Dreams’ full release is upon us, unleashing a vast realm of possibility for PlayStation 4 owners to explore at their leisure. You’ll almost certainly start off with Media Molecule’s own story, Art’s Dream, and it’s a fantastically well crafted experience… while it lasts. Soon enough – actually, a bit too soon if we’re being honest – you’ll be hunting for new experiences to tuck into.
Head into the DreamSurfing section and you’ll find plenty of creations to skim through, with a number of YouTube-esque playlists collecting some of the best things to come out of its stint in Early Access.
We can do that kind of thing too though, and have brought together a selection of things that you might want to try. If they tickle your fancy, click on the titles to head to their indreams.me page, where you can sign into your PSN account and queue them up for the next time you hop into the game.
The Complete Games
You can’t really miss Pip Gemwalker, as one of the first highlighted games on the DreamSurfing homepage. This Captain Toad-esque puzzler has you scuttling around blocky world hunting for gems to open up the exit and move on to the next level.
A short island-hopping adventure with some light platforming and puzzles to enjoy while you soak in the scenery and the gorgeous visual style.
Published on the eve of the full game’s launch, The Pilgrim is a surprisingly ambitious genre-hopping platform adventure. You’re a wizard (Harry) travelling into mysterious depths, at times platforming in 2D, other times in 3D, sometimes you’re battling spider and wasp enemies as a top-down twin-stick shooter, other times you’re solving simple puzzles. It covers a lot of ground in a short space of time, with each of its ten chapters having a different theme and gameplay twist.
Like smashing things? The Ruckus is the mini-game you’re after. You’re a Kaiju wreaking havoc on a coastal city that’s defenceless before your giant lizard might. You’ve got a few moves beyond just slapping buildings around, including a spinning jump attack and the ability to charge up and unleash an almighty beam of energy, Godzilla style.
Bonus points for the cut away news reports on the carnage you’re creating, leading up to one explosive finale.
This cargo ain’t going to sort itself! As boxes of various different goods are sent down to conveyor belts, it’s up to you to sort them using an overhead grabber, shuffling them into blocks of four that can then be scooped up in boxes and shipped on to their destination.
With bags of visual style and some simple block-dropping puzzle gameplay, this easily one of the day one highlights that’s been published for the game’s launch.
Can Dreams pull of a co-op fantasy action RPG? If Heroes of Aldenor is anything to go by, yes it can! This tech demo has three character classes and a small are to battle basic enemies in, whether that’s going in with sword and shield or wielding magic abilities. This is a real sign of what Dreams can actually manage to do, now that creators are really starting to get to grips with its potential.
This homage to WipEout is still very much a proof of concept, but it really captures the vibe of the classic PlayStation anti-grav racer. You can pick from two race craft and take on a time trial through a futurstic industrial race track with plenty of tight corners, gravity defying ramps, and more. Just as in WipEout, you’ve got boost pad to aim for, and there’s air brakes to help get you round corners, while clattering into the walls a few too many times will see you get reset.
As close as it is, the uncanny valley effect definitely comes in, as the physics just don’t feel like WipEout, the handling too rigid and too easy to bin into a wall. It’s still a hugely impressive accomplishment, regardless.
Web Swing Sim, Web Swing Sim, does whatever a Spider-Man can. Kind of.
Dreams isn’t really up to the task of recreating a full on New York City, and getting Spider-Man to swing and look just like he does in the films and comics is something that numerous game developers have failed to get right. Even just being able to rig a character (Spider-Gwen in this simulator) to shoot webs at buildings, swing from them and do a couple of Spidey moves as seen in the latest Insomniac created iteration.
Works of Art
One of Van Gogh’s most famous and enduring works of art, Starry Night wasn’t just recreated in Dreams, it was brought to life. A little sip of absinthe by the window won’t send you off to a peaceful slumber here – absinthe is evil, so why would it? – but instead
The food genre in Dreams is very real, thanks in no small part to the simply gorgeous realistically rendered Full Beech Breakfast created by Media Molecule Senior Principle Design John Beech. Name the Cheese! goes in a slightly different direction. Sure, it’s still got the whole ‘still life’ and realistic look to it, but it’s also going to test your knowledge of the many, many cheeses out there. Can you pin the right name card into the right cheese?
I remember having great fun messing around with the iTunes visualiser, back in the day, and Kaleidothing has the same feel to it. Various buttons on the controller do different things, changing the shape, the speed, the pattern and colours of what is spawned from the centre of the screen. It’s nice and hypnotic as it spirals out toward you.
Looking like something out of a PSP advert, oli.exe has a great visual style to it that really shows what music videos can be like in Dreams.
That’s all for this first spotlight of ours, but let us know what dreams and creations you’ve been finding in your early forays into the Dreamiverse. Or maybe you’ve made something that you’d like to share? Pop a link in the comments below and we’ll check it out!