Review by The Manx
Dream, dream, dreeeeeeeaamm...
In the first Dare to Dream game, Tyler Norris learned that some dark creature of his psyche named Christian was coming to get him. Upon waking from his strange dream, Tyler gets a call from his friend Terry, who just found a unicorn-shaped key, just like Tyler saw in his dream last night...
Dare to Dream 2, In Search of the Beast, as it's called, begins when Tyler tries the key in a door on Terry's suggestion, and he suddenly finds himself catapulted back into his dream world. The happy side of his mind, in this case, where he begins the search to find Christian before the demon finds him.
Like the first game Dare to Dream 2 is a nicely diverse collection of screens to explore and conquer on your way to the most evil of places.
The graphics are deliberately cheesy, nicely reflecting what a child who lives for Saturday morning's happy thoughts might look like. Though again, they're nothing that will blow your mind, but everything is easily identified.
Exaggerated and cheesy, like the graphics, again in keeping with the kind of atmosphere the game tries to create, especially in and around Lissa's castle. Like the first game, nothing to speak of in terms of sound effects.
Pretty much the same as the first. You go around collecting a strange bunch of items to solve various puzzles in your quest to find a way into the dark part of your mind.
There's a farm populated by cartoon animals, numerous talking bugs to make deals with, and even Tyler's dream girl waiting for her knight in shining armor to defeat the darkest evil, Christian. Even two guys named Bonehead and Cementhead who really live up to their names.
Finding all the stuff you need and how to use it is often fun and thought-provoking, but there are still some puzzles that require you to try some rather ridiculous-seeming things to progress further into the game. For instance, how do you get into the gate to hell, which is locked not with chains and doors but with the baleful eyes of a demon edifice?
Dare to Dream 2 was the high point of the series, capturing that feel of an innocent boy's dreams one last time before plunging into the unforgiving bowels of the dark part of the psyche. Frankly Dare to Dream 3 didn't feel like any kind of dream to me, but if you played the first two games you might as well play it too.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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