Jun 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:14 AM, Jun 22, 2017
Published in Adventure
Read 1167 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

I had no little expectations when I first started playing Dreambreak.

The screenshots looked interesting and I’m a sucker for point and click based titles, especially ones that seem to have new takes on the genre, so I just had to try it out.

What I got was a pleasant little surprise of a gem.

Dreambreak was developed by Aist and published by Beatshapers and Digerati Distribution. The premise takes place in an alternative post-Cold War USSR in 2013, where you play as an espionage agent fighting against the government.

What first drew me into Dreambreak were its graphics. For an indie title, the presentation is absolutely stunning. The graphics are clear and crisp, and there’s plenty of detail put into each character sprite, building, and background.

Surprisingly, the color palette is quite varied. Although there are many shades of brown, gray, and other darker colors (this is a dystopian future after all), other brighter colors, like yellow, red, and blue are utilized. This helps each screen pop and become easily recognizable. So many dystopian type games use only dark colors, which may look bleak but are visually a bore to look at. The combination of colors in Dreambreak actually helps make the city look dark. Some areas are darker and more dilapidated than others (mostly due to the color schemes) which shows how some parts of the city are doing better than others, as you would expect in a totalitarian state.

The soundtrack is also utilized to its fullest potential. There are many different tracks to listen to and collect throughout Dreambreak. They all sound different, but still have a common techno sound to them. The music helps establish the bleak atmosphere of the city and allows the player to get connected even more with the protagonist and story. Being able to play each song once collected is a great feature.

Although the graphics and soundtrack are superb, Dreambreak’s gameplay is somewhat misleading.

While, yes, this is technically a point and click adventure, it didn’t feel like it. Most titles in the genre involve puzzles to solve by using items you have collected, but Dreambreak seems to split the two up. You solve puzzles and collect items, but they don’t intertwine. This is unfortunate because this makes item collecting almost no fun. There is no trial and error to experiment with things to see what item works where. Every item you find is immediately used on the same screen, making it seem rather pointless. The puzzles, while somewhat varied, feel much more in line with a platformer than a point and click. I felt like I had to run and jump over more obstacles than solve them mentally. The actual puzzles are ridiculously simple, ranging from activating switches to a plumbing puzzle (similar to Bioshock’s hacking puzzle without a time limit). I wouldn’t say the puzzles are “boring” since there’s enough variety to keep the gameplay from getting tedious, but it does beg the question why items aren’t used for solving any puzzles. There is also a basic shooting mechanic in some locations in the game. This is nothing more than clicking one way to shoot and one way to guard, but this aspect does help keep gameplay interesting and diverse.

Though the gameplay is flawed, the controls are what hinder Dreambreak. Since there is much more side-scrolling than puzzle solving, it’s difficult to time jump at the proper time. I died countless times on a single screen because I couldn’t outrun a laser. You can use your mouse or arrow keys to play, but I found myself using the arrow keys much more often because it felt more natural for side-scrolling, and continuously clicking the mouse to make your character move becomes monotonous rather quickly. Sometimes your character doesn’t respond to where you click either, which makes things frustrating, and forced me to exit the game then reload it. It didn’t take too long to get used to the clunkiness of the controls, but they are noticeable.

7

The Verdict

What’s most unfortunate to me though is the length of Dreambreak, lasting only 2 hours or so. I wished the game were longer so that I could experience more of this dystopian city and its people. There are two endings to discover, but there isn’t anything else to explore or do after a single playthrough. Collecting the individual tracks of music can be done as you play; no disc is in a hard to reach location or requires a certain item. Dreambreak’s controls and gameplay may be faulty, but the beautiful graphics and music make it worth your time.

Matthew White

Matthew is originally from Savannah, Georgia and currently studying Theatre and Performance Studies. Besides playing video games, Matthew also enjoys acting, writing, and reading Spiderman comics. His favorite games are RPGs, especially The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, and aspires to perform in film or television.

Related items

  • Cladun Returns: This Is Sengoku! Review

    Cladun Returns This is Sengoku achieves what it sets out to be with an apparent abundance of effort on the part of the developers. However, Cladun is not for everyone, and probably not even for most people. It’s intensely focused on customization, attention to detail, and a formidable obsession with stats. In the process, it sacrifices story and the option for casual gameplay; those not familiar with heavy RPG play, might want to think twice before plunging into Cladun.

  • Gambitious to Publish Milanoir, Italo Games’ 1970s Crime Film Action Game

    Gambitious Digital Entertainment has announced it will publish independent developer Italo Games’ Milanoir, a pixel-packed action game inspired by the masterpiece Italian crime movies of the 1970s. The title is expected to launch later this year on Windows PC.

  • Domina Review

    Domina frustrated me beyond belief, but in the best way. I thought I had planned a match out to perfection, got slaughtered, but loved every minute of it. I only wish there was more to the game, as restarting again at square one became a little tedious after a while. Despite that, I will still revisit it time and again for a quick fix of blood and profanity.

More in this category: D.N.Age Review »

Latest Shows

Empathy: Path of…

Empathy: Path of Whispers is an atmospheric and story-driven adventure game where you explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once i...

Mass Effect: And…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers what is to many the most anticipated PC release of the year: Mass ...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Pyre

A New World From the Creators of Bastion and Transistor, Pyre is a party-based RPG in which you lead...

Danganronpa Anot…

Komaru Naegi has been imprisoned inside a mysterious apartment for over a year. Her rescue is derail...

The Golf Club 2

Rise to fame and fortune in the largest, most dynamic golf game ever created. Assemble and join onli...

Regalia: Of Men …

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs wins time and again with unexpected surprises, character development, and fresh plot. With a sharp, sarcastic tone like Shrek, and a generally disinter...

Vanquish Review

Vanquish delivers on action and unique gameplay. Although its missions can feel repetitive, it remains exciting due to its easy-to-master movement system and it’s addictively fun s...

Cladun Returns: …

Cladun Returns This is Sengoku achieves what it sets out to be with an apparent abundance of effort on the part of the developers. However, Cladun is not for everyone, and probably...

Wonder Boy: The …

After nearly three decades since the original release comes Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, a worthy remake. Developer Lizardcube created an engaging universe, partly thanks to beau...