Okay, Rounduppers - you know the drill by now. It’s Friday and, as usual, conditions are wild down there. Relentlessly creative yes, but more importantly, highly unpredictable. We can never really anticipate what the dreamers have come up with week to week, but if there’s one thing we know after 69 Dreamiverse dives, it’s that there’s a less-than-zero chance of someone’s mind getting blown. That’s not happening on our watch. Not after what happened with Kevin.
Look out for any errant puns, too - if one of those catches you off-guard, the resultant cringe has been known to turn divers inside-out. Right: helmets on? Minds sharp? Memory of Kevin alive and well in our hearts? Tremendous. Away we go.
Quartier de Misu#
Estimated playtime: 10 mins
French collective Infinidreams set the theme for one of our recent coMmunity jams; ‘Bon Appetit’ has served up some hot ‘n’ fresh delights, but the true standout among them all is this marvellous fictional district. Fr0d0_FragginS79 - who you may remember as the environment artist behind charming puzzle-adventure Bo’s Island - is really showing off here, having produced an explorable town square whose exaggerated proportions, clean lines and stylised textures could rival the locales of Overwatch. This is highly considered level artistry; as streetlights glow and you wind your way through this place, a nearby bakery whisking clouds of icing sugar into the nighttime air, you’ll notice that each angle feels like its own photo op. The placement of buildings, signs, lampposts, posters and other level furniture is highly considered, subtly leading you around this open area. Details sing, too: animated, painted music notes flow overhead, and small meows let you know that perhaps this quartier isn’t as unpopulated as it may first appear. The sense of life even without visible NPCs is palpable; this is a real display of design skill and panache. Or should that be ganache?
INSERT WORK HERE#
Estimated playtime: 30 mins
Funny places, offices. Everywhere, there are people tapping unintelligible data into glowing boxes. The backs of your co-workers’ heads openly mock you. No walls in sight - just ergonomic furniture set on a floating platform in a swirling abyss. Okay, so maybe TheMackRush’s interpretation of the workplace environment is unique, but the tone is weirdly spot-on. In an effort to complete 100% of your work, you must select from a variety of options (an action made gratifying by some top-tier button beeps). Sure, you could ‘do some work’, ranging from sucking up to your bosses to investigating a conspiracy theory about Computer Corp, your glorious overlords. But it’s so much fun to mess with your colleague Steve, whose moustache game is almost as weak as his general disposition. (The world’s not REALLY ending, Steve, chill out. It’s just a prank, bro.) With characterful voicework and top-quality comedy writing, it’s well worth procrastinating as much as possible. Careful, though: too many existential breakdowns or poorly-worded tweets, and you can kiss goodbye to your career. They’ll also trigger a ‘game over’ screen in this videogame.
Estimated runtime: 2 mins
OMG_its_Adrian describes this remixable ditty as “Probably the most catchy video game song I’ve ever made”. We tend to agree. This track is chipper, bouncy, with an instantly hummable melody. A full complement of wonky horns and goofy synths somehow exactly match the image of someone taking a jaunty stroll along the street. Even more delightful is the introduction of some minor key - and even slightly offkey - notes. Is there mild peril afoot on this routine trot to the dog park? A stray cat? An uneven paving stone? The ghost of Aunt Mildred returning for that pac-a-mac she lent you three years before she died? Who can say, but it’s probably, definitely the last one.
Estimated playtime: 20 mins
Haunting character designs? Check. Lynchian turns of phrase? Check. Colour so sour it hurts your tongue just to look at it? Check check check. It wouldn’t be a slamdonahue joint without all these things - and yet, this latest visual novel marks something of a change for the creator. Their rangey, surreal stories often span various time periods and universes; what’s admirable about this brief tale of one reality being loosed from another is its teller’s willingness to edit themselves. The tight pacing and structure of the way the bittersweet core relationship unfolds helps ground the more abstract aspects of this world, in which you make tenuous connections with strange mantis-headed creatures that tend bars and tell you things such as, ‘Maybe the thing out back could help. It could hurt too’. This feels like a significant evolution for slamdonahue as a creator, while still retaining the essentials of what makes their art so compelling.
Estimated playtime: Replayable
Alright, we weren’t born yesterday - we see you. It’s Friday night, and you’re looking to party. You’re after a rush: something more powerful, more adrenaline-juicing than you’ve ever experienced before. Well, boy howdy, do we have something for you - HIGH-OCTANE TINY PLASTIC HORSE-RACING ACTION. Select a steed, wager a portion of your points on your pick winning, hit ‘Begin’ - and they’re off, the race commentated with gusto, the movements of the horses hilariously erratic. You can aim for scoreboard glory with your points, of course, but we’d heartily recommend getting a few mates around the TV for this and making up your own rules. (Loser has to sort out the winner’s Logic wiring for the next month? No, that’s way too evil. Kinder to just shun them forever.)
Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
Which creations caught your eye in the Dreamiverse this week, and why? Tell us about your personal picks over on the official Dreams forums!(opens in new tab)
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.