Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Mini-Review: Dream Chronicles click fun

Just spent a leisurely-yet-fun last hour playing through the demo of Dream Chronicles by PlayFirst. (N.B. The demo from the link says it's half an hour - I downloaded the one over at macGamesStore.) Looks like it's a Mac game, but there are options to play on-line and something about a PC version at that first link. (What did you expect, me to go and find out or something? ;)

The story: an evil fairy queen (or someone) has cast some kind of sleeping spell to put everyone to sleep. You're in a weird dreamland chasing clues left by your husband, to get to the Queen and break the spell.

In terms of style and interaction, the game is very reminiscent of Myst and its brethren, with some other nods to Escape the Room type games. That's to say, the artwork is pretty nice, and there's a generally nicely-done fairyesque feel to the whole thing. The music definitely reminded me of Myst, in a good way.

The puzzles are obviously the main thing here though. The game is played as a series of "Chapters", or screens within which certain activities have to be completed. These start out fairly easily - find item X, apply it to Y to open the door and move on. Expect lots of clicking to pick up objects and use them - some of it is a little random at times, but for the most part it's fairly quick to advance. If you're really stuck, keep an eye out for "twinkles" on the screen that guide you towards needed items.

A few screens in, the puzzles are more drawn out, more complicated, and quite possibly more surreal too. It's usually quite clear what you need to do (even if it wouldn't necessarily make sense in a non-dreamworld). This is probably a good thing for a quick-delve type game, but does mean the majority of what you're up to is clicking stuff to find it, or putting items down in the right place. Still, each level/screen is different enough to keep the interest going.

Kind of a random review, this one, but having spent a little while being amused by it, I thought I'd throw it out there in case others fancied a look.

The full version of Dream Chronicles seems to be $19.95 from the main site, or $14.95 from the MacGamesStore. (See links above.) Maybe the latter is out of date.

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