Pop quiz for you, Dreamers! What's weekly, round, and also up? If you answered with: "the latest edition of the Dreamview Weekly Roundup, duh!" then ding-ding-ding you're a winner! What do you win, you ask? Why, another delicious serving of Dreamiverse delights, our good fellow. Or leftover coronation quiche, as apparently the entire UK was eating over the weekend. So. Much. Quiche.
But here at Impsider Towers, we do things our own way. Indeed, whilst the rest of the country was watching the lavish spectacle of an old man having a hat jauntily placed on his head, we were up to our necks in Dreamiverse goodies. So join us once again as we delve into the endless depths and unscalable heights of the Dreamiverse, as our never-ending our celestial odyssey continues...
Estimated playtime: 1 hour
It's finally here. We first wrote about Orksom's surreal nightmare puzzle world as part of our DreamsCom '22 coverage, and now we've had the chance to get our grubby mitts on the final product. Despite the wait, we can say with certainty that STRAIN is just as bleak, disturbing, and ultimately genius as we'd hoped for. Awaking on a seemingly uninhabited island, your character finds themselves attached to a mysterious body by an even more mysterious cord (that handily seems to stretch into infinity no matter how far away from the body you are) by a mysterious force that makes you solve mysterious puzzles in order to escape the mysterious island. How mysterious.
Needless to say, it's the kind of set-up that evokes those hammy B-tier body-horror films like Saw and Human Centipede that push people to commit increasingly grim acts to survive. Here, however, instead of grim acts we have thoughtful and well constructed puzzles. Whilst they start off fairly basic, mostly focused on finding and utilising weight-activated switches, how you use the body attached to you becomes much more convoluted and tricky as you explore the bleak locations of the island. Adding to the sense of the surreal are a host of humongous creatures visible in the background and appearing in the corner of your eye. It's clear that, whatever happened here on this island, something has gone very, very wrong. For such a strange and disturbing set-up, STRAIN plays beautifully and we can honestly say that it's unlike anything else you'll have played in Dreams.
Estimated playtime: 1 hour
There's not much cooler than high-speed mech action, and DrSecksy has absolutely nailed the feeling of gliding around in your nimble robo-armour in their latest creation, Reclaimer-Valkyrie Raid. On top of the satisfying action and exciting combat, the game also sports an absolutely gorgeous art style, with a neo-futuristic tone and clean colour palette that'll make you mumble "Neo-Tokyo" under your breath. What we're most impressed by here though is the controls, which allow you to manoeuver your mech at intense speeds with ease. The mech zips around and fights enemies so fluidly that the line between human and machine blurred in front of our own eyes, and we genuinely thought that we were one with the robot at one point! Fighting drones and other mechanical creatures almost feels like second nature, and with such a satisfying combat system, we're excited to see how this series develops as we're bound to need another mech fix sometime soon.
Estimated playtime: N/A
Here's a creation that seems almost explicitly designed for Megapenguin, so we thought we'd write about it in the form of one of those terrible romance novels:
"The pebble of your Dreams stands in a snow-drenched field, surrounded by wintery trees, snowmen crafted by the hands of lovers, and a gentle breeze that softly blows the chilly air across your flushed cheeks. The pebble, an elegant gentleman, doffs his hat your way, and winks beneath his gold-rimmed monocle. While keeping hold of his walking stick, he produces a bouquet of the most gorgeous roses you've ever seen, enrapturing your senses before you've even grasped their fragile floral form. Reaching out, you hold the roses close to you as that subtle sweet aroma wafts under your nostrils. Your heart begins to flutter. Is this what being in love feels like? You reach down, embracing this Distinguished Pebble, knowing that you will never let go."
Or that's what we imagine is going through Megapenguin's head anyway, alongside some sort of romantic power ballad. And let's be honest, who could even resist? This Distinguished Pebble is the ideal male body, after all. You might not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.
Estimated playtime: N/A
There's been an awful lot of action in this roundup so far, huh? So let's experience something a bit more serene, as a treat. Autumn Lake fits the bill perfectly, and is a perfect metaphor for taking a moment out of your day for yourself. skidmarkdan has perfectly captured the feeling of a crisp autumn day, exploring natural splendour with a vibrant colour palette, and soothing lighting. Whilst this set only features a fairly limited area of movement, the scenery available to you in your line of sight is absolutely stunning. Featuring clear views over the lake in the early afternoon, orange and brown leaved trees, and impressive mountains in the distance, it made us think that perhaps we could stomach living out in the wilderness. Though the lack of internet admittedly would be a problem (we are perenially online, after all). But for a day trip, or dare we even say it, a few days(!) of getting away from it all, we could imagine somewhere like this being exactly what the doctor ordered. Self-care at its finest, innit.
Street Saints-Island of Vice#
Estimated playtime: 30 minutes
Hands up who remembers the good-old early days of open-world games? What used to be reserved for the most expensive of gaming franchises (looking at you, GTA) are now ten-a-penny. Yet while open-world games might be the new industry standard for many AAA developers, few capture the free-form spirit of crusing around Vice City or listening to K-Rose as you drive across San Andreas. Luckily, Freak-orama and Animeboy0021 are here to set things right with their own mix of GTA and Saints Row, Street Saints - Island of Vice.
Freak-orama, who has been making a variety of third-person game design kits for a while now, brings their expertise of creating quality combat and shooting systems in Dreams to an open-world GTA-em-up. It's a creation that proudly wears its influences on its Hawaiian shirted sleeves, and while the map is significantly smaller than the games that inspired it, it's packed full of charm, humour, and plenty of gang members for professional crime guy Timmy Tallarico to blow up with a rocket launcher (y'know, just like real life). But it's the little details that really sell this experience; the way that cars might have the radio on when you car-jack them, the Saints Row style bonnet slides you perform to get in the cars, and the fun mission structure and references to life in 'Murica. Gunplay is meaty and responsive, your wanted levels ratchet up quickly, and the story is short but entertaining to create an overall package that really captures the spirit of those classic open-world adventures. This may not have the scale of Rockstar's famous franchise, but it has all the quality that has made it such a gaming mainstay.
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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