Polish independent developer Warsaw Games is making its game release debut on PC and console with Dream Alone.
Dream Alone is an atmospheric, horror-themed, 2D platformer that sits squarely in the ‘ultra-hard tear your hair out in frustration’ category.
In this title, we follow the simple story of a young boy. The sole survivor of a be-plagued village where everyone has fallen into a coma. He learns that Lady Death is the only person who can save his village.
As you do when you find out the embodiment of death is your only hope he sets off through the dark and dangerous forest to find her.
Dream Alone Review
In the beginning it takes a little time to adapt to the heavily filtered and darkened graphical style. As I guided our little hero through the dingy grey-scale world, I found myself squinting regularly trying to spot subtle traps through the heavy rain and film-grain effects.
To really get into Dream Alone I suggest playing in a darkened room. It will enhance the atmosphere and probably your success by allowing your eyes to adjust to the muted visual style.
The path is often obscured by trees and other objects in the foreground too. This adds to both the atmosphere and the difficulty, as enemies can be partially hidden as well. In the beginning, gameplay is simple; move and jump and try not to die.
You will die though. Again and again.
Prepare to Die
There are patterns of enemy movement to be learned, and traps and puzzles that can only be solved through trial and error. I particularly enjoy the fact that no matter the form our heroes death takes, his head always falls off.
After a little while, some interesting new mechanics are introduced starting with the ability to jump into a different dimension. In the alternate, ghost-filled dimension, objects and enemies are often in different places, allowing you to bypass them as you switch between realities.
Later on, you gain the ability to manipulate time and to generate a clone of yourself.
These skills are a great basis for a lot of puzzles, however, the potions that fuel your special abilities are rare, so abusing them will usually end up with having to start the area again.
Don’t Abuse Your Potions
Despite several bugs I encountered, which I’m sure will be ironed out by release, Dream Alone meets its goal of presenting a solid gaming challenge within a grim stylized world.
Its the kind of game that depending on your frame of mind is going to be fun and stimulating, or frustrating and horrible.
For me, it was a bit too much of a challenge without the reward. For you sadists though, I’m sure you’ll love every second.
Dream Alone was reviewed on PC using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: Dream Alone
- Really, Really Hard! - 4/104/10
- Bye-bye head - 7/107/10
- Interesting visuals might get in the way - 5.5/105.5/10