Have you ever wondered what it would be like to try and build a block tower while someone plays with a rattle filled with Lego? Well this is it. Dreii is a physics based puzzle game from the people at Etter Studio. A fun puzzle game that will test your ability to think fast and you are rewarded with a fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.
Right off the bat you will notice the lack of vocal or written instructions so you spend the first level thinking for yourself trying to piece together what you need to do, it’s a nice change from the ‘go here’ ‘press this’ tutorials of many games. It allows you as a person to work at your own pace allowing you to get comfortable with the game while simultaneously giving you a sense of achievement for even the smallest of discoveries. The controls are about as simple as they can be, you move with the analogue stick or the D-pad and you tell your character (a colourful geometric shape) where to go using X, and that is all there is to it.
The game starts simple and slowly increases in difficulty by adding different shapes and obstacles that you have to consider when trying to reach your goal. This was a smart way of gradually increasing the learning curve without making it impossible. There is also an inclusion of some weather based tasks that add a neat little curve ball to the gameplay, I’m talking about the addition of wind in some challenges, the wind has the ability to destroy your hard work forcing you to race to complete the challenge before the next gust puts you back on square one all over again.
The sound effects for this game are a blast from your past, as you move yourself through the level you can hear all the sounds from your childhood. By this I mean the Lego block being thrown about, the bashing of blocks and those faux glockenspiels that every grandparent seemed to get as a gift for the youngest addition of the family. It’s this friendly nostalgia that keeps you calm as you accidentally knock your carefully constructed tower over. Another aid to keeping the gamer rage at bay is a calming sea backing track that never fails to settle you down before you attempt your next foray into the world of balancing circles on squares. These sounds though have one down side after an extended period of play they can be as annoying as seeing your last attempt at reaching your goal fall flat. But that can all be rectified by turning the volume down.
The game offers you different pathways to choose, as you complete levels you connect the dots and you move on to the next level that needs completion and at times you arrive at a fork in the path and you have to choose which puzzle you want to attempt next, but at any time you want, you are able to come back and attempt the path that you neglected previously.
The graphics are simplistic and that’s all this game needs, with all the gaming worlds bursting with colour for you to explore and play in, this is a welcome step back to simpler times and it works well. You have control of a coloured geometric shape which you use to collect the shapes and move them to where you need them. There is a little red dot that indicates where you are positioned in relation to everything else. The objects have different colour references for example immovable objects are in black and movable objects are in white and when you hover over them they become a pale pink before coming a vibrant pink after you pick them up. Each different character has its own colours and this is first seen when you have some help from another geometric shape as you work together to complete certain puzzles, in some cases you will need 2 people to solve a puzzle but the help will always be provided by an AI character.
For anyone who like puzzles you have to play Dreii, it’s a fun game that the entire family can enjoy, it may take a little explaining to younger players but once they get the hang of it there will be no stopping them, as an adult that maybe wants a break from the big bold worlds of AAA titles or if you are looking for something relaxing to play then Dreii is perfect.
One of the down sides is the sound but that is it, the game play and the enjoyment that you receive from this physics based puzzler is great, it will keep you occupied for long periods of time. Another thing that I should mention is that the controls can be a bit fiddly at times when you only want to move your object a tiny bit but that is both good and bad because it allows you to be precise but it may leaving you wanting a perfectly aligned structure when really it’s not needed and that could mean the difference between completing the puzzle or watching your masterpiece of block tower engineering come crashing down.
Overall a great game. Worth playing by gamers of all ages and gamers with different interests, the game play is fun and enjoyable, it tests you on a level most games will not. It doesn’t overcomplicate anything and in this case simple is best.
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