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25 Feb 2018

Review: YumeNikki Dream Diary

I've been looking forward to the release of YumeNikki Dream Diary and have covered each drip of information as it has come out. Not very much was known and they kept a lot under wraps. We now the game is out, and I have been playing it for a few days.

The game itself is a re-imagining of the original YumeNikki game. The first thing you will notice is that you really are not given much information. The controls are very minimal, left right up down, Jump, wake up, and interact, and that's it. You start off in pretty much pitch black, and have no instructions of what to do or where to go.

Now I had an issue when I started the game, everything was pitch black, I checked an online walkthrough and it was in daytime, so no idea what happened here. This occurs on another level, so I am assuming this is a bug in the game, or an issue with my graphics card, not sure.

Either way I managed to get myself back home in the game.

You find a red splat on the floor and then you wake up. After you get used to the slightly unusual controls you will eventually figure out to go back to sleep, when you do just that, you wake up on a balcony, find your way back into the bedroom, and when you exit the room, that is when you realise there are different levels that you can enter by going through various doors. And that is where the game really starts.

There are 6 dreamworlds to explore. Each one different, as you explore them you will find yourself quickly immersed into the game. I was reminded of couple of  classic Amiga games, Another World and Oddworld.

Now this game is hard, and sometimes I found it frustrating instead of challenging, which can be a problem. Sometimes it is so dark, that it becomes almost impossible to know what to do or where to go. The soundtrack is incredible, and there are moments that will make you jump. It's weird, it's unusual, it's strange, it's surreal.

The object of the game is to collect "Effects", you will see these as having the letter E by them, you interact with them and then you have collected them.

You cant "die" as such in this game, but you can find yourself in inescapable areas that mean the only escape is to wake up and start again.

Overall the game is interesting, and much like the original I suspect that it will soon become a cult classic. Perhaps mainstream gamers will never truly appreciate the game, but I suspect it will find a hardcore following very quick.

I give YumeNikki Dream Diary 7 out of 10.

Review by Jon Donnis


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