Dream Chronicles is a point and click hidden object/puzzle game for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Originally released on PC, the publishers decided to port it over to the console and ride the wave of success seen by other likeminded titles such as Sam & Max and Monkey Island. The thing that makes these games exciting is the well written stories, the character development and a bucket load of well placed humour. Unfortunately, Dream Chronicles has none of that.
In the game you play Faye, who awakes from a dream to find that her town has been put under a sleep spell by Lilith, the fairy queen of dreams. As the only person awake it is Faye’s job to find out why this has happened, and put everything right. During your quest you are aided by the voice/spirit of your husband, Fidget. He has been kidnapped by the fairy queen of dreams, but has left clues for you to uncover which will help you in your quest. Along the way you will find out more about Faye, Fidget and the other main characters, which provides a little backstory and helps fill in some gaps.
However, that is about all there is to the story. The rest of the game involves you moving from room to room, solving puzzles (many hidden object) in order to progress. Each room represents a chapter in the story, and as there are only eighteen rooms it won’t take you too long to make your way through the story. Some of the rooms do have multiple puzzles to solve, but it’s definitely light on content. The puzzles are also a bit of a problem.
Yes, I know puzzles aren’t meant to be easily solved, and some of the earlier puzzles are downright easy. But some of them are incredible nefarious! This results in you spending ages trying to solve a puzzle, with little or no direction offered by the game. To make things worse, the game doesn’t explain the controls that well. It wasn’t until the forth or fifth chapter that I found out you could move the camera to see more of the area! Another annoying thing is that the save function doesn’t seem to work properly.
After playing for about an hour or so, I decided to quit out of the game as I finished my current room. A little screen popped up and said that upon my return I would be brought back to the chapter I had left off at. However, when I started up the game next, it took me back to chapter one!! I wasn’t best pleased! There are no save options in the main menu, so you may just have to wing it. It could be that this is a little bug that requires patching, but in its current state I feel that you should be warned.
Visually the game looks average. There are no moving images, as you would expect from a hidden object game, but the artistic design is at least colourful. The story flows quite well from chapter to chapter, but gets dull rather quickly. This is a game that I would be unlikely to revisit, even though there are achievements for speed playing through the game.
There is also a multiplayer aspect to the game, but this is very basic. Essentially it’s the same game, but instead of one cursor on screen you have two, with the second one being controlled by your friend. However, some of the puzzles may be a little less frustrating with someone there to help.
If you are the sort of person who gets their kicks from hidden object/puzzle games, you may get a few hours enjoyment from Dream Chronicles. However, with a hefty price tag and with better games of this style out there, you may be better off looking elsewhere.
Review copy provided by publisher.