INTO A DREAM
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on July 16, 2020
A while ago, I played the demo of a game called Into a Dream. Now, just a few short months later, it is already time for us to check out the full version. I had fun playing the demo, so I was really anxious to see what the full game had turned out.
In Into a Dream, you'll have to make your way through various environments. The foreground is mainly black and the backgrounds are slightly colored or simply grayscale, but both varieties have a truly dreamlike quality. We start our journey in a forest, where we discover a man just standing there. He has no clue who he is, where he is or what he should be doing. You, as the player, have no idea either, so this is going to be a journey where both you and the main character will sort things out as they go. During the first scene, you will discover that you are a psychiatrist. Together with some colleagues you were working on a case that revolved around a patient called Luke Williams. Luke suffers from a very deep depression and doesn't seem to respond to any of the treatments the doctors come up with. As it turns out, there's a new form of therapy, which basically enables you to enter the thoughts and deeper subconscious of a patient. But there's a catch; to do so, you'll have to let go of your own memories for the time being.
Into A Dream is a story-driven atmospheric adventure about love, hopelessness and depression, developed by just one man: solo developer Filipe F. Thomaz. The game is created from Filipe's personal experiences and observations of those in his life struggling with mental health issues, often identifying "the mask that some people wear when living with depression". There are a couple of puzzle and platform elements as well, but nothing too difficult, because the main focus of this game is on storytelling. In 11 chapters, the game takes you through all kinds of important moments in Luke's life, the happy ones and the not so happy ones. Slowly but surely you'll get more and more insight into what happened to him.
A sense of mystery seeps through every digital pore of Into a Dream. It is a game in which things aren't always as they seem. The art style, music and story complement each other in very nice and subtle way. Filipe chose a piano as the core instrument because "both its softness and richness can easily translate and depict ourselves and our emotions". That way every emotion is enhanced through a dreamlike original soundtrack with each theme composed as an expanded narrative element.
I love the side-scrolling silhouetted black and white world, in which only certain items or objects are shown in color. And even more interesting is the fact that these highlighted objects are not always needed to continue the story. For example, I had to save a dog and his collar was highlighted in red, but I didn't need that collar to solve a puzzle or something like that.
I love a game with a good story and Into a Dream offers me exactly that. When you follow all kinds of events in someone's life, you get a better understanding of where that person is coming from and you inevitably start to care about what happens to them. It was a beautiful journey and it felt amazing to play this game, especially if you realize that it's created by only one person. It is said that some writers write a book from the heart, and it is my belief that Filipe created a game from the heart!
If you want to see more of this game, please do yourself a favor and visit its Steam Page.
INTO A DREAM
Filipe F. Thomaz
July 30, 2020