dream:scape

App review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
dream:scape App Poster Image
Eerie, intriguing app more like an interactive mystery book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

This game is more of an interactive movie or storybook than a full-fledged game. That is to say that most of the controls involve walking from one point to the next, or infrequent battle sequences that require players to tap the screen at certain times. The focus is more on the story, and as such the gameplay actually takes a back seat.

Violence

There is a minimal amount of combat in this game; the player's involvement simply includes pushing buttons that appear on the screen, and none of the combat sequences are particularly graphic. However, the overarching theme of this game may be more unsettling for some. Players take on the role of Wilson, a character who is in some sort of limbo between life and death. Wilson revisits his memories in a parallel world called the "dream:scape." Instead of a human, Wilson's interstitial form is a somewhat scary-looking scarecrow. There is voice-over narration throughout the game that sometimes includes chilling dialogue like, "You probably think you're dead," and, "Memories can hide terrible secrets."

Sex

Most of the lines of dialogue are intentionally vague and mysterious, though some hint at suggestive behavior (e.g, "Remember what we used to do in our secret hiding spot?")

Language

Throughout the game, players hear voices that are from the main character Wilson's past. Many of these lines of dialogue are not explicitly violent or profane, but are spoken with an eerie timbre that exacerbates the tone of the game.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that dream:scape is a unique game that has a confusing and mysterious story. Players will need to delve deep into the game before the story starts to make sense. Additionally, many factors in the game -- sparse use of sound effects; old, abandoned environments; first-person perspective; etc -- make it feel like the setting of a horror movie. However, the actual content is not as intense as the setting would suggest, as there are very infrequent depictions of violence or explicit violent dialogue. Nevertheless, it exudes an eerie kind of tone that some will find unnerving.

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Is it any good?

DREAM:SCAPE is a curious, almost hypnotizing kind of game. It was designed by G. Norman Lippert, an author whose previous work has been in mystery novels and who has never published an app or video game before. That comes across here, since the experience is much more of a mystery story than it is a game, and even though much of the time players will likely be roaming abandoned environments not having a clue what is going on, there is something about it that's intriguing and irresistible, which is a testament to the story and the timing of its unraveling throughout the course of the game.

App details

For kids who love books and mystery

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