Open-world games should be seen as a massive treat for our imaginations. Many gamers love the sense of freedom, the ability to discover every corner of a map without a game telling them where to go or what to do. In fact, many of those games put you in a place without any goals or purpose, leaving you to “Just have fun”.
But in the family-friendly DREAMERS you have a sense of an open world, even though the game gently guides you through a story. And that story focuses on not just one hero to follow, but three protagonists, all happy for us to explore this colourful world with them. Let us dream.
DREAMERS starts on an island. A young man is found in a small house on a cliff, playing a game when a broken drone comes with a package. He has to get off the island to get to the city and find the post office. But first, he needs to find some chicks, then build a fishing rod, and then repair a boat, and then get some kerosene. Cut to the city and we now follow a postal worker delivering packages, utilising drones. The machine breaks down, so she has to get permission to check the water pumping system, which requires a key, which needs some favours. And then it’s onward and upwards.
The world and the characters you meet along the way in this colourful world that the developers have built are super interesting; it’s always intriguing to kick back, to meet and interact in order to learn their stories. DREAMERS has a very family-friendly feel to the world and the developers have committed to create a non-violent emphasis on the gameplay, something which is refreshing. There are narrative intros that pop up throughout, delivering the only voice-over in a calm storytelling way. It’s good writing though, done with humour and charm.
The gameplay takes place in the third person as you walk around the world, taking in main story missions and lots of side quests and activities. Exploration is extremely key to what is going on. It all plays fine too, but for some reason, there isn’t a jump button; that can get annoying as you just want to get to an area that would be an easy skip away, but you have to walk all the way around. The maps are open world too, but at times can be quite finicky to navigate, with strange barriers locking out certain areas.
My only other moan with DREAMERS is that of the location tracker – it sometimes stays in place even once you have been there and done it. This can be annoying when you’re working through multiple fetch quest missions.
But on the positive side, there is lots to like about DREAMERS. It’s a game that will allow you the chance to take in a great adventure, some brilliant puzzling and a smattering of little mini-games like fishing or working with postal drones. They can get quite addictive. There is plenty enough to get involved in here, and DREAMERS is something that should suit the whole family. There’s not too much that is challenging, aside from the niggles mentioned.
There is a nice lo-fi visual quality to it too. Think RiME and you’re not far off. The lighting and colours are great and it has some nice details in the architecture of the diverse areas you discover. The soundtrack comes complete with a pleasant dreamy quality as well, supporting you merrily as you wander around the locations. The effects are fine but I can’t help think that some fully voiced characters would have been great.
You should have a lot of fun with DREAMERS, however I can’t help but think the price is too high for what is on offer. Apart from some niggles, DREAMERS is a good family-friendly open-world adventure that will – mostly – soar the spirit and put a smile on the face.