Build and polish dreams to help folks of all kinds improve their situation in the free prologue for Dream Catcher.
Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 25 minutes
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Dream Catcher: Prologue is a free introduction to the currently-in-development game Dream Catcher by CM Games. The game focuses on dreamers of various ages facing problems in their lives. From children being bullied at school, to older adults feeling lonely and isolated. By completing ‘dream clues’ to send them, players can improve their outlook and motivate them to improve their situation.
To complete dream clues players are presented with 3D shapes that have been split apart. These can be recombined by rotating the camera so that they align again. As the camera aligns, the pieces will snap together and become joined. In some cases, pieces may need to be rotated before they can be snapped together. Such pieces will glow until they have been rotated properly and snapped into place.
In addition to assembling shapes, some need to be cleaned off or painted. Cleaning pieces is pretty straightforward and requires burning away muck covering the shape. Painting is more freeform. The paint palette is 6 colors, half with texture and half without. The dream can be painted any way the player desires, but every section must be filled in. After the painting is done, an artist stamp is placed anywhere on the piece to complete it.
With each completed level, the player learns about the outcome for the dreamer and grows the dream web, allowing them to access new levels and new dreamers. When the web is completed, the center opens, allowing the player to address a larger shared dream affecting a community. Completing this dream requires using all the skills previously presented: cleaning, recombining, and painting. Once done, the player reads the result on the core of the community and completes the prologue.
Overall, I found the Dream Catcher prologue to be a casual and relaxing experience. The gameplay is simple and the visuals are pleasing. For the final game, however, the are some changes I hope to see. I’d like to see the gameplay become more complex as it’s very simple in the prologue. I’d also like to see an expanded color palette for painting (I really like the black/gold/silver of the original pieces for instance) and a bit more progression in some of the dreamer’s stories. I recommend Dream Catcher: Prologue to players interested in the finished game and/or a casual puzzle and story experience, particularly if they want to get involved in development.