This article is about the first game in the series. For an overview of the whole series, see Dream Chronicles (series).
Dream Chronicles: The Endless Slumber, mostly better known as simply as Dream Chronicles, is a casual adventure, hidden object and puzzle computer game developed by KatGames and published the first time by PlayFirst. It's the first game of the same name series, also the first game of the first trilogy called Faye's Journey. Dream Chronicles was pitched to PlayFirst at the first Casual Games Association event in Amsterdam in February 2006 and became the very first casual adventure game to hit the mainstream casual game industry. Game prototype was rejected by some publishers, but after coming up with the premise of Dream Chronicles, KatGames was signed-up by PlayFirst and completed the title. The game tells the story of a mortal woman who is the only one who has awoken from a dream spell and embarks on the lonely quest to save her husband.
Released the first time as a download in June 2007, the original Dream Chronicles quickly become a casual game hit, topped 7 casual game charts, peaked inside top ten on many other charts and proved to be one of the biggest and most innovative casual games of 2007. The original game won People’s Choice Award for the "Best Hidden Object & Adventure Game of 2007" in July 2008. The game received mostly outstanding receptions from game critics as well as casual gamers, describing it as "a casual cousin to epic, hard-core adventures like Myst and Uru." It also marked the birth — rather the combining elements of 2 genres — of a new "Hidden Object & Adventure" genre in casual game, which is very popular and highly demanding right now. The original Dream Chronicles was followed by Dream Chronicles 2. Up to now, the original Dream Chronicles still has been the most successful game of the series, which earned both critical and commercial success.
The game begins when Lilith, the Fairy Queen of Dreams, casts a sleep spell upon the entire Wish town, making every mortal fall into a magic sleep. She also abducts a fairy named Fidget living here. However, before his abduction, Fidget, using his remaining power, removes the sleep spell from Faye - his wife and our heroine - and leaves a path for her to follow in his diary. Waking up from the dream, Faye can't believe that the things that happened in her dreams really happen in reality as well. After checking out her only daughter Lyra, who falls into the sleep spell like any other, Faye goes outside and starts her journey. Along with facing many obstacles arranged by Lilith as she wants to prevent anyone from ruining her soon-to-be-perfect plans, Faye starts to discover her in-law family's secret: They're ALL fairies. Faye learns more about Fidget's family's fairy heritage and history. She discovers that all marriages are arranged in the Fairy Realm, and the concept of love was unknown until Aeval and Tangle (Fidget's parents) fell in love. Fidget was to marry Lilith, but his parents chose to raise him in the mortal world, so he, too, could marry for love. Lilith believes that her marriage to Fidget will strengthen her powers as the Fairy Queen of Dreams. She already has the power to watch and monitor the dreams, daydreams, and imaginings of mortals, but she wants the power to control their dreams. But since Fidget married Faye, Lilith has started hatching an evil plan to make sure that Fidget becomes hers. Faye doesn't discover those secrets by herself, Fidget tells her through his diary instead. Even being so confused, Faye has to believe what her husband has said as she discovers a human-talking carnivorous plant named Herbert, which according to Fidget, is his mother's best friend. Leaving the comfort of in-law family, trying to open the main gate of the Wish town, Faye ventures outside on the lonely quest to save her husband but she quickly gets lost when the moon rises. Luckily, a sign shows her directly to Lilith's mansion, where Faye thinks Lilith keeping her husband. She finally finds and reunites with Fidget momentarily. Unfortunately, as Lilith appears, she separates the couple a second time, taking Fidget with her and casting another sleep spell upon Faye.
The story continues in Dream Chronicles 2.
First 3 people listed below are main characters, other threes play the minor parts.
