Dreamview Weekly Roundup #85
Another Friday on the cards! How wonderful for you. The Friday card is one of the most favourable cards to draw in a reading, symbolising anticipation, joy, and 2-for-1 deals at your local pizzeria.
Let’s flip over the next card, shall we? Oooh, The Scribe: usually a sign that some very wise, insightful words are about to enter into your life. Words about curious “dreams”, woven by arcane artists with the aid of a magical technological device called a “PlayStation”. Things are looking very good for you right now.
Time to draw the last card… Oh. Oh no. It’s The Manatee. What does it mean? Well, it’s terrible luck to speak The Manatee’s dark portents aloud - the creatures have excellent hearing, apparently - but suffice it to say, you should probably start running.
Triangle Is Sentient-Chapter Two#
Estimated playtime: 1+ hour
This is how you do a sequel. With the first chapter of this curious puzzle-platformer ending on a dramatic, perspective-shifting note, we honestly weren’t sure how the story could continue. Brilliantly, itsmeJuvy has leaned into that perspective shift, casting us as a delightfully floaty new character through whose (lack of) eyes we see a whole new angle of Triangle Is Sentient’s world. And while the switch-pushing, battery-collecting and ball-rolling puzzles are interesting interludes, Chapter 2 focuses on fleshing out the surreal narrative, answering some of the many questions the first installment left us with. Juvy’s talent for world-building truly shines; it’s clever continuity that elicits gasps and breaks hearts. The reappearance of giant stone heads that must be appeased to open certain doors. The familiar chirp/honk/screech this new character activates light pillars with (it’s a language! A passcode!). The lab filled with imprisoned contained rock creatures, one of whom you may recognise from the past. All of it helps shed light on the truth unfolding - and you to connect emotionally with a place built on secrets, ciphers, signifiers and mysteries.
Estimated runtime: 1 min
Willow_the_bob continues to tell rich stories in record time. This brief but brilliantly written scene centres on a down-on-his-luck frog who’s had a little too much pondsauce, emerging from his shabby tent in an alley to deliver a humorous, conspiratorial rant about the nature of the moon to two baffled passers-by. The animation - as we’ve come to expect from this creator - is uncannily accurate to a flailing drunk; Timothy’s intoxicated floundering is believably over-egged and off-balance, both vulnerable and aggressive. But the voice acting is superb too, poor old Tim’s register wavering and wobbling as unstable as the theories he’s spouting. It’s always tempting to say we want more of Willow’s characters, who only enter into the spotlight for a short time - but really, the marvel of their short films is that we’re so immediately and fully invested in these personalities, rather than needing a full-length feature to understand what they’re all about.
Birth of Love: The Album#
Estimated runtime: 40 mins
Diteaphrodite’s spoken word poem-slash-song, I Dream In Pink, has always stayed with us as a particularly beautiful expression of shifting identity and growth. Their new album (featuring collabs with many of Dreams' best musicians) is deeply personal and purposefully raw, gently laying out the sparkling fragments of a story of how love grew around pain, like a pearl around a piece of grit. The range on display here is a delight: through beat poems, mini-melodies and wonderfully surreal visuals - a real highlight being the neon horses that tell us to ‘get yourself together, gurl!’ on ‘Happy’ - diteaphrodite holds our hand through the ups and downs on their journey to self-acceptance, culminating in a finale that brings us close to tears.
by arepera and IansaneArtist
Estimated playtime: 15 mins
This thing is so Dreams, an ultra-zen interactive music visualiser arcade game that takes inspiration from Prinz_Laser’s endless runner-shooter HORUS Fusionforce, then combines it with IansaneArtist’s sweeping scores and Nephrendil’s snow-white eagle. As the bird, you ride around a tunnel of wind, moving gracefully in order to graze your wings across each note in time with the music. It manages to be both meditative AND competitive; the two very different feelings are perfectly balanced by arepera’s eye for design. Hitboxes on the notes are very generous, and you’re not penalised by failing to touch any of them - the music even continues to play as normal. But the promise of scoreboard glory keeps you invested as each stunning track unspools along your flight path - as does the delightful little pulse of haptic feedback in your controller when you do manage to skim across the beat just right.
Plinko Castle Defence#
Estimated playtime: Replayable
Another oooDORIENooo game, another inspired genre mashup that has us gripped by the interplay of luck and skill. This time, the maestro of mechanics combines the classic tactical intrigue of tower defence with the ball-bouncing chaos of pachinko. You’re trying to beat back the forces that line up politely to have a crack at damaging your castle wall: you can press buttons to drop balls at different spots, but the random influence of the pins means that no counter-attack is completely assured. If you’re tempted to spam balls, you should know oooDORIENooo’s thought of that - you’re only allowed 10 at a time on screen, so you’ll want to keep at least a couple in reserve for your castle’s two towers and the naughty knights that just love to shimmy up their ladders. Meanwhile, there’s your barricade to think about: an industrious team of baddies is bashing it down, and pressing the touchpad is the only way to build it back up, which means sacrificing your ability to drop balls for that period of time. It’s beautifully (some might say evilly) balanced - frenetic, but ultimately friendly.
Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
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