Picture the scene: it’s (possibly?) a Friday somewhere in the fog of early January. Some people - who shall remain nameless, for the protection of their privacy - are still figuring out what day it is, and how to build a meal that doesn’t entirely revolve around cheese or chocolate. And yet artists across the Dreamiverse have casually resumed cranking out bangers, from a surreal vaporwave hotel space, to a 3D platformer so expert and precise that we almost can’t believe it was made in Dreams.
Right then. We - er, SOME PEOPLE are off to stare at a courgette until we remember what vitamins are. Think Memento, but if it were written by a nutritionist. Enjoy this week’s crop of Roundup recommendations!
Big claim incoming: this might just be the most polished 3D platformer we’ve played in Dreams to date. Trip’s Voyage is an astonishing feat of engineering, Eupholace displaying a pro-level knowledge of logic, animation and haptic design in their presentation of this island-hopping adventure. To say the inspiration for this game is obvious would be an understatement - let’s just say that if you’re used to triple-jumping, rolling, diving and tail-spinning a certain raccoon-suited plumber, muscle memory will serve you well here. It’s the sheer accuracy of the recreation that is mind-boggling. Even more wonderful is the fact that Eupholace shows not only a detailed understanding of what makes up one of the most famous movesets in videogames, but a knowledge of how to construct a level full of intriguing puzzles, charming characters, hidden secrets and movement-based challenges. (Oh, and a real earworm of a tune - especially when it comes to Tropic Trove.) For anyone looking to hunt down every last Golden Anchor and rubber duck, this is easily an hour of top-quality entertainment. Bon voyage, indeed.
Cause & Effect#
Remember that one Titanfall 2 level? Yeah, you know the one. You were able to press a button to instantly move back and forth through time, using the changes in scenery to your advantage. Cause & Effect is that concept applied to a puzzle game - a little like AGACY’s excellent A Puzzle In Time, which we covered in a previous Roundup(opens in new tab), only that instantaneous switching is the key to these conundrums. It actually has as much in common with classic point-and-click adventure games as it does games like The Talos Principle; while we’re all happily familiar with bouncing light off angled mirrors, you’ll also find that combining certain objects can lead to unexpected solutions - once you’ve skipped over to the correct side of time, of course.
Hotels can be eerie places. Unnaturally stylish, and full of strangers behind doors, they’re the concept of a home in limbo, never familiar enough to feel real. This playable set captures this energy beautifully, its colours and surreal designs seemingly inspired by vaporwave aesthetics - and putting us in mind of artist Blake Kathryn’s work on Holovista, or Kaizen Game Works' Paradise Killer. You start out in a lobby-slash-library, as colourful shapes (which can be interacted with via your imp) float over a chequerboard floor. Move out onto the walkway and through the bedroom, past the acid-pink waterfall cutting the suite in half, and you’ll find a shrine garden with its lawn wreathed in purple smoke. A delightful example of how a fresh design perspective and a good eye for colour can create a memorable place without the need for hyper-realistic detail.
M Y S T I C#
While they’re also a talented artist and animator, sumesest is perhaps best-known in Dreams for their prolific music output. It wasn’t so long ago that we found ourselves admiring their experiments in presenting their tunes with A Thousand Waves Under The Moon, which features a visualiser alongside an interactive element, allowing the player to cue piano solos for dramatic effect. Their latest release, M Y S T I C, is another typically excellent composition, making light and precise use of strings, glockenspiels, timpani and magical melodic runs of chimes to add to the atmosphere of tripping through a fantastical forest. Fans of the Hollow Knight soundtrack will love this one.
Kenzie & Thias Ultimate Tag#
We will never not be charmed by people making things for their kids in Dreams. RJSmith86’s latest is a lovely tribute to his little ones, who voice - and presumably inspired the likenesses for - the two main competitors. It’s not just an adorable digital gift, though: this two-player romp is a fast-paced couchplay party game that sees you and a friend (or sibling!) tearing around a soft play arena trying to tag the other - who is then helpfully labelled ‘it’. Collecting power-ups will help you in your bid for playground glory; whoever is ‘it’ when the timer expires loses. We have nothing but deep admiration for a creator who decided the best way to give their children something safe and entertaining to play was to simply make it themselves. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to watch World Championship Chase Tag videos(opens in new tab) to pick up some pro tips.
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.