Monday, 13 February 2012

Weird Dreams (Amiga) - Guest Post

Hello again!

How are we supposed to know how super weird these dreams are if you don't show us!

Alright, that's pretty weird.

Steve suffers surgery, and so we're subjected to Steve's sinister subconscious.

Harrison Ford falls into the dream world.

It looks a bit like an adventure game, but it's not. I can walk around with the joystick, sort of, but turning around is near impossible. I'll try to do that as little as possible. I'm gonna walk to one of the walls to see if this room has any side exits.

Steve did not like being hit with that stick one bit.

Bloody thing made me jump. Not because Steve's scream was a particularly loud or awful noise but because the stick was nowhere near me when it hit me. This screenshot lies.

But it's alright. It's just a dream! Except in the real world, Steve's heart stopped momentarily. I should be more careful.

The stick can't get me if I'm down here, though I'm getting covered in blobs and my heart rate is going up. I don't know whether that's good or bad. Probably bad.

And around and around I go. Dying, being brought back to life, dying for real when I run out of guys, dying some more. How the hell do you get out of this bloody room? I don't even get an attract mode from the title screen to show me what I should do.

I can walk, jump and duck. I can get the blobs to stick to me sometimes. After a while, the stick gets covered in string and then goes away and comes back clean again.

I can't even cheat! I know the infinite lives cheat but it has to be typed in a different room!

Of course! Jump on the stick! And the stick then carries you out of the room!

Why didn't I think of jumping on the thing that kills me sooner?

The stick dropped me off here.

You know, if you cleaned up this place a bit, you wouldn't get so many wasps.

I'm running back into the wasp area here because I don't know whether going to the left is going to kill me. I might need 4 shots of HOT to win the game but I don't have 30p!

The left door leads to a hall of mirrors.

You have to walk through them, of course. Someday there'll be a dream mirror that just works like an ordinary mirror. THAT would be weird.

The left mirror leads to an endless desert I've come to know as the 'Relentless Fish Zone'. Here, I can jump like nobody's business. There's fish floating in the sky and those monsters from the loading screen bounce in from the right.

I can't do anything except wander left. And so I do. It's an endless desert. Endless. The screen doesn't scroll, incidentally. When you reach the edge, the game pauses for far too long and then scrolls to the next screen one pixel at a time.

Here's what's through the other mirror. It's an English Country Gaaaarden. (The music says so!)

These roses grow teeth when you approach and kill you in one hit.

Through a bit of trial and error, Steve finally picks up one of the sticks. I can attack by holding down Fire and pulling a direction. I've got four attacks, one for each direction. All of them ridiculously unresponsive and slow, just like Time Commando, again. Having only one fire button did not help the Amiga.

Thus begins the epic Steve-Rose War. I hold Fire and swing my stick around, hoping to catch the roses in the one frame in their animation when they're vulnerable. When I hit a rose, it makes a dull crunching sound and I can edge forward a couple of pixels to take on the next one. And then accidentally lunge over all the remaining flowers and have to restart the room.

Suddenly, a lawnmower appears.

Nothing's ever easy, is it.

I've yet to find a game too stupid or tedious for me, though! Many, many restarts later, I'm on the second screen of the garden zone.

It's a girl bouncing a ball!

I should have seen THAT coming a mile away.

Next time, I duck under the ball like a super-suave, pyjama wearing super-spy and...

This doesn't appear to be the correct solution.

I lose the stick in the screen transition so I can't bludgeon the girl to death. When I die, I'm back in the hall of mirrors and have to kill the roses all over again. HELL NO.

Let's give the Fish Zone another go.

I tap fire mid-air and dislodge one of the fish from the sky on the first screen. I'm armed and dangerous now.

There's many, many screens of statue monsters heading right. One mistake on my part and Steve's head implodes and I'm back to the mirror room. Just as I'm beginning to lose hope, I encounter the Boss Monster!


Same awful controls as the stick fighting. The worst part is I'm CERTAIN that I'm timing this right. The boss seems to be able to override my attack with his 'eating me' animation. Steve lifts up his stick to attack, then calmly lowers it and more or less willingly leaps into the monster's mouth. EVERY TIME.

This game has been finely crafted by people who knew exactly what they wanted to make. Early in the making of Weird Dreams, the authors saw 'fun' on the distant horizon and immediately threw the car into a wild handbrake turn and sped off in the opposite direction.

As it is, it's somewhere between Dragon's Lair and an adventure game. They should've picked one or the other. In its current state, it's just a god damn mess. There could've been challenge and satisfaction in solving puzzles in a Weird Dreams adventure game, but I'd probably get bored of trying to fit perfectly into the author's 'hilariously wacky' mindset.


  1. I don't know if you realized, but in the beginning you're in a candy floss machine.

    1. Hmm, that does make sense!

      (Blimey, this was a year ago? Egads.)

  2. The gameplay is probably very bad judging from your review, but watching the screenshots, I think this game has heap of originality and creativity. I like it on the premise and style!


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