The first time I played Dream was at the BAFTA Inside Games 2014, where I also had the chance to try Monument Valley. After more than one year, Dream has finally been released and it has really exceed my expectations. Made by a very small team, it has a graphics and a level of content which is comparable to many high-profile games. Dream brings you inside the dream of a man, allowing the player to explore a variety of bizarre and diverse environments. Physics and Logic don’t always make sense in dreams, and HyperSloth is building clever mechanics out of this. Dream has been released this week; even if you’re not into puzzles, its dreamy and relaxing locations make it one of the perfect exploration games so far. And if that’s not enough, Dream features some of the best music you can hear in a game.
If you like your pixels big, Darkside Detective is the game for you. Developed by the incredibly talented Paul Conway, is a dark (yet charming) point and click adventure. By cleverly mixing pixelated characters, fake shadows and soft lights, it manages to create a very modern atmosphere which still blinks at the best retro games. To make this game even better, Ben Prunty is working on its music; yes, THAT Ben Prunty who composed the OST for FTL. The game also features some guest writing from Brenda Romero. Compared to how traditional games are released, Darkside Detective will come out in seasons, much like a TV series. The first one, “Deadbeats in Downtown“, is planned for later this year and it will feature five different cases.
Some games are not about puzzles or mechanics: they’re about emotions. This is surely the case of Fragments of Him, which explores how the loss of a loved person affects the life of four different characters. Since when I saw its first trailer, I’ve been very excited about this game. It’s interesting, for once, to play a game which has something to say. Even more interesting is the choice of SassyBot Studio to feature a relationship between two men. In a gaming culture where women are still under-represented, LGBT characters are even rarer. During Develop:Brighton I had the chance to talk with Mata Haggis (lead designer) and Elwin Verploegen (lead programmer) about this aspect of the game. Fragments of Him is a game featuring a relationship, which happens to be between two men. As Mata told me, is “a game about love, made with love“.