Dream is Hypersloth’s first major game release, and it’s an exploration game that deals with the surreal nature of an ordinary man’s dreams. Here’s the review.
Dream was developed by a three-man team, and as such is an incredibly ambitious undertaking. It’s an exploration game in which you explore the surreal dreams of Howard Phillips, a man who leads an otherwise mundane life which he is not entirely happy with.
You’ll quickly find out that, in his dreams, anything is possible. You’ll find yourself navigating scenes that channel Escher’s famous staircase drawings one moment, explore a desert location the next – before ending up in a place that looks a lot like Easter Island. It all adds to the mystery and intrigue, as you try to piece everything together by solving puzzles and finding clues. As is the case with many “exploration” games, a lot of these elements feel random for a long time, until you start to piece things together.
The game is non-linear in nature and offers multiple endings, which in our case tied into Howard’s real-life experiences – we’re fairly sure the other endings will do the same, but in different ways. However the story wraps up, the notion of dreams is an interesting one and makes the exploration of wildly different vistas suddenly make sense somehow – no doubt a great situation to work in for a videogame artist.
The game is marred by technical issues at this point though, which the team is working very hard on. During our playthrough, we stumbled upon a number of graphical glitches and an even a software crash – which is a real shame since it breaks the immersion of being in a dream world. What would be really great for Dream is playing it through a virtual reality headset – the feeling of dream immersion would be greatly enhanced that way. We’re not trying to give the developers any ideas though…. let’s hope their focus stays firmly on fixing the problems with the initial game release. When they do, this is a solid first game by Hypersloth and an interesting perspective on the exploration game genre that would have scored a little higher than it does today.