DreamBreak Review

By Marc Hollinshead, 3 months ago
Point and click titles disappeared for a while but have returned in a big way. With Telltale's rise to fame over recent years, gamers are becoming more and more acquainted with this relaxed approach to gaming. The latest genre title is DreamBreak. While it doesn't follow the likes of Telltale's formula to the letter, this adventure game still relies on its story, as well as a couple of different mechanics to push it forward.

Logo

Playing as the everyman, Eugene, you are plunged into a conspiracy in an authoritarian society where propaganda litters the streets. The game does an adequate job pulling you into its world and cast of characters, introducing you to Eugene's mundane job and the surrounding area, but it's unfortunate that the setting couldn't have been expanded upon further. Throughout your time with it, more story elements are introduced as you progress, however all of them are wrapped up rather quickly.

Clocking in at around two hours, DreamBreak isn't a long title by any means. Each of the story segments are engaging, but before they are given the chance to be unpacked and explored, the plot continues on. There was definitely the potential for expansion on both the cyberpunk city that Eugene inhabits, along with the dictator that rules it, but it seems as though the developers have favoured a concise adventure over one that may fall under the curse of adding filler content to pad out playtime. Multiple outcomes to the story give the impression that replay value is a possibility, but a simple reload of the game allows you to pick and choose these endings at the drop of a hat. It's a game that doesn't provide any worthwhile reason for a second playthrough so once you're done, you're more than likely done for good.

The city is certainly enticing for the little amount you see of it.The city is certainly enticing for the little amount you see of it.

Despite the limited time you will spend with DreamBreak, it attempts to make every minute count. While it starts out as a simple point & click game, multiple action segments, puzzles and mini-games are introduced to keep the gameplay fresh. One moment you will be solving a connect-the-pieces pipe puzzle, and the next you will be taking part in a shooting gallery inspired by Space Invaders. This causes the game to feel less of a slog, knowing that something new is regularly around the corner. The main aspect of gameplay comes from interacting with specific objects throughout the world, such as doors and various terminals. Every interactable object is highlighted orange which keeps the pointing and clicking moving quickly and removes the need to painstakingly scan areas like other genre titles. This certainly keeps the pace going, but also adds that quick playtime.

To give you a short break from the story, there is also the option of the simple arcade shooting game. While also helping to prime you with new mechanics of later story segments, it is an entertaining diversion if you to choose to play it. It doesn't provide all that much of a challenge as you can easily exploit the shield mechanic to make yourself invincible, but it's still worth checking out regardless.

DreamBreak's soundtrack is also commendable. Coinciding with its art style, the quirky tracks you are presented with help to mirror the environment in which they play. Records are scattered throughout the game for you to collect, and as you gather them all, they will be stored in the music shop for you to listen to at your leisure. It's a decent soundtrack that won't soon fade into the background.

If you want to sit back and listen to the soundtrack, hop into the music shop and make use of all those collectibles.If you want to sit back and listen to the soundtrack, hop into the music shop and make use of all those collectibles.

What may become noticeable as you progress through DreamBreak is the somewhat awkward controls in some areas of gameplay. One particular mini-game took a hefty number of tries to fully understand as the game did very little to explain how it worked. However the most consistent aspect in this department is Eugene himself. While it is nowhere near game-breaking, controlling Eugene can often feel clunky. Running isn't an issue, but when he's jumping across gaps or climbing up ledges his incompetence occasionally hinders things. It doesn't completely spoil the experience, but don't expect a protagonist with lightning-quick reaction times.

The achievements of DreamBreak are a simple bunch. With 11 in total for the 1,000 G, you will be able to collect them all throughout one brief singular playthrough. A couple of story related achievements periodically unlock, along with one being awarded for each individual ending, but there are still a few for which you need to watch out. The collectibles will take the most work, but even these are easy to spot. Finishing the arcade shooting game is another requirement, but by exploiting the aformentioned shield ability it will be a simple process. If you're after a quick boost to your gamerscore, look no further.

Summary

DreamBreak is a short but still enjoyable title for those who decide to jump in. The intriguing story could have been expanded upon a little more, however the game doesn't needlessly outstay its welcome purely for the playtime. With different mini-games and mechanics spread throughout, the two or so hours that you will spend will be engaging. Eugene's slightly clunky controls need tightening for fluidity. Meanwhile, the lack of replay value means that the game won't have much of a lasting effect in today's market, but that shouldn't deter fans of the genre. If you're a genre fan and don't need DreamBreak to break the mold of point and clicks, it'll be a short but fun adventure.
3 / 5
Positives
  • Intriguing story
  • Variety of entertaining mini-games littered throughout
  • Enjoyable soundtrack
Negatives
  • Controls sometimes feel awkward
  • Short-lived experience
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent just over 2 hours playing through the adventure from start to finish, and gained all 11 achievements in the process. A code for the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.