The solitary quote on the Dream Revenant App Store listing comes from Kotaku, with the reviewer revealing that he played the game “on a whim” and 90 minutes later found himself crying. Oh, you big wuss.
It mightn’t reduce you to tears, but Dream Revenant is an undeniably emotive experience – surprising for a game that initially appears to be a simple, eye-friendly tech demo.
Dream Revenant tells the story of cartoonist Carson Hughes, who sets about unravelling a 40 year-old mystery from his deathbed. As you do.
Adopting the Unreal Engine, Dream Revenant invites you to wander around Carson’s subconscious, tying together various threads. What does Caron’s childhood sweetheart, Willa, have to do with the death – the apparent suicide – of his father?
There are several locations to visit in the 4-acre open world, indoor and out, including Carson’s childhood home, the fairground where he confessed his love for Willa, a train station, and the kids’ treehouse mansion.
In gameplay terms, you’re essentially looking for the object that unlocks the next location – the key, the coin, the hammer, the crowbar – before hitting up the graveyard and solving things once and for all. Imagine a simpler, free roaming version of The Room and you’re in the right ballpark.
While Dream Revenant looks fantastic, easily one of the sexiest games on the App Store, there’s a colossal elephant in the room: the game is buggy as all hell.
You can frequently expect to get stuck in scenery, or worse still find yourself underneath the game world, before inevitably falling – very slowly – into a seemingly infinite abyss.
At that stage your only option is to close Dream Revenant and start over from Carson’s deathbed, but considering you can get pretty much anywhere within a couple of minutes, it’s not that bad, and the bugginess almost complements the surreal tone. True story.
Completing Dream Revenant unlocks a couple of extras, specifically a weather option (storm or twilight) to spice up your second playthrough, alongside an intriguing mode that invites you to hunt down 40 violins.
Random things I’ve completely forgotten to compliment include the soundtrack (cheers, Isaias Garcia), and the comic strips, which serve to fill in the story and provide hints about item locations.
On the whole, Dream Revenant is absolutely worth checking out. The bugginess being forgivable – rather than a fatal flaw – is obviously a good sign, and indeed I dove straight into trying to find those 40 violins when I was finished with the main story.
- Looks great
- Intriguing story
- The soundtrack
- Getting stuck on scenery
- Falling beneath the game world
- Having to force close the app
Summary: When a game that’s buggy as all hell somehow remains thoroughly endearing, well, you’re onto a winner. Dream Revenant is a memorable experience, and one your eyes will thank you for.
Price: £1.49 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.