Dream Games is a cooperative survival-mystery-puzzle board game and will be released on Kickstarter on December 26th. Learn more about the Kickstarter campaign you can find it here after release. Dream Games is the debut work by Elias, Nina and Yvonne and combines different game elements in one game. We were allowed to test a demo copy of the game in advance and would like to give you an insight into the demo.
All game material shown will be revised for the final version. Dream Games is scheduled to be released in October 2023 and will have about twice the size of the game and thus offer six to eight hours of play time.
In the prologue, the makers describe Dream Games as follows: “The shreds of the last dream pass by you like fog damage, you startle out of your bed. The moon bathes the trees around you in a bluish light, somewhere a bird is cawing. You hear a branch snap behind you […]
Scraps of memory come and go, but you find it increasingly difficult to judge what is real and what your mind made up. And this bizarre scenery on top of that: your bed in the middle of the forest? Then the realization dawns: you are caught in a dream. And you guess: if you don't manage to wake up, you'll be stuck in your subconscious forever."
The dream of your own dream
In the second half of 2021, the idea of having your own game became more concrete. Elias and Nina played a lot TIME Stories, Adventure Games, 7th Continent or games of EXIT-Row. So it's not surprising that their own game combines many elements of these game series. The trigger for the own game idea was above all the lack of a certain topic in the series mentioned: dreams.
Together with graphic artist Yvonne Katte the first maps and story elements were developed. The original plan was to start crowdfunding with around eight cards and little other ready-made game material. After some feedback from the board game scene, the decision was made to first have the game in a demo form, which could then be used to write this article, among other things.
A grant from the state of Bavaria, which supported the project with €3.000, was also helpful at this point. This money flowed mainly into the work on the graphics.
The framework of the story was clear early on. The small paths and twists and turns were created on a wide variety of paths. The dream world continued to grow both in the graphic design, in the filing of the story and through flashes of inspiration.
No major detours had to be taken when developing the story and the game elements. In dreams anything is possible. The development of the game progressed smoothly. The coordination tasks between graphic design, printing and prototyping were more time-consuming than expected.
There are currently still considerations to have a little more material in the full game than in the demo. However, all the material contained should also be useful and not only required once for small areas of the game.
The crowdfunding for Dream Games launches on Kickstarter on December 26th. According to current calculations, the price will be between 35 and 40 euros. The game and all components are made in Germany. If around 600 to 700 supporters can be found, the project would be financed to cover its costs. This is also the goal. As stretch goals, there should be, among other things, small mini-extensions that add a few more places to the world.
If the crowdfunding is successful, the game should be available after 9 to 10 months. Like the title Dream Games Chapter 1: Rude Awakening As already indicated, there are plans for more chapters to follow. Of course, this depends on the success of the campaign.
As told in the prologue, you start in your bed (picture on the right). However, not at home, but in the middle of the forest. Similar to one Point and click adventure Various actions are now available to you. You can play more environment maps to expand your playable area or interact with objects on the map. The cost of each action is shown next to the corresponding icon. For example, if you want to take a closer look at the forest, you must give up 1 action marker and open page 71 of the Book of Dreams. You can also place card 2 on the left of the card for 12 action stones or card 1 on the right for 20 action stone. As already mentioned, this expands the playable area and gives you more interaction options. This is also absolutely necessary, because for some puzzles you first have to advance in the story in order to be able to solve them.
After a few actions, your playable area will look like this (left image). The special thing is that some cards, depending on the interaction, also change and can be exchanged for other cards. Since you only have a limited number of action stones at your disposal, you also have to think about which actions could be helpful for you. If you explore the entire forest and interact with every object, you will quickly run out of action stones.
Throughout the game there will always be moments when you have to roll the dice to find out how the story continues. In the end, however, rolling the dice can be reduced to a factor of luck that determines the success or failure of an action. In addition, you collect various items that you need for the puzzles or for the progress of the story. Event cards introduce yet another type of card into play and must be drawn whenever you roll a question mark and this is not determined by the Book of Dreams.
What can the Dream Games prototype do?
First things first: The game is easy to play and offers an interesting game idea. In some corners, however, you can still tell that it is a prototype or a demo. But that doesn't have to be bad, because it allows the team to get a lot of feedback and implement it later in the game. Elias was very open to our feedback and has already announced that he wants to implement some of the points mentioned.
The game lives from its game feeling and the beautiful illustrations. It's fun to explore the world and work your way up bit by bit. Especially since the world is being enlarged map by map and you are literally discovering it live. Dream Games is significantly less dice-intensive than, say, that TIME Stories. The puzzles are fair (ie quite doable). In the demo, however, there were no hint cards in case you got stuck. For a game with riddles and in which progress is linked to solving the riddles, it is in my opinion essential to include clue cards. Otherwise you run the risk of the end of the game dropping out because they don't progress. Here, however, the team has so far been open to the idea that hints and help should be incorporated in some way.
The passage principle and the grading system should also be significantly improved. In the demo, the rounds seemed a bit random, as some tasks depended on the luck of the dice. Whether I need more or fewer passes also depended on the dice in the prototype and is unsatisfactory.
In general, the added value of the rounds was not really clear to us. But the idea here is that a future restart will bring more disadvantages. In the demo, you started in bed again, but the cards all remained face up and you were allowed to keep most of the items you had collected. The idea was that you “restart stronger” – after all, you have already experienced what you have experienced and you know what will happen.
The finished game should have a playing time of about six hours - which is of course a decent amount of time. But it should be possible to save the game. As a result, the target group is somewhat larger, since particularly infrequent and occasional gamers could be deterred by such a length of play. In general, it is also important to know that the game is quite space-intensive. While it's nice to be able to explore a big world, you should have the space to do so.
|Game Factory 646284 5-Minute Mystery, cooperative hidden object game on... *||23,99 EUR||Buy|
Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API