Dreamscaper Impressions

Though beautiful would be an understatement, Dreamscaper is exactly that but brought to life in many and more extraordinary ways. From the narrative to the gameplay, there's much to be said about the game, and even more to learn from these masterful developers at Afterburner Studios. Bringing this fantasy world into reality must have been a joy beyond words, especially with their Kickstarter reaching double their initial goal.

What with the overshadowing of Nintendo Indie World by Gamescom in August and in the culmination of the game's Kickstarter by 11 PM tonight, it's about time Dreamscaper was received with much praise. Aptly named, Afterburner was founded by a group of burned-out ex-employees from some of the gaming industry's top companies, such as 2K, Outpost, Epic Games, and Zynga. After the past year of its development, this highly ambitious title will be the highlight of Steam and the Switch come Spring 2020.

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With a tag-line reading "Dream. Die. Wake. Repeat." Dreamscaper gives players the mechanics and the narrative in under five words. The gameplay is mostly a hack-and-slash, though it also incorporates both adventure and exploration in a variety of ways. The well-crafted story follows Cassidy in both a dream-state and while she's awake, actions in which both affect the opposing worlds of the game. As Afterburner co-founder Ian Cofino says:

"We find the games we love the most strike a chord on multiple levels, interconnected in both gameplay and storytelling and that's the aim with Dreamscaper."

As Cassidy, players are dropped into the nightmarish (yet still breathtaking) realms of the character's struggling subconscious in order to fend off the torments plaguing her mind. Utilizing her brilliant imagination while wielding a powerful sword (along with many other awesome weapons and abilities), you'll fend off opponents such as monsters, ghouls, and similar mystical creatures of the like. While awake, players will have the chance to grow Cassidy's relationships in many interesting concepts and gain in her abilities, weaving the story together as you aid her tackling depression, angst, and many other debilitating emotions of everyday life.

With overriding themes of overcoming your emotional weights and utilizing imagination to its fullest are powerful and symbolic, Dreamscaper stands to showcase even more in its profound depths. Almost like playing a rendition of Inception or Paprika, the game allows you to look at dreams and our day-to-day relationships in a far different manner. Other games often aim to simply tell a great story, whereas Afterburner what's their player base to grow in an extraordinary way while playing. It's an interesting concept rarely witnessed in the gaming industry, elevating their debut title tenfold.

After the many amazing announcements previewed at Nintendo Direct last night, Dreamscaper is just one of the many reasons to buy a Switch. Available early Spring 2020, Dreamscaper will take players on a nightmarish adventure that twists and turns as they weave through its beautiful narrative, unlocking and relinquishing their own issues as they battle Cassidy's to their fullest potential.

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