Do YOU sometimes forget the Dreamview Weekly Roundup? Can’t keep track of which day means what? Think calendars are a hoax invented by Big Paper, and all of the names of the days of the week are actually a secret code that, when you read them aloud, will activate a sleeper cell inside of you that forces you to punch every tree you see into pulp?
Well, firstly, same. But secondly, do we have a product for you: a handy mnemonic device! Proven to improve your powers of recall, this handy memory-jogger should ensure you’re right on time for your weekly dose of five recommendations for creations to check out in Dreams over the weekend...
F-R-I-D-A-Y. What does it stand for? Fun Recommendations In Dreams, Aw Yeah!
VIDEO DREAM SYSTEM#
This marks something of an evolution in this environment artist’s presentation of their soul-chilling sci-fi scenes; Tapio_X has combined several new vignettes in this curious faux-VHS. Its menu flickers and fuzzes as we pore over the options and select one, before being transported. The locales are vintage Tapio: misty horizons, looming alien structures. Dark omens. Flower fields. But with the connection between these places only hinted at through the titles in the main interface, and the inspired addition of a minute-long countdown timer at the bottom of each tape, there’s an extra layer of piquancy to the whole affair. What are these tapes? Why have we been brought here? We walk strange lands, trying to drink it all in mere seconds before it disappears like a dream.
Fight for your life inside of a music visualiser in the aptly-titled score-chaser Thump, which combines heart-pounding pixel-on-pixel violence with beefy beats. Movement feels free-flowing, yet responsive: imagine having fine control over that bouncing DVD logo screensaver, and you’re not far off. Glide around hazards both static and moving to collect coins; stay alive in the face of intensifying attacks - and tunes - to fill your invincibility-granting ‘groove ring’. Interestingly enough, the groove mechanic works differently in each of the two songs currently available, meaning you’ll need to master a new strategy for each level to climb up each of the individual scoreboards - a fresh idea that has us hoping for more tracks already.
The Phantom Files#
What if Portal, but you were being chased by the monster from It Follows the whole time? Well, that’s essentially the premise of The Phantom Files - albeit in a deceptively cute form. Making resourceful use of Dreams’ myriad UI icons, this 2D arcade survival-platformer plonks you into a level, hands you the ability to shoot portals with L2 and R2, and challenges you to stay alive for as long as possible. Keep dodging the merry little ghosts that home in on your position using your teleporters, and you’ll be able to collect more notes to increase your score. But there’s one more horrifying twist: the further you get, the more ghosts that appear and the faster they move (plus, a deliverately slow recovery animation means you'll have to be careful dropping from certain heights). It’s a simple and compelling concept, but it’s this ratcheting up of the stakes that raises the skill ceiling to surprising heights: a swift and accurate trigger finger, plus an intimate knowledge of the carefully-designed map to aid efficient portal placement, are the keys to scoreboard success.
Bridge Of Sorrow#
Astonishingly, aside from a useful snippet of camera-switching Logic, this beauty is Onimenoneko’s second-ever published creation. A wooden bridge that, according to the artist, “welcomes souls that are about to crack” stretches across a river; the finer details of the scene are lost in the white noise of rain and the television static aesthetic. The occasional retina-searing flash (maybe skip this one if you’re sensitive to those) of lightning offers, perhaps, a glimpse of the other side. Its ominous monochrome fuzz would be the perfect setting for a horror story - we get big Return of the Obra Dinn, Mundaun and World Of Horror vibes from this.
Another of StAnKHaNk’s “stupid games” - hey, their words(opens in new tab), not ours - has arrived, and it’s smashing. No, it’s literally smashing - vases, to be exact. Did we mention you play as a massive angry bull? Yes, it’s all starting to fall into place now, isn’t it: this is indeed a ‘bull in a china shop’ simulator in which you play as the destructive force. It’s as gratifying as it is hilarious: brilliantly, the loosey-goosey physics of the bull help general points-earning chaos, but hinder precision if you’re attempting to rack up the highest score before time’s up. The beast’s behind skids around, almost of its own free will, as we attempt to careen towards the glowing red ceramics that promise extra points. Believe us when we say we’ve never felt less in control of our back end - and we’ve had some close calls with dodgy chicken over the years. (Sorry.) A very silly concept that’s left us inspired - we think we feel an ‘Idioms’ coMmunity jam coming on...
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!
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.