Alter Ego 2: Dreamwalker (RetroSouls) Review | Crash Annual - Everygamegoing


Alter Ego 2: Dreamwalker
By RetroSouls
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Published in Crash Annual 2018

Alter Ego 2: Dreamwalker

Dreamwalker is the follow-up to Alter Ego (2011). It's the story of small boy, but he is not like other children. With no friends other than the companion he meets in his strange dreams, he seems to belong in another world, one where he can fly and where strawberry jelly grows like flowers.

The boy only truly lives in these dreams and this is the story of the Dreamwalker.

The object of the game is simple: collect the jelly to advance to the next level. The boy can switch places with his dream alter ego a limited number of times on each level to avoid enemies and reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Ladders allow access to different platforms and bouncing skulls hinder the little boy, losing him a life if touched.

Some levels have collapsing floors and these require further planning to avoid getting cut off from the remaining jellies. Judge the height of platforms carefully, as falling too far costs another life. Unlike the currently selected character, the dream-self doesn't have to obey the laws of gravity. He can walk over spaces and through skulls. The number of remaining character swaps is shown next to the alter ego and is replenished every level.

Early levels only have purple jellies to collect but further on only the little boy's imaginary friend can collect the white. Other colours appear later in the game, and they have their own set of rules. Level passwords are given out at certain points to enable a restart of the game near where you left off last time.

Mark Jones

This is brilliant! I can hardly fault it. What first strikes you when you start Alter Ego 2: Dreamwalker is the great 128K music and how beautifully animated the small graphics are - think Lode Runner but just a few pixels bigger. The object of the game sounds simple and, during the early levels, it is, but as you progress, the puzzles become craftier. The levels are set out so cleverly that you need to look really carefully before starting to move about in order to get the jellies without running out of character swaps - at which point you can find yourself stranded, with no choice but to restart the level. This is maddening but you have only yourself to blame. This really is one of the best Spectrum games I've ever played. Go get yourself a copy now.

Chris Wilkins

The first thing to smack you in the face - or more properly the ears - with this game is the music. It's absolutely stunning, and it ranks as one of those games that you have to load up just to listen to the tunes. This is also a thinking man's game - a game that continues to keep your grey matter ticking over to the maximum as you work out a path to complete the level. I have one little niggle and that is only a part of the screen is used, leaving a big black void underneath - this is minor though as the graphics, especially the main character, are extremely detailed and colourful. A true gem of a game.


Control Keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE switch
Joystick: Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: Very responsive
Use of colour: Excellent multi-colours in one 8x8 character square
Graphics: Small but beautifully drawn and animated
Sound: Two 128K tunes that get stuck in your head and nice spot effects
Skill levels: Progressively harder
Lives: 5
Special features: Nirvana engine graphics
General rating: Excellent. One of the best Spectrum games ever.

Mark JonesChris Wilkins

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