After Dreams leveled out and allowed its hype train to lose a few carriages, it sort of became just another toolkit in which ambitious creators could use to build virtual worlds and sharpen a few skills. Only now, with an abundance of fan-made games loaded in the archive and only a fraction of invested players, it’s sort of transpired into a one-sided sort of gig. Fast-forward to present day and you’re left with a litter of great games and only a few drones scavenging for gems. Sort of like Wall-E — only with a few more flowers than cubes of waste. Something like that.
Anyway, that sort of had me thinking for a while — mainly about Dreams and all of its undiscovered worlds. The fact is, there are more than just a few flowers that blossom among the dirt. There’s actually plenty, should you dig deep enough, of course. Just take these five, as a few examples of what’s buried beneath the mound. The rest, well — we’ll just leave those for you to shovel out for yourself.
5. Heavenly Castle
It takes a lot to build a majestic world — even more so with only the tools that Dreams serve you. But this creator, on the other hand, was able to build such a thing and still make it look like a full-fledged standalone walking simulator. Of course, the idea is simple and somewhat restricted. But then, it’s really the snow-glazed settting that compels you to push on and unravel its lore.
Heavenly Castle puts you at the base of an enchanting peak, bound for a whimsical castle that rests at the apex of its snowy stilts. With a piece of history shrouding every nook and cranny, you’re able to uncover its secrets and piece together a timeline of your own making. Along the way, of course, you’ll uncover a series of intriguing wards, historical landmarks, and even a few daunting dungeons. All in all, it’s a trip you’ll want to take several times before moving on to the next.
4. Dreamers Holiday Village
Seeing as we’re just about ready to gear up for the festive season, it seems only right that we bring this one back into the limelight. Dreamers Holiday Village, through a collaborative effort, is the ultimate gingerbread-loving little homestead that bleeds sugarcane and popping candy. And what’s more is that it even continues to evolve today, with more creators stepping up to contribute towards its magical setting.
Dreams Holiday Village is many things. It’s beautiful, for one. But it’s also jam-packed full of little nuggets of festive joy that urge to be gawped at. Luckily for you, a staircase just so happens to spiral around one of the biggest Christmas trees you’ll ever see — and each bauble is merrily designed by a devoted creator with a passion for all things wintry.
3. The Pilgrim
We won’t pretend that Dreams isn’t already overpopulated with charming little platformers. If anything, they actually make up for half of the games in the library. But The Pilgrim, however, is something worth keeping track of — if only for the smooth combination of violet textures and vigorous score.
The Pilgrim will have you traversing a series of hand-crafted levels that each boast a beautifully coated art style and accompanying soundtrack. Although not posing as a major challenge in the slightest, the game itself still effortlessly nails the ambience of its created environment. It’s a spool of walkabouts, all of which amount to a genuinely mesmerising little journey. All you need to do is start walking, and the story will basically tell itself.
2. Left to Rot
Considering the number of features Dreams boasts on its expansive catalogue, you’d have honestly thought that there would be a few more noteworthy survival horror games on the market. Perhaps it’s just me, but in my eyes, nothing has managed to dethrone Denjo82’s Left to Rot entry since last year. But then, that isn’t exactly a bad thing.
Colliding two worlds together, with one being on the same axis as Resident Evil and the other being more Alien: Isolation, Left to Rot gives out a bone-shattering snippet of horror in which you play the doomed protagonist, desperate for an escape from an underground prison where monsters and deranged inmates stalk your every shudder. The goal: survive at all costs. How that’s done is completely up to you.
1. Fallout 4: Dreams Edition
Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room for a second. Fallout 4. Just, why? Why on earth would Bethesda allow for such a phenomenal series to take such a sharp turn for the worse with the fourth instalment which, if anything, had more bugs than redeeming role-playing elements?
Anyway, negativity surrounding the original game set aside — a team of Dreamers did actually go on to rebuild a Pip Boy-sized version of Fallout 4, effectively patching up what Bethesda tore apart way back when. And, believe it or not, some players have even praised the Dreams Edition for being in a league of its own, well beyond Fallout 4‘s limitations. A bold statement, sure — but it is worth taking a look at — if only to compare the two for yourself.