Dream Chronicles Review

Casual games are usually simple affairs that don’t demand much from their target audience. They don’t require you to be deadly accurate with a sniper rifle or to time increasingly difficult platform jumps. Instead, they focus on featuring a solid, addictive gameplay element that, when done properly, gives way to tons of depth.

Dream Chronicles is a casual game that is way too simple, to the point of insulting its audience, and provides no worthwhile gameplay for you to invest in. It’s a bland game that is on the wrong platform, looking for the wrong players, and asking too much for what it offers.

Dream Chronicles is a hidden object/graphic adventure game that casts you as a woman named Faye who awakens after being put to sleep by a spell. As you progress through the 18 "screens," you’ll have to solve the puzzle using objects that you locate in the environment. You can look around the screen, but you are stuck in that location until you solve the puzzle and can move forward.


As such, everything you need to move forward is present and the puzzles are painfully simple. You can’t place an object anywhere it is not supposed to be and the game usually spells out the solution in the description. The game doesn’t require you to use your brain at any point during play and both the puzzles and their solutions are boring and uninteresting. I felt like I was walking through this game with little to no challenge until the very final puzzle, which seemed like a desperate attempt to provide you some sort of difficulty knowing the player can sleepwalk through this.

Dream Chronicles was originally a PC game and the transition to XBLA is sloppy and unintuitive. You control a mouse cursor with the left thumbstick, which moves slowly until combined with another another button to speed it up, which then usually makes you over-shoot your selection. You can only hold so many items in your inventory, meaning you to have to constantly put things down and reselect other items. This causes more frustration as you wrestle the slow pointer. The environments and the items that populate them are poorly implemented, with some items actually blending into the background thanks to their color scheme or shape. I spent 20 minutes staring at a crank before I realized that it was actually a crank and not part of the floor.

There is ultimately nothing here to make me recommend Dream Chronicles. It’s a bad port of a PC game that feels lazy. When other casual games are dominating both the PC and XBLA (Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, Peggle), Dream Chronicles really misses how to make a casual game fun. It’s uninspired, boring, and way too simple for its own good.

1 out of 5


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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