Dreams like game mechanics are a crazy smart idea!
How many times have you not woken up and tried to remember what you dreamed? It is an annoying feeling that you remember something cool that you experienced, but it is just out of reach. Dreamscaper is based on dreams and it turns out to be a really smart game mechanics.
We start the game with a tutorial and I wasn’t fully aware and honestly thought the game would be a classic run-in-basement game alá Diablo III. But judge my surprise when the tutorial is over and our main character shuts down his game and goes to bed. Now the game really starts! So nice start and the graphics and look take on a whole new shape.
Every dream is unique and then you can’t die in the game, but you can only wake up so you have to play with your avatar in the waking world. Go to a cafe, talk to some people or hang out in a bookstore. We can talk to different people and these interactions get a meaning later. When you go back to sleep, you fall back into the dream. Now, all paths are different. They look the same, but the portals are not set up in the same way. Fortunately, there is a map in the upper right corner so you are not completely out cycling.
You have a variety of weapons at your disposal, as well as shields and ranged weapons. I recommend playing the game with a Gamepad because it will quickly become crazy fun to try with keyboard and mouse. Now, however, some of the disadvantages begin Dreamscaper obvious. It is neat, smart and fun notch-n-slash – but when you “die” your avatar wakes up and you have to do seemingly meaningless tasks to get back and sleep again. Then you have to hunt right on the boss you just met and try again. If you fail, it’s time again. Since the bosses are quite hard to beat, there are a number of attempts, which leads to some frustration. Then I feel that the game doesn’t really have a clear storyline. Who is this faceless person, why should I fight in his dreams? Maybe not a dealbreaker but still something I really miss. And maybe a little price for a roguelike, which is based on playing randomly restructured courses “endlessly”.
In summary, I would still recommend Dreamscaper, because it is a very well-made and different game that takes something family and turns and turns on it until it feels new. So keep an eye out for it when it is released in early summer.