Mr. Dreamer (universal) by Strapped To A Meteor is the latest title from the developers of DEO, a platformer unconcerned with high scores and power-ups. Dreamer features the same philosophy of gameplay over extraneous features, with beautiful visuals and simple tap-to-play gameplay.
The game’s atmosphere is definitely its greatest asset: each world is beautifully drawn, with a bright, watercolor-esque style to the game’s backgrounds and character animations. Unfortunately, this beauty comes at a price: after completing a world, players have to wait through a somewhat lengthy load time for the next stage to prepare. The great soundtrack helps alleviate this a bit, but it still sticks out like a sore thumb in every run.
Like I said, Dreamer isn’t the every day endless runner. There’s no upgrades, consumable items, or power-ups to unlock throughout, a welcome depature from the repetitive norm. Instead, Dreamer is all about creating a true pick-up and play experience. Players control Poncho through eight different dream worlds, feeding him candy and trying not to run upside down, or the ‘dream meter’ will empty, ending the game.
To control Poncho, players tap on the screen to flip his orientation on the surface. Doing this allows him to collect candies to keep him asleep – a counter intuitive idea for any parent – and avoid falling upside down. The game doesn’t take it any farther than this, although the last world does feature a Broccoli Boss at the end of the game to provide a little something different at the end. In the same vein, it would be nice to see the game randomize the level order: each run features the same world progression, which quickly gets repetitive.
However, what it lacks in variety, it makes up for in personality and atmosphere. Mr. Dreamer is a fun, entertaining take on the vertical endless runner. It’s minimalism might hinder its replayability a bit, but it’s still worth a pick-up for endless runner fans and parents looking for a nice, simple game for their young ones.