Published on May 2nd, 2014 | by JC Richardson2
Dream Chamber Review
Dream Chamber brings a new kind of hero to the pointy-clicky adventure genre in the form of narcoleptic P.I. Charlie Chamber, and he’s in for one surreal ride.
Charlie is given the task of hunting down stolen antiquities, pilfered from the opening night of a grand exhibition, whilst a shadowy cabal are leading him deeper into their conspiracy.
Anyone familiar with the old Monkey Island / Grim Fandango school of play will be instantly familiar with Dream Chamber’s exploration and environmental puzzles, but there are more layers to this than first meet the eye. Charlie has the unique ability to revisit locations in his dreams, where his subconscious will highlight objects that his waking mind missed. Not only that, but Charlie can actually meet and talk with his subconscious mind like he’s chatting to a wiser, older brother. It’s a neat gimmick, and really adds colour to the proceedings.
Occasionally, Charlie will enter into battles of wills with other characters, which leads to more trips into his fevered imagination. These arguments are played out as a medieval-themed mini game where you besiege the opposition: asking questions equates to chucking boulders at their defences in order to wear them down and get the result Charlie needs. This could have felt tacked-on, but it genuinely works to advance the twisting plot in a non-jarring way.
Dream Chamber’s characters are full of life and humour and the voice-acting is top-notch here. The performances really lift the whole game into another league, and are testament to the love that DarkWave Games have poured into this project. Also, none of the puzzles feel too obtuse, making the plot progress at a cracking pace. Dream Chamber is also a relatively long game, up there with real epics of the genre, and for a one-off price too. It’s refreshing that no further IAPs are required to get the full experience these days.
Summary: Dream Chamber’s stylings make it an instant classic of the genre, but with enough personality of its own to make it a change from the norm. Excellent writing and performances really lift it above the competition and, ironically, will keep you up into the small hours…