Dreamland: Spooky Adventure Game is a hidden object game by Nevosoft, a company frankly known more for silly, cheap-looking, and poorly designed hidden object games. I know. Right now you're thinking, “tell us how you really feel, Tracy.”
But, you know that I rarely, if ever, have said such a negative thing about an app or a developer. So, what I mean is just what I said. I'll explain more later, if you're interested.
However, what we're here for is a review of an outstanding game made by Nevosoft called Dreamland. So, let's get to it.
I get bored when Big Fish hasn't come out with a new game in a few days. Sometimes I have to look elsewhere. There are a lot of good indie games out there, but they're hard to find and your chances of ending up with a dud are high. I try to stick with developers that are similar to Big Fish in quality, like G5 and Microids (no website).
I took a gamble with Dreamland, because I was REALLY bored and there was nothing I wanted to play.
Well, that gamble paid off big time. I just finished playing Dreamland for a 2nd time and I'm telling you that you will not know that you're not playing a Big Fish game. It feels like Big Fish.
Dreamland is well made, interesting, professionally done, has amazing visuals, wonderful mechanics, and the kind of hidden object scenes that make you love playing these types of games. The hidden object scenes are interactive in themselves, meaning that to find 1 of the objects, you have to do something or open something else.
You should like the scenes you're finding things in for Dreamland (my favorite is in the photo above), because you will do each scene about 4 times. Usually that is dull and lazy game design and really quite a sin, in my book. However, Dreamland's scenes are so complex without being cluttered that I had no problem going back again and again for another look.
Hidden object scenes are accompanied by fun and clever puzzles. Some, like the 1 above, are pretty easy, but some are more difficult. Speaking of which, you do have the option to play the game in casual mode with sparkles on interest areas and a faster hint recharge, or in expert mode with no sparkles and slower recharge. I like having that option. There are also achievements to earn and it is linked to Game Center.
Dreamland is quite long. You can see from the map above that the area covered is extensive. The story takes place in an amusement park. Your brother comes home very sick clutching a ticket from the park. You go to investigate and get more than you bargained for. The story is pretty familiar, but Dreamland puts in some great play and definitely gives you enough to make it worth your time and money.
The map is also a portal. You can jump from and to anywhere in the park through the map. Just touch where you want to go and you're there. Also, if there is a hidden object scene to play at a certain location, a yellow light will flash on that spot on the map.
The map is part of the integrated Dreamland journal. You'll need to pay close attention to your journal and you'll refer to it quite a bit as you move on in the game. There are even clues that will be noted in your journal during the game that are essential to the bonus level of the game. Did I mention there's a bonus level after you complete the whole game?
The last thing included in your journal is a task list. The task list generates a new item everytime you find something new that needs to be accomplished. It is quite handy for keeping track of every little thing that needs doing, because there are a lot of things that you can't do right away and that you need to come back to.
Match-3 fans will be happy to know that there are many match-3 mini games throughout Dreamland. To get your tickets to each attraction, you'll need to spin the big wheel pictured above. It requires a coin and match-3 games that get progressively harder throughout the game to get each ticket. I'm not the biggest match-3 fan, but I don't mind it in little doses like in Dreamland. It's actually kind of fun in this game.
Anyone familiar with Big Fish-type games will have no problem jumping into Dreamland. It has all the elements of a great hidden object game. It has mystery and suspense, interactive and well-designed hidden object scenes, a great journal, items to collect in your inventory, puzzles, easy and responsive touch control, great graphics, a long storyline, and logical and intuitive flow of events.
So, if you need a new hidden object game to play, give Dreamland a try. You won't regret it.
As for what I said about Nevosoft earlier in the post, I was referring to the fact that except for a few games, the quality of Nevosoft games is poor mostly due to the fact that they are computer games ported over that are more than a few years old. That means that you get dated dialogue, poor graphics, and games that feel more like school projects than something done by professionals. Many have text that is wavy and soooo bad to introduce and transition the entire game. It would actually take a whole extra post to explain why so many Nevosoft games for iOS are not good, and I am not interested in writing that kind of post. So, take my words as you will and do as you want.
That's it for me today. Until later, …