- Faye is a mortal woman who main protagonist of the original Dream Chronicles. Waking up from a dream, Faye realizes everyone in Village of Wish is falling into a magical sleep spell and her family had already vanished. Faye embarks on a dangerously lonely quest to rescue her husband Fidget. On the quest, Faye explores many secrets about her in-law family: their identities, their fairy roots and their lives in Wish town. Faye is a strong and persistent woman, who never gives up hopes and always tries hard to get her family back to their old peaceful days. Though being the main character but Faye doesn't appear in person as you play as her point of view.
- Lilith, Fairy Queen of Dreams, is the main antagonist of the game. At the beginning, she abducts Fidget, as she believes marrying him will make her powers stronger. She also casts an enchanting sleep spell on everyone in the Village of Wish to make sure that her plans go smooth and no one could disturb her marrying Fidget. She appears at the beginning and in the last scene when Faye goes to her mansion.
- Fidget is a fairy raised in the mortal world by his fairy parents Aeval and Tangle. Already being aware of Lilith's evil plans, Fidget tried to protect his family but when things go wrong, he is abducted and brought to Lilith's mansion. He plays as Faye's guide and only appears at the end of the game.
- Lyra is the daughter of Faye and Fidget. Lyra falls into Lilith's sleep spell like any other person in the Village of Wish. Lyra appears only once in the third scene and is rarely mentioned.
- Aeval, Fairy Queen of Flora, is Fidget's mother and Faye's mother-in-law. She fell in love with Tangle, and they escaped to the Mortal Realm together. Aeval can communicate with plants and plants could talk back to her too. She is rarely mentioned in this game.
- Tangle, Fairy King of Knowledge, is Fidget's father and Faye's father-in-law. He and Aeval escaped to the Mortal Realm together to make sure that their children will be bought up naturally and humanly. As Fairy King of Knowledge, reading books is his "endless pursuit", said Fidget. Like her wife, Aeval, he is rarely mentioned.
Awem Studio described the game: "Dream Chronicles is a very nice seek-and-find adventure with many mysterious puzzles in store for you to solve. It is not a simple or typical hidden object game, but is more similar to an adventure or quest game. Dream Chronicles resembles Myst in a way, but is much simpler."When players enter a room or any location for the first time, Faye makes some entry statement to set players on the right track. Almost all the objects in the room can be described to players by Faye, players just need to click on them and they’ll have a statement with a probable hint. Clicking items place them in your inventory at the bottom of the screen. Once there, players can use them on other objects and combine them to solve the various conundrums encountered. However, unlike most hard-core adventures, players never lug around any unnecessary inventory items here. All the items players collect can be used only within the location players found them in, but not in future puzzles. Solve the poser at hand and players unlock the door to the next location.
The original Dream Chronicles game consists of a series of puzzles that the players as Faye must solve to reach the next chapter. Each scene, 18 in all, incorporates one or more puzzles to be solved, with thorough investigation crucial to advancing. Most involve searching for and making use of hidden objects, while others are logic puzzles. The players are required to do is collect a lot of items from the scene and put them back where they belonged. The whole game covers a wide range of game types, including adventure/role-playing, jigsaw puzzle, seek-and-find, Simon games... Players are given hints as to how to proceed, and some brief instructions, but they need to work out what is actually required themselves. The game is separated into many segments and there is a cut-scene between these ones. In-game cut-scenes are cinematic-like, wide-screen briefs, which tells the story as Faye's point of view.
Throughout the game, the player finds various colored gems. These are Dream Pieces, gems that make up the unique Dream Jewels collection. They gave a lot of detailed information about fairies and their roles in Dream Realm. Finding and completing Dream Jewels adds to the player's score at the end of the game. There are 115 Dream Pieces molding 8 Dream Jewels to complete in Dream Chronicles. For every Dream Piece collected in the original Dream Chronicles, players earn 1,000 points. Dream Jewels collection is a unique factor that differs this series from any other ones on casual game market. Though often being credited for borrowing Myst concepts but, in fact, Dream Chronicles is one of the earliest casual games which has adventure elements combining with hidden object proportions.
