Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

[Review] – Dream Alone – Nintendo Switch

Dream Alone
Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by Brett

Publisher – Fat Dog Games
Developer – Warsaw Games
Category – Platformer, Action, Arcade, Adventure
Release Date – June 28, 2018

 

Limbos Little Brother

Dream Alone by Warsaw Games and published by Fat Dog Games is a stylized action platformer inspired by the likes of Limbo and Super Meatboy. It carries the tone of Limbo and some of the bloody carnage of Super Meat Boy but can it live up to the indie hero’s it strives to be…

Our Main Character Irra

Story

It was a peaceful day in your quiet village when a horrible illness suddenly swept in as if from nowhere. The Sickness overtook all of the inhabitants and they fell to the ground into what seemed to be a coma, asleep in a death-like state. Your character a boy named Irra, had somehow evaded the same fate as the others, proving resistant to the disease. It’s now your responsibility to help your friends and family, so you embark on a perilous journey to find the mysterious Lady Death, who as it is told, possesses the unimaginable power to lift any curse and cure any sickness.

Dream Alone’s Alternate Reality

Gameplay

Dream Alone is a classic 2D platformer and in the vein of its inspirations is consistently dark and foreboding. Movement is basic, running, jumping and climbing are your basic skill set. Using your simple movements you will avoid strange creatures and an assortment of deadly traps such as bear traps, spike pits and unswimable water. Where dream alone spices things up is in it’s abilities. You have three different abilities that will come into play quite often and they are necessary to complete levels.

First you have the power to switch between realities. This let you go to perhaps what is an alternate dimension or even the land of the dead, this lets you traverse through obstacles that are blocking your path. Your second ability is the power to create a clone of yourself. Doing this lets you place a carbon copy of yourself wherever you please, the main functionality of this ability is to press switches, activating nearby platforms and such that have to be held down to use. Putting your clone on a switch holds it in place giving you time to access said platform and continue on your route. Your third and last ability is the power of light. Activating this ability creates a luminous halo that will brighten your surrounding and the world of Dream alone can be an extremely dark place so you can bet your going to need this one often.

Let There Be Light

Your clone ability is on a timer and can be used freely but only one at a time. Your reality switching and light abilities have meters at the top of the screen that can be filled with pick ups. If you do not have the necessary amount your pretty much screwed. This didn’t happen all that often to me but if it did i would be forced to die and start again at the last checkpoint. Most of the time this wasn’t an issue but occasionally either from lack of necessary ability fuel or just from dying on a hard segment i would be forced to go back a little too far, making me have to repeat some tricky platforming sections.

That is what Dream alone is after all, a challenging platformer. This will either be what makes or breaks the game for you depending on how much suffering you can take. Abilities aside this is a platformer through and through. Most of the game is about timing and patience, so not a particularly speedy platformer. You will have to narrowly avoid death at ever corner, everything will kill you with just one touch. There is no combat so its all about timing jumps and creeping under falling spikes, saw blades and other similarly sharp objects. This makes the game for me as i do like a challenge but be warned there are some very patience taxes sections that will get the blood boiling.

Some Fun Gore Splatter

Presentation

Dream Alone is much like its inspirations, a very dark game full of horrors and gore, but surprisingly not enough in my opinion. Every time you die blood and viscera will splash across the screen, which I never stopped enjoying, however when Irra dies he kind of just falls apart. Limbs separate from  torso for no apparent reason and your head will go rolling, which sometimes was appropriate, like for example when i was hit many many times with a lowering giant guillotine, sometimes though my head would roll from getting hit by walking into a giant tick. A small gripe but one i noticed. The art in Dream Alone has a very nice whimsical dark fairy tale vibe but enemy and scenery variation could have been more diverse. The soundtrack is very pleasant to listen to and fits the setting extremely well I only wish there were more overall tracks.

Saw Blade Factory of Frustration

Verdict

Dream Alone is a very solid platformer. It can be frustrating and challenging but that’s a hallmark of a great platformer in my opinion but i might just be a masochist. The art, music and overall vibe is very well done but i would have liked to see more variations in enemy design, level design and although the music was great I would have appreciated more tracks. All in all Dream Alone is a great addition to the collection of any platforming fan and well worth a try at this price. Take a step into the dark side, it’s punishing but you just might like it.

 

3/5

Buy Dream Alone

$9.99

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