Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting down and relaxing with a good puzzle game and there are plenty of good ones already available on the Xbox Live Marketplace and Playstation Network, so has Katgames’ Dream Chronicles got what it takes to challenge the likes of Monkey Island?
You begin the game in the bedroom of the lead character, Faye, as she awakes from a deep sleep. Upon waking, she finds the door has been frozen shut and there is no sign of her family, which leads her to believe she is still dreaming. So to find out what is going on she starts snooping around the room for a way to break the ice on the door. As you progress through the story you begin to find out just what is going on, but as this is the first game in a trilogy you are left a little unsatisfied once you reach the end of your journey.
The first thing you will probably notice is just how out-dated the graphics are in Dream Chronicles. Being a fairly new game, with the first release being on the PC in 2007, you would think they could have done a bit more with the environments and the animations when you solve puzzles, such as melting the ice on the door in the first level. With other games in this genre receiving fantastic HD facelifts, it’s a shame Dream Chronicles, although being a newer title, looks far worse. Still on the topic of graphics, with the main aim of the game being to gather objects in each of the locations you are sent to, it’s not very difficult to find the items you need because most of them stand out like a sore thumb and take away the fun of having to search for them.
When searching for objects, the cursor moves quite smoothly around the screen and I didn’t come across any errors that prevented me from completing any of the puzzles. Aside from the main story, there are various jewels and gems to collect for a few achievements, but you will find most of these on your first play through, and with the game only having a lifespan of around an hour, it’s not like it will take very long to finish collecting these. If you feel lonely, you can bring in a friend for local multiplayer but this doesn’t make the game any more fun.
Searching areas, putting items together and solving the simplistic puzzles is about all you do in Dream Chronicles and this is made even duller by all the text on screen. There are no voice overs in Dream Chronicles and very few sound effects feature in the game apart from the satisfying click from solving a puzzle. The ambient music will keep you somewhat relaxed but it is very repetitive, and after a while it will just make you want to rush through each location to start hearing a fresh sound.
Sadly Dream Chronicles fails to deliver for me. With a poor story, out-dated graphics and no real depth to the puzzles and with so many great titles in the genre already available for the same price, I would suggest you steer clear of this one. Spend those 800 MSP on something that isn’t going to entertain you in a single lunch break.