At the end, player earns a score. The faster how players can solve the puzzles, the more Dream Pieces players can find, the better score they'll earn. Though the original Dream Chronicles has a short length, only containing 18 scenes, it's often considered as the most intriguing game of the series.
Over a year before the first breakaway hidden object games hit computer screens, the team at KatGames - a small, independent casual game developer - had a vision: a game with an unproven mechanic in the casual gaming space, a game deeply committed to building a story world, a game where every action the player took connected to a mysterious and compelling storyline. But this vision required pushing the boundaries of what they’d seen before: art budget, performance, and player appetites would all be put to the test. “Dream Weaving” became a recurring theme for the team at KatGames. Before Dream Chronicles era, they had created 8 games but none of them earned success because of their poorly low-budget appearances. Being aware of this, when starting developing the ninth game - known as Dream Chronicles now - they moonlighted on it during other projects, hoping the game would one day get the funding and attention it deserved.Over the course of 2005, Miguel Tartaj, KatGames' CEO and lead game designer, shared the game idea with two potential partners but according to him "it didn't go anywhere". Tartaj wanted to find a publisher who could provide his team with the creative input and non-development support. He also needed a partner whom his team trusted and had a track record of successfully navigating the casual games market. Tartaj first met PlayFirst's creative director Kenny Dinkin and director of publishing Craig Bocks at Casual Connect Amsterdam in 2006. He was impressed by their dedication to creativity and innovation and could immediately sense that they shared his vision to make this unique game a reality. KatGames eventually signed an agreement to PlayFirst on what came to be known in June 2007 as Dream Chronicles.
Tartaj shared: "We knew that an adventure game like Dream Chronicles was going to be unique for our team and unique for the casual games industry. In a world where swapping colored gems in a match 3 game, or juggling tasks in a time management game is the norm, the iterative nature of a story-based game like Dream Chronicles was going to require a much higher degree of flexibility throughout the game's design and development process. Each new scene involved unique graphics, puzzles, and story elements, so we knew that it wouldn't all be 'figured out' up front. I prefer to work more iteratively and put pieces together to try things out as we go along. PlayFirst's willingness to accept this fact was something that I appreciated in terms of my work style. Not only being able to work this way, but to also be supported in doing it was a great advantage for my team. We truly were able to 'dream' as we went along."
The Dream Chronicles game is very well known for its unique 2.5D visual style, combined with Art Nouveau-inspired artwork as well as its ethereal, smooth soundtrack. From the start, the goal with the Dream Chronicles series is to bring the story and adventure to life in a world inspired by a very unique art style. The work of Antonio Gaudi – a famous Spanish architect known for his fantastic modern designs – was at the heart of this inspiration. The Art Nouveau movement that he represented provided the perfect combination of fantasy and reality with his designs being based on very appealing and organic shapes. When starting the design of a scene for one of the Dream Chronicles games, KatGames do extensive research to gather reference and ideas for the architecture, devices, and graphical elements that could be used. Based on these materials, they create sketches to consolidate the ideas and see how all the elements fit together. Since the game is presented from a first-person point of view, a principal sketch is created with particular attention given to how the scene is framed and composed – as if someone was actually standing in the space. To develop the more complex objects, additional sketches are often created to communicate an extra level of detail to the modelers.
After the first huge success of the original Dream Chronicles, KatGames can finally devote their time to making the Dream Chronicles series, which is supported heavily by PlayFirst and other third-party developers. KatGames team design the concepts, artworks and gameplay while partners work on visual effects, music, story and marketing. Since 2007, each year new Dream Chronicles title has been announced and released. Even in 2011, 2 new sequels of this series will be released.
