Weird Dreams is a very original surrealistic action/puzzle hybrid that is frustratingly difficult. The premise is strange but simple: you are a hospital patient, being put to sleep during a surgery. You then start having strange, menacing dreams that threaten your real-life alter ego, with each new screen weirder than the last... |
A description of the first few scenes may help illustrate just how weird this game is. You're first shrunk to a tiny size and trapped in a giant candy-floss machine. As the mixing stick (or whatever) comes around, you have to hop on and hopefully get lifted out. You then run, in pyjamas of course, through a fairground with a giant bee chasing you across to the hall of mirrors. The mirror you pick determines which level of the game you play next. Do you go to the desert where you can grasp flying fish from the air to hit the living stone statues with, or do you go to the rose-garden to try and slip past the man-eating roses? And if you aren't quick, the lawnmower will get you!
This game is definitely a love-or-hate affair. Personally, I love it. There are lots of features, weird backgrounds, and gameplay surprises that keep the game interesting throughout. The only criticism I have is that the game requires such a high level of precision and dexterity that it's very frustrating in places. The jump to the candy-stick, for example, has to be extremely precise to the fraction of a second. Be prepared to get stressed – VERY stressed. The unusual and gripping premise should be enough for everyone to grit his/her teeth and move on, though.
Overall, Weird Dreams is truly weird, but very original and atmospheric. It's certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but if you like surrealistic games and can stomach some gratuitous gore, it's definitely well worth a look. Thumbs up from me!
Note: There's a link below to the excellent novella by Rupert Goodwins that came with the game. Check it out!
Reviewed by: Underdogs