Dreamland

 
Dark but stylish Facebook board game about fighting fears.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game offers a positive message about overcoming fears -- players must defeat nightmares that are manifestations of negative scenarios.

Positive role models

Players are helping the inhabitants of the Dreamland by defeating nightmares. 

Ease of play

Simple gameplay: players roll a dice and move their character to one of the highlighted squares.

Violence

Players battle nightmares in turn-based battles. Damage is indicated by a depleting health meter, and when hit, characters recoil in fear rather than pain. Attacks resemble beams of light or red scratch marks with some violence -- one of the bullies attacks with a baseball bat, for example.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players can use Facebook Credits to buy more turns or purchase exclusive items. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Facebook friends are required to help build certain items, which might tempt players to "friend" strangers.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dreamland is a unique turn-based board game played on the Facebook social network. It features battles with nightmares, where damage to the player is indicated by red claw marks; but there's nothing graphic or gory in this violence. The game is free to play, but players can use Facebook Credits to speed up the game and buy exclusive items. Facebook friends are also required to help build certain items, which might tempt players to "friend" strangers.

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What's it about?

This game is set in Dreamland (where people go when they dream). The problem is that this land has been overrun with nightmares, and its inhabitants need the player's help to clear them out. DREAMLAND is divided into levels that play like a board game, where players roll a dice to move their character along a board. Depending on which space you land on, you can pick up coins and special items, battle nightmares, and collect keys to reach the exit. Players earn rewards to upgrade their bedroom and pick up perks like increased health.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Dreamland is unique in a couple of respects: not only is it one of the few board games on Facebook, but it also boasts a darkly stylish look that resembles Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride films. The enemies you'll face are all based on common nightmare scenarios, like being laughed at, monsters under the bed, or seeing an ugly reflection of yourself in the mirror. The boards can start to seem repetitive after a while, but it feels satisfying to clear them and buy new decorations for the bedroom, which is a joy to decorate thanks to the game's wonderful aesthetic.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why many social games require players to get their friends involved too. Why do developers make their games this way?

  • Families can also talk about different nightmares that you've had, and what you think they mean. How do you feel after you've had a nightmare? How do you cope with them?

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free with Microtransactions
Available online?Not available online
Developer:FreshPlanet
Release date:July 8, 2011
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:NR for (Facebook)

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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