Reception and influences
Dream Chronicles was first released as a download on June 12, 2007 by PlayFirst and promoted: "Dream Chronicles' unique combination of strategy, adventure and hidden object-style gameplay is brought to life by KatGames' luminous Art Nouveau images, a mesmerizing musical score and a gripping storyline. It immerses players in a spell-binding quest through an elegantly designed, lyrical dreamscape." The game was thought to be another underground casual game, but it surprisingly peaked at number one on PlayFirst, Logler Global, RealArcade, GameHouse, Shockwave, MSN Games, Zylom; number two on iWin.com, Arcade Town, Big Fish Games, Yahoo! Games; number three on Reflexive Arcade, Oberon Games. It peaked inside top ten on Pogo.com, SpinTop Games, Amazon.com and other major casual game charts.
|Jay Is Games|||
Since the first release, the game has garnered normally outstanding reviews from game critics. Gamezebo, a popular casual game review site, rated the original game the rare 5.0/5.0 stars. The reviewer, Chuck Miller, stated: "A mix of fantasy and reality, its hypnotic dreamland engages you in a larger-than-life quest, a mystery that needs to be solved one puzzle at a time as the story unfolds around you. [...] Dream Chronicles has all the necessary ingredients of an exceptional game, one that lives up to its marketing hype. Art Nouveau graphics are beautifully rendered, an ethereal soundtrack helps bring the world to life, its engaging narrative draws you into the story and diverse puzzles of varying difficulty keep play interesting and challenging. [...] In short, solving Dream Chronicles's mysteries is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Place it at the top of your list of must-play games for 2007." Still, he noted the only minor weakness is its short length. In late 2007, the original Dream Chronicles was honored as one of the best casual games of 2007 in annual Top Games list by Gamezebo's editors.
Meanwhile, Ms. 45 from Jay Is Games described Dream Chronicles as "a sensual delight, an intellectual challenge, and a very engaging twist on adventure, seek-and-find and puzzle games. It's been compared to Myst and Uru, and whilst it's certainly not as demanding as those mainstream titles." She found "Visually, however, Dream Chronicles is an absolute joy. The artwork is astonishing, even surpassing lovely games like Hidden Expedition: Titanic. Every scene had me marveling at how beautiful the illustration was" and also enjoyed the writing: "The story is also interesting [...] The dialogue and descriptive text reveal a sense of humor and a real interest in storytelling.". Ms. 45 eventually gave the game a positive review.
Awem Studio enjoyed the original Dream Chronicles and complimented: "The most pleasant and fascinating part of Dream Chronicles is its artwork. The graphics are stunning, the locations are charming and you will want to see the upcoming levels and what the designers have created. The soundtrack is delicate and soothing, and Dream Chronicles brings you to the world of mystery and creates an appropriate atmosphere. On completing Dream Chronicles you will really have a strong desire to continue your adventure and it screams for a longer plot or some more scenes of gameplay. Dream Chronicles produce a great and deep impression. It is really enjoyable experience and a rewarding game. Dream Chronicles is a nice mixture of puzzles and adventure, artwork and music. Let yourself slip into its intriguing, mysterious and enchanting story."
Dream Chronicles and the series itself has been acclaimed by many game critics and casual gamers. Prior to Dream Chronicles release, hidden object games in casual game primarily featured only finding lists of objects. But since the game released in June 2007, it actually marked the birth of a new genre — rather the combination of hidden object portion and adventure-like elements — "Hidden Object & Adventure": Not only finding objects, players have to use the objects they've found to solve the in-game puzzles. Not surprisingly, the original game, along with its original and creative concept, went to won a Zeebys award People’s Choice Award for the "Best Hidden Object & Adventure Game of 2007" in July 2008. Before that, in early 2008, the game was also awarded for the "2nd Runner-Up Best Puzzle Game of 2007" as well as placed at number-one 2007 customer favorites by Big Fish Games. After its initial release, there many Dream Chronicles-like, hidden object & adventure-combined casual games have been released following this footstep, such as Escape the Museum, Natalie Brooks, Mushroom Age... with similar gameplays and concepts.
The original Dream Chronicles spawned 2 direct sequels, Dream Chronicles 2 and The Chosen Child. The Faye's story will continue in Dream Chronicles 2 and end in The Chosen Child. The layouts are comparatively the same but puzzles are more complex and gameplay has more new twists.
