Dreamview Weekly Roundup #91
You Friday-lovin' son of a gun! Good to see you. How've you been? Pull up a pew, and allow us to pour you a glass of our latest tipple - a Roundup, served... well, up.
Aged for a full week in the richly-flavoured mind of our writer, it's infused with the warmth of admiration for creative endeavours, and the spice of a deadline needing to be hit. Really savour those five distinct notes of recommendation, each reminiscent of a different 'dream'. Only the finest for you, dear friend: sit back, relax and enjoy.
Estimated runtime: 30 mins
Being a spy isn’t always as glamorous as it appears in the movies - all fast cars, femme fatales and disbelieving pigeons(opens in new tab). Quite a lot of undercover agent work, it turns out, involves getting your hands - and knees - dirty. Suebob14’s VR-compatible ‘70s subterfuge sim embraces a more realistic side of the profession, sending you sneaking through ventilation systems in search of confidential files. But it’s rarely as easy as popping off grilles and grabbing your prize out of rooms (although an early level that sees you abseiling from the ceiling , Mission Impossible-style, is a crowd-pleasing interlude).
The rival insurance company you’re infiltrating gets more suspicious of intruders the more missions you complete, upping their security measures to include motion sensors and combination locks - which can only be deciphered by carefully studying the rooms you’re crawling above for clues. While some hints are perhaps a little too abstract, leading to some brute-forcing of certain codes, the majority are genuinely satisfying brainteasers. Meanwhile, the more you uncover about both companies’ dealings, the more surreal, silly and surprising the showdown becomes - until even the vents can’t hold you, and things go a bit James Bond after all. Fast cars, here we come. (For pigeons, though, you’ll have to go elsewhere.)
Estimated playtime: 45 mins
Hilarious but also desperately dark, Bombirdered! combines a simple clicker game with a punishing survival challenge - and cleverly exaggerates the psychological effects of both genres. Rendered in a fuzzy, frantic, painterly art style that perfectly sets the mood, the bird-person you’re in control of hurries between a coin shop and sources of sustenance, trying to earn enough cash to fill their rapidly draining meters. When a stamina meter pops up, you’re able to use that slowly refilling energy to ‘work’ to earn coins much faster. So far, so normal. But then stuff starts getting weird: first, there’s the appearance of a weight management meter, which discourages too much indulgence too quickly. Suddenly, there’s a smell meter to watch, lessened when you drink palate-cleansing water. By the time we’re asked to press in the right thumbstick to BLINK REGULARLY or DIE, we’re just about on the floor with stress and laughter.
On it all goes, adding absurd spinning plate upon absurd spinning plate, until you accidentally overeat, or overdrink, or smell too much, or your eyeballs fatally dry out(???). A brilliant challenge, a blackly funny joke and a sobering experience all at once: it is, as they say, like life.
Semper's Golden Easter Egg Hunt 2: Free Roam#
Estimated playtime: 20 mins
Fancy a cosy holiday retreat? Giant585dark has you covered, handing you the keys to an exquisitely-designed modern mansion on a peaceful remote island. From gorgeous glass corridors overlooking the ocean, spa baths and showers with interactive taps, sumptuous silk beds that allow you to alter the time of day and wardrobes that allow your character to change into a variety of outfits, everything that could make your stay here comfortable has been thought of. An Easter egg hunt provides a reason to explore every nook and cranny: some of the most enjoyable finds are dependent on you fiddling with the interactive parts of the house, and we find ourselves wishing for more of those reveals over the precise platforming required for some eggs. Still, dedicated players will delight in the surprisingly steep challenge to secure all 10 eggs. For us, however, the real wonder of this experience is in its dollhouse-like design - a perfect little world that’s a joy to admire up close.
Mr. Eternity Consep Art#
Estimated playtime: N/A
Mustafabarati909 is an expressive artist with a love of portraiture - and there’s something about this latest sketch that really speaks to us. Watching the recorded animation of the creator painting, we see the craft in real-time: the instinctual, delicate placement of light across the forms shoulder and collarbones, the natural movement of hair and clothing created with minimal linework. The overall intention (confirmed by the title and the tags) comes through in the fluttering suggestion of a cape: the image of a superhero in the making. ‘Mr Eternity’ is unlike most supers we’ve seen on TV, though, curiously elegant and simple rather than unthinkably buff and branded - we very much hope the artist keeps exploring this novel idea.
Hole New Ball Game#
Estimated playtime: 20 mins
Remember tabletop obstacle course-slash-marble run toy Screwball Scramble? (If so, how’s your back pain these days, old timer? Ours is TERRIBLE, thanks for asking.) Here comes meanlad with a delightfully bonkers digital homage. Your task? To use motion controls to tilt each tier of the course, encouraging a ball past hazards, puzzles and ridiculous landmarks until you drop through the hole leading down to the next. Each level is shaped on - and themed on - a different layer of the alphabet. It's an idea that seems childish at first, before quickly revealing itself to be an excuse for meanlad to get experimental with mechanics and tickle your surrealist funnybone.
C is for Cheese, and the many decoy holes in it that threaten to swallow you. J is for Jungle, which you’ll hack through with a machete. G, however, is for Grinding Employment Conditions, so you’ll have to fight to the exit of a coal-clogged diamond mine. While the full alphabet remains unfinished for now, trust us when we say it’s well worth rolling along to the current finale, O, which is - to borrow Hole New Ball Game’s own naming conventions - odd, occult, and outstanding.
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)
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