A Friday check-in between friends: how are you doing? January can be a bit of a ‘blah’ month. Perhaps you haven’t bounced back from the winter break quite how you thought you might. Maybe the darker days or colder weather are getting to you. That’s okay! In fact, it’s pretty normal. Make time today to have a little wallow in the bad brain soup. Let those feelings marinate. And let us know when you’re done.
Back? Well done. For this week’s Dreamview Weekly Roundup, we’ve hand-selected five creations nigh-on guaranteed to lift you out of that late-January funk. From gibbering giblets to upbeat chiptune, a charmingly-presented tech experiment to adorable dioramas, these selections are here to help. Well, apart from Entropy-Tamed’s latest game. Entropy just wants to see you suffer.
Talk about a change of pace. Fresh from releasing their starkly brilliant, non-linear narrative game FREQUENCY - in which you play as someone in a coma attempting to wake up - TRIX9 and Joeycutts83 return to give us GIBLETS. The concept is simple: you’re a chef, and your task is to hurl as many sentient turkeys off the side of platforms as you can within the time limit without flying off yourself. (If it makes you feel any better, they’re pre-dead. Undead?) The result is a unholy mashup of Please Hug Me and WarioWare, with the curator using the breakneck pace to tell increasingly raucous quickfire jokes. Exploding cows, underwater scenes, a Cooking Mama-style level set in a giant frying pan… Truly, the game that has it all - and two creators with a ridiculous amount of range.
Endless Crowd Experiment#
Dreams tech experiments are always a wonder to behold - but this one feels worthy of note just because of how accessible it is. Using emitted LODs, olit123 has managed to simulate a theoretically infinite crowd of NPCs. But they go a step further than simply showing it off; they let you play it, plonking you down in the middle of the fray to run about and gawp at the heavily accessorised population (did Coco Chanel teach you NOTHING, Blank Puppet (Deluxe)?!). There are 14 ‘rare traits’ to hunt down on your travels, accompanied by some flashy achievement pops - we managed to spot a cake hat, butterfly wings and an Ancient Dangers Chomper helm, although fascinatingly, deer antlers are apparently everyday attire and don’t count as rare. The whole thing’s a bizarre, almost arthouse experience - something like a 3D game of Where’s Wally if it were set in the perpetually misty climes of Silent Hill. Indeed, this isn’t just a clever way to show players the use case of tech by letting them stare at it up close, but a delightfully weird tone piece; the puppets stare right back at you. Creepy.
Alright - who’s Sapphonix, and who gave them the right to be so bleeping good at making chiptune bangers? This relative newcomer to the Dreamiverse is responsible for one of the catchiest tunes we’ve heard in Dreams as of late. After a bit of encouragement from the curator, this was their first-ever entry to The_Tenia’s Music Jam, the theme being to use voiceover elements courtesy of oLiamS47o’s Amateur Voice Actors project. The result of Sapphonix’s tinkerings is an effervescent ode to videogame joy that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Just Shapes & Beats soundtrack. Hey, Monstercat? We think we found your newest signing.
E-e-e-epic Diorama Collection#
FOUR ‘e’s? In this economy? Honestly, it deserves them. This thoughtfully showcased collection of stylised dioramas kept us busy for a good half an hour inspecting the details in each of its four scenes: a tiny fishing village, a grotto with a waterfall and a magical lotus, a magical shrine and a sunken treasure site guarded by a shark. Use the D-pad to cycle through scenes or alter the speed of rotation, the triangle button to change from day to night (there are hidden details depending on the time of day!), and the circle button to activate the free camera and get right up close to each perfectly placed fleck and sculpt.
Ah, yes - another Entropy-Tamed instant classic. Slick presentation all round, from the professional ident to the sharp controls, the inviting pastel colour palette to the charming title. The trouble is, it’s always games that make us want to snap our controller in half with you, isn’t it, Entropy? This one asks you to carry a ball across a series of obstacle courses, using a dish that you glide and tilt to waylay the effects of gravity. If the ball hits the floor, you must start again - but at several points, the only way to progress is to use the right trigger to throw the ball in the air over hazards and catch it safely on the other side. A more accurate title for this might have been ‘The Devil’s Keepy-Uppy’. At least CFulljames is on hand to provide moral support, with a friendly lo-fi soundtrack that’s kept us semi-sane throughout our many, many attempts.
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.