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Updated November 20, 2004

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(BJM Software)

"Rank among the greatest battlers in the world!"

Jesters should never walk in the forest alone. You learn the hard way as you frolic peacefully in the grass, only to be ambushed by a couple of guards. You lose sight and get knocked out, and wake up in a dank and rotting prison. As you recover, the guards corner you and question you about a magical stone.

Convinced that something is terribly wrong, you take the initiative and kill the guards with your lightning attacks. You must escape now-- but can you make your way back to safety, learn new spells to protect yourself, and discover the secret of the wizard's stone?

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
(Very Good)
Though short in game length, DreamScape is full of visual splendor. It's obvious that the bulk of the development time spent by BJM Software was in the graphics department, forming lush tilesets that in turn compare easily with SNES-quality RPGs, with Lord of the Rings for the SNES in particular coming to mind. The forest level in particular is most indicative of this observation.

Even more impressive than the tilesets is BJM's use of flicker-free animation with screen-intensive, real-time special effects. Bolts of lightning can rain down so often that it can literally be measured in shots per minute, and multiple enemies can attack with spells on screen without slowdown. It should be noted though that DreamScape has fairly high memory requirements, so slowdown might be apparent on slower systems.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A Some of the jester's lines may be a good for a laugh, but DreamScape itself features no sound or music.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
DreamScape is a mouse-operated spellcasting RPG, probably closest to the Baldur's Gate series of games for the PC. Don't expect any treasure chests, gold pieces, or townsfolk though. The current version available on the Internet gives gamers control of one character, who kills everything he sees and uses the scrolls enemies drop to increase hitpoints or learn new spells.

BJM Software doesn't waste any time with giving the player a good set of spells to choose from. Utilizing healing and lightning attacks is as easy as choosing the proper spell from the toolbar on the upper-left of the screen, aiming whereever on the screen you want the sepll to be used, then clicking the right-mouse button.

The only problem with the otherwise perfect mouse-controlled system for DreamScape is that, while walking with the left-mouse button, it's possible to accidentally click on the menu on the upper-left of the screen. This can get awkward at times but is especially aggravating when trying to manuvuer during a tight battle and accidentally switching to an undesired spell.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) The RPG humor (naming the evil character "Bob", for example) is a pretty good start, but there just isn't enough dialog in DreamScape to create the satiric feel that BJM Software intended.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Offering a quick and easy quest, there isn't really enough of a pull in DreamScape to compel gamers to play again. At the same time, however, there's no annoying parts in the game that would persuade gamers not to play either, and there are a few bonus spells to find if every room in the game is searched thoroughly.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
Except for the very last battle, DreamScape is not the kind of game that is meant ot frustrate players. Because the experience-gaining system of the game is linear, fighting a few extra baddies early on in the game takes away most of the challenge in the jester's quest, allowing the focus of the game to shift to it's mazes.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
(Very Poor) Playing through DreamScape is like trying to play through a demo of a really good-looking game. The graphics in DreamScape are very inviting and the spell-oriented gameplay has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, BJM Software never really taps into it. The experience-gaining element of DreamScape is incredibly limited and very easy to break; a few extra battles will make the rest of the game incredibly easy to play, reducing the game to nothing more than a click-and-kill adventure. This is a shame too, because the story isn't developed fully and there's no music in the game to distract from that either. Here's to hoping that BJM Software (which shows preview pics of in-game action featuring as many as four characters at one time) will complete this game and show everyone what DreamScape is really about.

DreamScape Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 15 min Final Rating: 7/35

To download DreamScape (651KB), click here.
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
wTo play DreamScape, unzip the file and run "DREAM.EXE". 

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Game Summary
Coding Group
BJM Software
Homepage URL
Final Rating
7 out of 35 points

The Highs: BJM Software does a great job of combining high-quality graphics with real-time spellcasts and special effects.
The Lows: DreamScape is just too short and easy, even though the potential to be an addictive and well-drawn out game is there.

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