We have recently had a huge influx of big games for the holiday season and its hard to keep up with all of the releases. Dreamals is a small game that has probably slipped under most people’s radar. Dreamals is a unique puzzle platformer, with vibrant level design and cute creatures. Having been summoned to a dream world, three animals embark on an adventure to go back to their world. To mix things up each animal only is able to move in one direction.
The game has a range of animals including, parrots, goats, and raccoons. The game takes place in a quirky dream like world. The aim of the game is to find keys to escape. There really isn’t much of a story to the game, but it doesn’t need it. You will find the puzzles make you think enough. Each character moves in a certain way. The goat can only move right, the raccoon can only move left, and the parrot can only jump straight up in the air. Every animal moves simultaneously when you push left, right, or the jump button so keeping an eye on all of them becomes pretty difficult. When the animals touch, they then combine to form a new animal that can move in more than one way. Once you have combined the three you can move in any direction. This unique game mechanic makes for some interesting puzzles in the game.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when starting this game, and was actually fairly surprised with its presentation, sound design and puzzles. There are a range a level designs that include deserts, forest, jungles and others that keep things interesting. The puzzles are interesting and mix things up by having things like warp panels, moving sections, jump pads and other more dangerous hazards like spikes, fire and pits that you have to avoid.
The game is good at slowly introducing new systems, and then giving you scenarios in which to experiment with. The game boasts 80 stages with 4 different themes and has sixteen stars to collect along the way, but there isn’t really anything else that warrants a second playthrough. I didn’t mind this though as the game was satisfying enough and involved plenty of trial and error during the game. The game takes practice and thought required to solve each puzzle. At times it can feel frustrating, but once you figure it out it does feel satisfying. What I didn’t like was the fact that each time you fail you have to go through the menu, which becomes annoying.
The aesthetics is well done, with vibrant colours, cute character design, clever puzzles and decent sound design. The overall style reminded me of games like Fez, Mario and Poncho in terms of colour palette. The gameplay is fairly unique, but simplistic which is a good thing. I would have liked to have seen a wider variety of characters and possibly unlockables. It would have also been interesting to have seen multiplayer introduced in some way.
Overall Dreamals is a decent little game that will probably get overlooked as there are so many big titles coming out at the moment. It’s a good game if you want something that’s lighthearted, quirky and fun. Dreamals was a nice palette cleanser between playing games like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront. The puzzles and levels designs are interesting enough and I would recommend this game if you want to play something that’s not too long and easily accessible.
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