Dreamscaper Gameplay Preview – