Dreamals is a puzzle game, created by XINESS. You take on the role of three animals, and they can all only move in one direction. By combining the three movements these animals can do, you complete the puzzles on the screen, with quite a few of them taking some in-depth thought. The raccoon is only able to move left, the goat – right, and the parrot – up. If the animals touch, they form a new animal that moves in a different way too. Dreamals’ take on making a unique puzzle game has made the aesthetic look as though XINESS are trying to appeal to children with this title, but looks can be deceiving and this game is one that falls under that umbrella. This is definitely a game that would appeal to adults too.
The aim of the game is to find keys to advance through the levels. The three animals you are playing as have had a tiff and have been summoned to a dream world, where they must find the keys to return home. They, ergo you, are launched in to an adventure with the bare remnants of a story line. However, the lack of story line does not affect the game; I do not think any one has ever downloaded this indie expecting an in-depth story. The puzzles are the main and only draw, everything else just makes the experience more enjoyable.
The game has a certain charm. Perhaps it is the combination of the colour scheme, the soundtrack and the cute characters that make the game ooze charm, but when these are combined, it is not difficult to see why this game looks as though its audience is children. Even the levels are aesthetically pleasing, keeping your eyes happy while you scan the level for the path to success. To keep things interesting, the levels have different interactions, like warp portals and jump pads, whilst also throwing in things you have to avoid, like spikes and pits.
I will readily state that once you have played the game through, you do not feel the need to play through it a second time. There is nothing to bring you back for another round, but I feel as though this game is still worth the money by having such a unique spin on the puzzle genre. The game includes 80 stages with four different themes, whilst also including 16 stars for you to collect as you play through. Once you have retrieved the collectibles and finished the puzzles, that is basically it in terms of gameplay. You could always keep it in your library and come back to it again a year or two later, when you feel like you have forgotten the solutions, but if you have to make space on the WiiU, I have no doubt that this would be one of the games you would delete.
The way the backgrounds and the levels look reminds me of Mario. But, the way the levels are laid out to engage the three animals and have them merge to create a new one, is a welcome new venture in the puzzle genre. Dreamals and ‘unique’ go hand in hand. A hidden gem in the genre, this game is one worth having if you are looking for a fun (sometimes frustrating) game, which you can share with others. A multiplayer where you have to see who can complete the puzzles faster would have been a welcome addition, in my opinion, just to make the game replayable, but I still think this is a game you should have in your library.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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