(There will be no images in this review, I don’t want to spoil the fun)
I have taken a keen interest on Japanese games either for being unique or seeing what us westerners weren’t meant to see, this game is unsurprisingly one of those that no westerner was ever meant to see, those brave enough to go into this experience are rewarded with the knowledge that dreams can be scary, but seeing other people’s dream can be even more so, this is known as LSD Dream Emulator (short for Lovely Sweet Dream), developed by OutSide Directors Company and published by Asmik Ace Entertainment.
The game is a surreal exploration game in first person in which you walk around in a dream world…and that’s it really, but here’s the thing though, everything you see is actually based on actual dreams. Hiroko Nishikawa, a staff member of Asmik Ace Entertainment wrote a journal of what she saw in her dreams, she had been doing it for a decade and released the journal in three ways, a music CD, the journal itself to read which was sold in limited quantities and the game.
I wish I could talk to her to see why her dreams are bizarre beyond belief, yes, this is a very creepy game. The game starts in a Japanese house, you can look around the house, should you touch the wall you teleport to another environment and this is where the game gets weird very quickly, you will walk in normal environments at first but you hear strange noises, touching objects will result in a more surreal dream, you’ll see stranger things.
Each dream lasts up to 10 minutes, at the end of a dream you’ll see a graph that keeps track of your state of mind depending on how you experienced the dream, there are 4 states to measure your state of mind, upper, downer, static and dynamic, getting killed in a dream or touching weird things can effect later dreams, making them stranger and stranger as you experience it.
I won’t tell you what you’re going to see, in fact I don’t recommend you seeing anyone else’s experience until you tried it out, it’s really one of those games where I really recommend experiencing, it’s not technically a game, it has no goal (it’s dreams after all), you just experience it, nothing more, but be warned, it’s very surreal and disturbing at times, when I first experienced it, I was really scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen, whenever I went to a newer dream I was scared, it’s one of those games that can take you by surprise the first time since you never know what to expect.
The graphics are dated but has aged so well at the same time, it really fits the surreal experience, I wouldn’t mind if it was remade but the blocky textures make it very creepy. The controls are a problem, it’s clunky and can be unresponsive at times, you have to hold the direction, then you move, it’s very delayed, especially when you try to avoid walls in narrow spaces, but you do eventually get used to it, the music fits the environments so well, what’s even weirder is that I really want to listen to the soundtrack of the game, you see I’m a fan of weird and scary music, I even like the soundtrack to Steak by Mr. Ozio (YouTube it).
I’m NOT going to give this my final verdict or a rating; this is a special kind of experience that you really have to try, I’m even brave enough to recommend downloading a rom and playing it via emulator as an original copy costs loadsamoney.
(Lovely) Sweet Dreams!