I'm on the fence with this one.
I really wanted to like this game as I'm a fan of the dark, creepy carnival themes but this one just left me cold. I'd only heard of this game after seeing it raved about in another game's review so I had to check it out. I should have stopped after playing the demo because it gave me all I needed to know as to whether I'd like it or not. Why I went ahead and bought it is anyone's guess.
I suppose it's because the sinister circus theme differs from the usual haunted mansion/asylum locations we've come to expect from games that are described as being spooky. And it intrigued me enough to buy Dreamland but I'm glad I waited for a half off sale. Each scene just looks kinda drab in color. I was spoiled by the bright, vivid colors in Weird Park_Broken Tune and I guess I expected the same level of color variations in Dreamland but I didn't get them. The colors are just sort of dull and the hidden object scenes are a nightmare. The objects are so well hidden that they're either too small or completely blended into the backgrounds, causing me to use the hint button far too much for my liking. As an experienced gamer, I felt I was pushed right back into the rank of beginner with this one with not knowing quite what to do or where to find needed items. And I didn't like it. Thankfully, the helpful map came in handy and transported me easily once I knew where I needed to place found items. But the game suffers from lack of a substantial storyline and other than for the villain who pops up randomly, there's no one else around and the lonely feeling is pervasive and something that never bothered me before in other games. I don't know what it is with this game that unnerves me so much as I like a challenge but this one just seemed a little too hard and not fun overall.
Not all of it is bad though. I found the shooting gallery to be great fun and if nothing else, provides enjoyable music to listen to between the times you wander around the park aimlessly. The puppet theatre was very cute with its associated minigame too and the refrigerator glutton, although somewhat annoying, had his own appeal. I had average luck with the puzzles, being able to do some while skipping others that made absolutely no sense to me, but it was towards the end that made me insane. After what you think is the end, more hidden object scenes pop up ad nauseum and I was so done by this time that I just wanted the game to be over. I struggled through it but was having no fun doing it. It's certainly not a game for beginners and there's the added perks of the various achievements that can be earned, so it's not a total loss. Just be prepared to work for them as they can be difficult to do. Finding the starfish and marbles are probably the biggest challenge as they are frequently of different colors and in a different orientation from what you're used to seeing, but the forums are helpful in providing where to find these items.
All in all, not a truly bad game but it's one that I won't be replaying anytime soon. I'll still recommend it, though, because it provides the kind of challenge that others may be seeking. I'm just not ready to feel that bad again.
October 9, 2012
Hit or Miss From one Scene to the Next
I bought this game because based on the free trial I thought it was going to be the greatest game ever. The problem is, it's not consistently great.
Plus, the map is comparatively enormous, which means a lot of wandering around looking for what you're supposed to do next. There is an interactive map where you can click and spawn, which is crucial for a game like this, but it's still harder than it should be to figure out what the next step is. I like a challenge as much as the next person, but I don't like it when the next step is more obscure than logical.
I still recommend it because it's SO DARNED CLOSE! At first I thought it was going to be as great as MCF, but it gradually peters out as the game progreses.
August 22, 2012
I was fooled by the trial thinking this would be fun. I hate to be negative with so many glowing reviews, but I didn't find this game fun at all. I'm in the middle of it and I can't wait to be finished. Although visually beautiful, HdO's are small and difficult to find and boy, are there plenty of them. It seemed every time I did something, there was another one. Groan :( But my biggest complaint was there were some mini games that could not be skipped and they were hard, with no amount of cheats that could help. I particularly hated the match-3 which seemed to get more and more time consuming and very difficult and you could not skip it. Only get this game if you want a real challenge.
December 30, 2011
Some good points, but kind of annoying
This game was just OK. Some of the objects in the HO scenes were way too hard to find...I ended up clicking on some just by chance, and I never really did see what they actually looked like. Some were just too tiny and too thoroughly hidden.
It was hard at times to figure out what I was supposed to do next, so I was glad to have access to a walkthrough, but the walkthrough abruptly stops before the game is actually finished. I also noticed some possible glitches towards the end that could prevent you from achieving the "awards" they mention for finding extra items.
All in all, I finished the game in just slightly over 5 hours, and came out more irritated than entertained. I'd say to look elsewhere, in spite of the nice artwork and decent previous reviews.
January 11, 2013
Dreamland is more like a Nightmare
I really hate to give a negative review because the title & theme seemed so promising. I especially like carnival, themepark, halloween type games, but definitely not this one.
The sounds were good, the locations plenty and it set up to be a good game by having a diary, task list, interactive map and spooky themed elements, but that's where the positives end.
Here's the problem: almost every time you click, there is another HOG scene. Worse, the graphics within each scene are horrible, muted, blurred and severely cluttered. In addition, you get punished for missed clicks and the Hint button takes a very long time to recharge.
Every scene in the game is so horribly rendered, you need the Sparkles to find the interactive items. Inexcusable. Either this is a very old game or it's been sitting around a while & got a late release because I've literally seen better graphics back in the late 90's and I'm not exaggerating.
September 23, 2012