Dreii is a multi-platform co-op puzzle game. The game is about a couple of poncho jellyfish dragging 2.5-dimensional shapes around. Let’s dissect the poncho jellyfish.
Dreii was developed by swiss design studio “Etter Studio”, who do more than develop games and are – in their own words an “interdisciplinary design and strategy consultancy”. It isn’t surprising that this game does not stand in one line with a lot of other indie games. This game is probably the fanciest, hippest and less nerdiest game I have ever played.
Dreii is a sequel to the highly praised mobile game Drei, which connected people randomly to build a tower. Well, Dreii is the same game, but this time, it connects people even cross-platform.
This remains the only selling point for Dreii over Drei to be very honest, for people who enjoy Drei and haven’t finished the game yet, there is no reason for upgrading really. The fact that they managed to connect people across all platforms is both awesome and a beautiful metaphor for intercultural exchange but for the player himself (or herself, but let’s face it, there is a 95% change you’re a dude if you’re reading this) it doesn’t really make a difference who he builds the tower with, whether the other poncho jellyfish is a PC-gamer, uses his phone while waiting at his doctor’s or is one of the two people who actually still use their PS Vita.
Design-wise the game is simple and convincing, the hitboxes match the displayed meshes perfectly, the colors are saturated and pretty. The poncho jellyfish – while being a bit weird – gives the games something unique to it, some crucial identity, while being very simple, you will recognise the shape and texture of it anywhere and will automatically think “Dreii”, which is the high art of design and branding.
The mechanics are as minimalistic as the design. Grab a shape, hoverit in place, let it fall. The challenge is to figure out how to actually stack the squares, circles and triangles to make it to make it to the glowing point that is each levels goal, with rather sparse communication options other players are like a coin toss, they will either be constructive, helpful and a pleasure to play with, or they will just suck and be annoying. You know, it’s basically a tinder date.
Sound is the crippled features in the game. Whenever you move your player (seriously, if that isn’t a poncho jellyfish, I don’t know what is) the game will blast uncoordinated notes that sound even less harmonic than Arnold Schönbergs twelve-tone technique. I would highly recommend muting the sound, you’re not missing anything.
The game is challenging and has a fascinating satisfaction curve. While in the beginning you are less satisfied with your purchase than an Inuit who just bought a refrigerator, the longer you play though, the bigger this feeling of deep satisfaction will grow, when you play through level after level, padding your back because you are oh so smart (and handsome, yes you are, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).
Dreii is a fascinating game that keeps what it promises. I would argue that most people will enjoy this game regardless of what genres they usually prefer (as long as they mute the obnoxious sound). The pricing is designed like you would expect it from a design company, you pay a lot just for the fact that it’s pretty, while I would argue that the game itself is not worth all the money they charge, but hey, it is actually really pretty. Here is what you do fellas: Put it on your wish list and as soon as you get the “An item on your wish list is on sale” then do not hesitate for a moment, get it shipped.
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