Dreamland would make for a terrible vacation, but it’s actually a great game
Welcome to Dreamland, the last amusement park you’d want to become stuck in. Luckily, what would make for the worst vacation is actually a pretty enjoyable game.
The story is different from other haunted amusement park stories. Dreamland begins when your brother, who disappeared two days ago, returns with a mysterious illness. The doctors have no idea how to help him and it looks like time is running out. You find a note in his pocket that tells you to come to abandoned amusement park if you want to save his life. Once you arrive you find yourself trapped by an evil dwarf, and if you don’t solve his riddles you and your brother will both sacrifice your souls.
Dreamland is predominately a hidden object and puzzle game. There are also inventory puzzles but the majority of your inventory will be made up of items you find in the hidden object scenes. There are numerous hidden object scenes in the game and you will be revisiting each scene several times. Many of the scenes are junk piles, but since you are searching through an abandoned amusement park this doesn’t seem so out of place. Items are well hidden but they aren’t overly difficult to find, although some of the smaller objects can cause frustration. Luckily there is a hint button that recharges over time.
In addition to searching through hidden object scenes you will be solving numerous puzzles as you try to save your brother. To gain access to new areas of the park you have to find gold tokens that you use to spin a giant wheel. The wheel will stop on a certain ride and you will need to solve a puzzle that is a variation on Match 3. Once you solve the puzzle you will receive a ticket to unlock the new area. You will play this puzzle numerous times but as the game progresses it will increase in difficulty. You will also need to solve other puzzles that are scattered all over the park. For the most part the puzzles are fairly easy, but there are a couple that are quite challenging and might have you reaching for the skip puzzle button.
While you are confined to the amusement park in Dreamland, the park is immense. You will be traveling back and forth between scenes repeatedly. Thankfully, the game has a wonderful map feature. If you have been to an area already you can quick travel to it by opening the map and clicking on the area you want to go to. The map will also show areas that have puzzles or hidden object scenes that need to be solved.
The hint button is also incredibly useful, especially outside of the hidden object scenes. If you are stuck and don’t know where to go you can click the hint button and it will not only show you the scene you need to visit but you will be able to click and fast travel to that spot. There are also a couple puzzles that you can click the hint button during and you will be shown the solution, allowing you to solve the puzzle without skipping it.
The graphics in Dreamland are well done and definitely create an atmosphere that is creepy and solitary. The music and sound effects help with this and do not overpower the scenes. The game features voice acting but, other than the evil dwarf who pops up from time to time, you are alone in the park so there isn’t a lot of dialogue.
In addition to the game itself you can find 20 hidden starfishes and your brothers 17 lost marbles. If you find them all you will receive an achievement award. There are several other achievements that you can earn as well.
All in all Dreamland is a solid hidden object/puzzle game with adventure elements and I would recommend giving it a try.