Preview: Into a Dream by Filipe F. Thomaz
With Into a Dream you are immersed in a game that is in some way reminiscent of Limbo and Inside. When it comes to platforming, the game does have some similarities in the way you solve puzzles. Yet it is not fair to compare the game with much more thrilling kind of games. You’re not on the run for monsters in Into a Dream. On the contrary. Until now it was a game to get zen about.
Will this game convince me?
In this relaxing Steam game, you get all the time to slowly walk through a simple platformer. The platform elements are submissive. Although you lift some boxes, swing on ropes, and lure a dog out from under a rock, all these platform elements are secondary. Into a Dream is more about the story that slowly becomes clear. Luckily, because as a platformer the game does not convince. Jumping and swinging on ropes really feel too rough for that and even can get a little bit frustrating at some points.
The game relies mainly on its dreamy effect. This happens with effects as well as with the atmosphere that is built up by both the graphics and background sounds. In this videogame, you have become part of a dream and you have to talk to people who live in that dream. That way you learn more about the game world. Although the game demo still gave too little about the story, I must say that it made me curious.
Will the story meet expectations?
The game promises a story about Luke Williams who is diagnosed with depression. Your character wakes up in a mysterious place full of memories of Luke Williams. Soon you are told that your mind is linked to the dreams of that depressed Luke. The story is about you trying to prevent Luke from fading away. Therefore you will meet his family and friends and learn more about the depression Luke Williams is suffering from. This sounds like a story that can touch you emotionally. For now, this was not the case.
I felt completely relaxed by the way the story of this indie game unfolds. This feels like a game where you can lean back, occasionally solve some platform elements, and then get some pieces of the story. Still, I didn’t get that emotionally involved yet with the game as I thought I would be. It felt like the Steam page advertised a much more emotional story than the demo could tease within 45 minutes of gameplay.
Into a Dreams voice acting
It is not fair to have a full opinion on the story now. That is only possible if I have really gone through the whole story from start to finish. For now, I just have to hope that the rest of the story is more emotional. This really sounds like a game that could become a heartbreaking narrative, but I am not convinced yet. Given that there is so much work in the atmosphere and music, I am confident that my opinion can change after playing the full game. Probably the demo just picked the wrong moments.
I hope the full story will at least be better than the full character voice over. I am not convinced that the people who voiced the characters, but all of their passion into making the characters believable. In the current state, I personally don’t find it adds much to the game other than an uncomfortable feeling. Especially Luke feels like someone without any acting experience is reading a script aloud. This may also be because the characters and dialogues are very flat so far and therefore it is hard to act credibly.
Would I buy Into a Dream?
At the moment Into a Dream is well developed in terms of atmosphere. The beautiful music, the concept of the alternating story with little puzzles every now and then, and the dreamlike atmosphere all come together. Yet Into The Dream wouldn’t be a game I would spend money on just playing the demo at this point. I see elements that work out well, but I also see enough room for improvement before this game can enter the market. In the end, mainly the story, dialogue, and voice acting will have to be drastically examined. I see potential. I like games that tell a story. But it still has to be done well.
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