- If you get stuck looking for an object, just wait a few seconds and you will see a light glimmer letting you know where an object is. There are no hints per second in this game so this will be the only way to find objects you can't see.
- There are no time limits in the game, so just relax and enjoy playing the game.
- When you run your mouse over an item, it will tell you what it is.
- It's best to look for the gems first. There's no way to go back into a scene to retrieve forgotten gems.
- When re-playing the game under your same name to beat your score, some items will move around.
Release history and charts
Any digital download of Dream Chronicles can be bought at 6.99$.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 CasualCharts.com (2007-06-12). Dream Chronicles™ Detail. CasualCharts.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-12
- ↑ PlayFirst (2009-10-05). You can now play Dream Chronicles® on your mobile phone!. PlayFirst. Retrieved on 2009-10-05
- ↑ PlayFirst (2009-04-27). Award-Winning Dream Chronicles® Game Launches on the iPhone. PlayFirst. Retrieved on 2009-04-27
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Hudson Entertainment (2010-02-08). Dream Chronicles Weaving Its Way to Xbox LIVE® Arcade and PlayStation® Network. Hudson Entertainment. Retrieved on 2010-02-08
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Casual Connect (2008-02-01). Dream Weaving: Dreaming Dream Chronicles Into Reality. Casual Connect. Retrieved on 2008-02-01
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Gamezebo (2008-07-25). Zeeby Awards - The results are in!. Gamezebo. Retrieved on 2008-07-25
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Gamezebo (2007-06-12). Dream Chronicles Review. Gamezebo. Retrieved on 2007-06-12
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Gamezebo (2008-01-02). 2007: The Year that Was . . . And Wasn't. Gamezebo. Retrieved on 2008-01-02
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Awem.com (2009-02-25). Dream Chronicles. A Spell Of Dream. Awem.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-25
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 JayIsGames.com (2007-07-28). Dream Chronicles. JayIsGames.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-28
- ↑ Gamasutra (2008-04-22). Postmortem: Kat Games' Dream Chronicles. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2008-04-22
- ↑ Gamasutra (2008-04-22). Postmortem: Kat Games' Dream Chronicles, Page 3. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2008-04-22
- ↑ PlayFirst (2009-04-10). Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child – The Artistic Inspiration. PlayFirst. Retrieved on 2009-04-10
- ↑ PlayFirst (2007-06-12). PlayFirst Hopes To Realize Next Hit Franchise With Dream Chronicles™. PlayFirst. Retrieved on 2007-06-12
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Big Fish Games (2007-07-20). Dream Chronicles Game Download for PC. Big Fish Games. Retrieved on 2007-07-20
- ↑ Big Fish Games (2008-01-01). Big Fish Games' 2007 Customer Favorites for PC. Big Fish Games. Retrieved on 2008-01-01
- ↑ Gamezebo (2007-06-25). Dream Chronicles Walkthrough. Gamezebo. Retrieved on 2007-06-25
- ↑ Amazon.com (2007-09-24). Brighter Minds Dream Chronicles. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-24
- ↑ Amazon.com (2007-08-25). Dream Chronicles (Jewel Case). Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-25
- ↑ Amazon.com (2009-12-21). Dream Chronicles & Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze (JC). Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-21
- ↑ CasualCharts.com (2010-09-03). Dream Chronicles® Trilogy 1 Bundle Detail. CasualCharts.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-03
- ↑ 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 22.12 22.13 22.14 22.15 22.16 22.17 22.18 22.19 22.20 22.21 22.22 CasualCharts.com (2007-06-12). Dream Chronicles™ Charts. CasualCharts.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-12
- Dream Chronicles Home on PlayFirst
- Dream Chronicles Page on Facebook
- Dream Chronicles on PlayFirst
- Postmortem: Kat Games' Dream Chronicles on Gamasutra