Weird Dreams (MicroProse) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Weird Dreams
By Rainbird
Amiga 500

 
Published in Zzap #60

Weird Dreams

Steve is not a lucky person. Of all the unlucky love matches made through the millennia, Steve's love for fellow worker Emily is most likely the worst. Because, in truth, there aren't that many daemons that have been banished to Earth. And Zelloripus, the one possessing Emily, is the most evil daemon there has ever been. Of course Emily might look attractive, but after centuries of tedium in Plymouth her outlook on life is not sunny...

To begin with, Emily gives Steve some 'headache pills' to heighten his senses - so as to make the coming agony even worse: Then she unleashes the eponymous weird dreams which have such an intense, vicious edge they soon put him in hospital for a life-threatening operation...

For Steve to wake up from his terrifying dreams, and survive the operation, he must collect various objects from the multiple, interconnected dreams which haunt him. His quest begins in a candy floss machine, a great metal tub with sticky pink floss whirling around to be gathered up by a stick. Steve must jump up at just the right moment to grab hold of the stick without being flattened by it. (C64 owners cannot be killed here, but it's harder to grab the stick.)

Once lifted out of the tub Steve is deposited outside a fairground, just in time to face a giant wasp carrying a very useful object. Unfortunately the wasp has a lethal sting... Amiga owners can run left into the hall of mirrors where there are five mirrors (two of which are temporarily barred), giving access to the other dream levels. C64 owners however, must play the game in a set order to make multi-loading easier. (This is an intelligent use of machine, but frequent death forces so much rewinding and reloading that the cassette version seems almost pointless.)

There are about nine sub-games in all, including a beat-'em-up one where you fight rock creatures with a fish, some swordplay with roses and a lethal game of ball with a young girl.

Stu

Weird Dreams has obvious similarities with Space Ace, in that both have some spectacularly imaginative graphics - at the price of heavy disk access and limited gameplay. The sub-games look weird, but as there's only about nine, they're very tough to provide some sort of value-for-money.

This soon becomes extremely irritating, forcing lots of reloading when you die. Obviously the Amiga game has faster disk access, but it's more frequent (unless you have one megabyte of memory). In short, while the graphics are great (especially on the C64), the gameplay will please only the patient and persistent.

Phil

Well, this is, er,... weird! I mean, what other game can boast giant wasps, floating fish or a carnivorous football (my personal favourite)? Some of the very attractive, surrealist graphics are also pretty gruesome; especially when you get get shredded by a runaway lawnmower!

The gameplay, although innovative, doesn't really live up to the great presentation. But if you're looking for something a bit different, Weird Dreams is it!

Verdict (Commodore 64)

Presentation 65%
Some attractive intro screens soon become irritating as dying forces reloading (unbearable on cassette, marks are for disk version).

Graphics 87%
Big, bold, colourful, and very imaginative. The wasp is particularly nice.

Sound 80%
Some nice loading music and in-game tunes.

Hookability 42%
The first game is one of the hardest and least enjoyable.

Lastability 30%
Toughness makes for a formidable challenge, but weak gameplay makes persistence unlikely.

Overall 52%
A bold conversion, which fails mainly due to weaknesses in the original's gameplay. Oh, and deduct 20% for the cassette version.

Verdict (Amiga)

Presentation 78%
Quite a readable novella, but elaborate death sequence soon becomes irritating.

Graphics 84%
Definitely weird, and nicely drawn, but variety is lacking.

Sound 72%
Some good tunes and effects.

Hookability 57%
Initially confusing and high difficulty makes compulsive addiction unlikely.

Lastability 63%
Limited gameplay is hardly compensated for by irritating toughness.

Overall 60%
An ambitious idea which lacks sufficient thought over gameplay.