like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind. Do you ever feel like a cardboard box, rolling through the city and getting into situations? If you do, you might enjoy this approachable open-world puzzle adventure. Much like Untitled Goose Game, your job is to bumble about a compact world. Instead of waddling on flippers, grabbing stuff with your beak and honking to high heaven, your only ability is to propel your cuboid body along via a single button.
Developer Idle_Orion gets so much out of this simple ability by populating the city with subtly signposted interactions. Like with Goose Game, the fun is in reading the extensive checklist of puzzle achievements, interpreting the clues in their titles (‘Soggy Bottom’ might have you seeking out a body of water, while ‘BOOM!’ sets your sights on anything with explosive potential) and then enjoying the thoroughly silly consequences.
Estimated playtime: 1+ hr
They say that in space, nobody can hear you scream. PITCH BLACK begs to differ, an intergalactic thriller in which all you can do is hear. Apart from the occasional UI prompt, you won’t see anything but a black screen (a moment of silence, please, for those of us with blogs that have to show screenshots of games). When disaster strikes, you come to depend solely on your ear-com, as an operator - voice-acted by the developer themselves - instructs you on how to orient yourself, from suggesting certain numbers of steps, manually taken by using the left and right triggers, to how to interact with potentially delicate surroundings.
The audio design here is incredibly involved: with your visual senses no longer an option, James_Wilson11 has to use cues to indicate walls, the increasing proximity of doors, hazards, and even when you’ve run too fast and fallen flat on your face. Throw in a gripping unfolding narrative and a difficult choice that decides your fate in the depths of this darkness, and you’ve got a Dreams creation that is so much more than meets the eye.
The Box Room#
Estimated playtime: Replayable
What’s in the box? Well, er… you, actually. A cuboid escape room where every side tells a different part of the story, The Box Room challenges you to hunt down puzzle clues, then piece them together across multiple environments. In one section, colourful fish and water levels are the key to figuring out a combination. In another, you’ll have to work out how to fill in the blanks in a poem. Oh, and you’ll also have to play lackey to cheerful spherical robots who keep losing track of each other across this curious technological structure - but zipping between each room is a delight in itself as you zoom out of, and into, each new area with a satisfying ‘whoosh’.
But what’s particularly impressive is that this is built to be an infinitely escapable escape room. Elements of, and solutions to, each puzzle are randomly generated - so each run is completely unique, and you can keep coming back for more. If you really think about it, you will never be truly free of this game! Now THAT’S replay value.
Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
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