Dream Day – A Look at the Series

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by on May 12, 2011 at 1:20 am

Dream Day Wedding launched a series that now includes seven games, all hidden object games. The newer titles have more mini-games and puzzle elements than the first couple, but they’ve all retained the artistic style and hidden object design created in that first game. The first few games may have had less extra elements outside of the hidden object aspect, and it was a straightforward hidden object list, but it did have a Choose a Story, which has been abandoned in the last three games.

The first game, Dream Day Wedding, came out in 2007. It was straightforward, following the story of a couple getting married, with the player as the wedding planner, dealing with setting up and averting crises. The first game had very little extra gameplay, but the Choose a Story gave it replayability, since it’s fun to see what the other paths the characters took to the aisle could be, similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure novels. The only other gameplay outside of hidden object was a card matching game that revealed wedding presents. There was a bonus scene, a honeymoon room, which shows up in the next title as well.

The second in the series, Dream Day Honeymoon, also was released in 2007, a few months after the first. It didn’t break the mold set by the first, as there is still just one couple to follow around, and the mini-games are still limited to Choose a Story and card matching. It continued the good hidden object created in the first title and the artwork stayed true. Again, there was very little replayability or extra modes, unless players really enjoy the story aspect.

Things got a little better in the third release, Dream Day First Home. Instead of just one option, there were two houses with two sets of scenes to go with it to play through. Players still follow the same couple met in the first two games, and in this case, they are remodeling their first home. There’s extra incentive in playing through both houses, since the ending of the game is only unlocked by completing the redesign of both. The hidden object aspect retains its simple list format, but there are extra mini-games in this one, besides a card matching one. There’s a design an object game, and the objects show up at the end in the special room they’ve been working on. There is a game where players have to match two objects that go together, like a moon and stars. The Choose a Story is also retained in this title. It is nice to see some additional gameplay and the extra house and bonus levels really made this game feel like it’s worth the money.

The fourth one, Dream Day Wedding: Married in Manhattan, returned to the wedding scene with two new couples wanting to get married. Again, we get two completely different storylines with different scenes to find objects in. Married in Manhattan diverges from the formula of the previous three games with adventure-game style puzzles. Every few scenes, players will have to find the to-do lists hidden somewhere in the bride’s apartment. Don’t expect the placement of the lists to be logical, but this puzzle aspect is a welcome addition. The mini-games in this one are different from the previous two, with a seating chart arranging logic puzzle and a Pipe Dream style game and there is still the Choose a Story aspect.

Dream Day Wedding: Viva Las Vegas, continues the wedding planner story, but this time, we head to Las Vegas, where the game style takes a sharp turn. Instead of the scrapbook style level choices in the previous four games, the selection screen looks like a resort hotel. This game also does away with the Choose a Story aspect completely, so we learn very little about the couple we’re planning a wedding for – and that component is missed. However, there are some great additions that somewhat make up for that. The hidden object aspects get twisted up with a few list manipulations, like putting them in a foreign language (which can be found without translating or translated into English by finding dictionaries), one level with rebus style puzzles for the list and another with anagrams. The puzzles and mini-games are part of the normal gameplay, rather than separate sections like in the previous games. There are areas where players can get trapped and have to figure out how to get out of a room using whatever objects are there, and all the while, the clock is ticking down. It’s, of the six, the best game in the series so far.

The final game we’ll be looking at, the sixth in the series, is Dream Day Wedding: Bella Italia. As the name implies, it’s set in Italy. It starts out with an office scene, and that happens to be the last scene as well. There are different modes to choose from (besides timed and carefree), but the extra third hardcore mode can’t be opened without completing one of the other modes first, so there’s replayability built in, and some content is only available once having played it through once and getting to the end a second time in the harder mode. It carries over a lot of the same elements Viva Las Vegas brought in, but goes back to the scrapbook style of level selection. Instead of just a wedding, though, proposal planning is involved as well. There are trapped scenes and the number of objects to be found is greater than it’s ever been in this series. It’s a solid title, not quite as good as Viva Las Vegas, but close.

The Dream Day series has evolved from a simple hidden object game to a complex puzzle game full of objects to be found and varying tasks to be performed. The last two games are missing some of the backstory we so loved in the first games, but have added so much that’s easy to forgive. Throughout all the games, though, the art style has been retained and that’s a good thing. If you haven’t played any of these games before, there is a bundle of the first four games available, Dream Day 4-ever, that is worth the purchase.

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