Dream is a dark, puzzle adventure developed by Rising Win Tech and reached the switch thanks to the publisher Winking. It was localized from Chinese to English but the names of the characters were kept in Chinese so I often got confused on who was who.
I also need to mention there are many grammar errors in the dialogue, I hope it doesn’t take any important detail of the story out of context. I only noticed small ones that could be ignored for the most part.
The main character Ho Yingmeng starts this soon to be dark adventure inside the morgue of a strange hospital with barely any memory of who she is or what she was doing before getting there. After exploring the morgue she has blurry flashbacks of her past, Yingmeng recalls the name Chen-Chen and that she, her big sis, would save him no matter what.
映夢 Dream is loaded with puzzles and man, are they hard to get past! Our protagonist Ho Yingmeng is very smart so she will give you little hints. When we really can’t figure it out… just keep trying or stop playing.
To escape every room Yingmeng gets trapped in she needs to search for objects and notes. We drag the cursor around with our left stick while smashing the B button in hopes of finding something that will help you escape. Again, and again. This is what you will do 90% of the time and yet there is no touchscreen compatibility, an unfortunate design choice.
Also, Inside the hospital, there seem to be eleven other characters and one of them is a serial killer on the loose! Yingmeng will try and find who the killer is, without getting herself killed first. Only because it is the right thing to do. After all, she barely remembers anything at all.
A truly scary adventure that might give you the jumpscares with very well done art design, bloody and horrifying “crime scenes” to boot if you fancy them, the killer seems to be enjoying what he is doing!
While the game offers multiple choices here and there you really can’t save anyone from dying which was a huge missed opportunity in my opinion given the potential the story had… but more on that later… If you pick the wrong door or dialogue you just die and start over so do save often!
I also appreciated the effort in spreading subtle hints during puzzle solving. Objects like a certain painting of a tree or someone’s notes and records that give us more exposition about the characters we meet piece by piece. If you have fun collecting these it would help you understand the gaps in the main plot.
I enjoyed the sound effects and the soundtrack in general but after my first hour of gameplay and I reached the scary death moments and cutscenes I noticed the same song was still playing on loop from when I first had started playing.
At some very specific moments in the later game, the music does changes and I enjoyed it much better but when it doesn’t for the majority of the game… you just don’t feel that immersed into it which is a real shame because the visuals were amazing.
Story and Character Development
HUGE spoiler warning! The story and characters in 映夢 Dream are what I felt to be the weakest element so let’s dive into it.
Yingmeng finally remembers everything about her patient, Chen Xiu who suffers from a Dissociative Identity Disorder. Only now at the last hour or so worth of gameplay, It is revealed to us that Chen Xiu was the one she wanted to save and that everyone we met until now inside the hospital was all different personalities or “alters” existing within Chen Xiu. At this point, more than eight of them had already died.
About the killer… I honestly thought it was Tungyue Un. Once she tried to choke Yingmeng with the most evil maniac expression I have ever seen in a video game and then say: “Anyone that gets in my way dies!”. Now, this is someone who wants to kill and have fun with it. She was not the real one, unfortunately… was a real disappointment for me.
Wang Zihao was the one murdering everyone and he admits his crimes in such a way that I honestly thought he was covering up for someone else. His reasoning why he killed so many of his family was because everyone acted with filthy emotions. Anger, envy… you get the idea. Yingmeng convices him with some pretty words that what he did was wrong and suddenly Wang regrets everything he did and goes away leaving Yingmeng free to save his beloved Chen-Chen. So very boring and anticlimactic that only made both Wang and Yingmeng regress their characterization even more.
Back when Yingmeng regained her memories we are given a vague explanation of what DID is and the moral of the story at the end should be that all of them were all very important to the mental stability of Chen Xui. But it wasn’t.
I’m not sure what the goal was with Yingmeng as a character, losing her memory and only ever trying to save Chen-Chen from start to finish only made it for a very linear and boring character. Her ending with Chen-Chen was also anotger puzzle but I must ask: why couldn’t we save the others at all? Why was the main character written with the clear goal of only saving the youngest one from the start? Was she playing favorites? Yingmeng is a specialist in mental care with a degree to back it up and all we see from her was a bland hypocrite that never really cared about saving her patient Chen Xiu. In the end, she did he very same thing Wang tried to do, only let one personality leave disregarding everyone else.
I just wish the developers had taken the main theme of Dissociative Identity Disorder more seriously.
映夢 Dream has solid puzzles but playing it on the switch without touchscreen compability might be annoying for many trying to solve them so keep that in mind. While I don’t like the plot everything else was well done and who might be looking for the next challenge should give this one a chance
Thank you to the developers at Rising Wing Tech for entrusting us with this review.