As soon as the Tim Burton carnival-like music hit during the Lucy Dreaming demo title screen, I do believe I got a few goosebumps. I’m a bit of a contradiction as I used to get a bit indifferent with all the pixel art games on the Switch, yet get excited about point and click throwbacks.
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Those goosebumps were a mixture of Maniac Mansion and perhaps some of the Sierra games of old when you install the umpteen number of disks (spelt correctly – floppies, man), then these glorious bitmaps would appear on screen with the classic, no-frills white crosshair. Also, the music reminded me of The Addams Family on the Amiga.
Let’s further cement the wave of nostalgia with a list of the first things on show in Lucy’s room, and from the classic textbook How To Trick People Into Buying Your Game:
- Ludo from Labyrinth (the greatest film of all-time?)
- A poster of Mêlée Island
- The Ecto-1
Ok, it’s clear this game was made by developers with great taste. This is Tall Story Games third full title, but one that is heading to Kickstarter next month, so once you’ve read this Lucy Dreaming demo write-up, go download it and see for yourself. At least finish reading, though. I do try, you know.
Besides the plethora of 80s/90s goodies in her room, including a ghettoblaster, she seems to be in a house of eccentrics. Her mum is an amateur taxidermist(?), and her father a bit like Stressed Eric, cross-legged on the floor listening to humming monks and what-have-you.
She’s prone to lucid dreaming, which I experience a bit, but her experiences are a bit ominous. She’s been advised on how to set up for the perfect sleep, and in the Lucy Dreaming demo, you have to find the items to get her there.
It’s a relatively short experience – just under an hour for me, and there’s just enough to get the taste for what’s to come. Going back to the Maniac Mansion reference, it wasn’t that far off – in fact, more like Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. I’m sure I mention that at least once a month.
The point of the Lucy Dreaming demo is exactly that: you have to point the cursor to places of interest then select from the verbs to interact. Look at is the default, then pick up, talk to and use. To the bottom right is an ever-present inventory list. As can be expected on the genre, Lucy has an opinion on everything, so look at or try to use an item, and they’ll be varying responses.
Naturally, the odd repeat will be when you try clicking an object on similar items if it has no meaning. Still, generally speaking, she’ll have a good repertoire of point and click in-jokes and frequently breaking the fourth wall, giving a smug nod that this is a demo. Not such a nod, she tells us.
Playing on the theme, I found it all so dreamy but had to pinch myself and remember that this isn’t out until 2022 and needs YOU, dear reader, to back the Kickstarter campaign when it’s up.
In the short playtime, I enjoyed it. Lucy is amusing, and the delivery is great. I’m not just saying that because she’s performed by the wife part of the husband and wife team, but it’d definitely suck if she weren’t any good. She excels at the part.
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There was a good amount to tinker with in this Lucy Dreaming demo, and surprisingly, the inventory line-up and subsequent combinations weren’t as illogical as their counterparts. I, for one, use a hairdryer on my face to wake me up, so its use in the demo made perfect sense to me.
Wishlist this if you’re an old school point and clicker like moi, and look out for news on backing it. I’m not on commission, nor have I ever had contact with anyone at the developers, but based on the demo, I’m excited to see this one in due course.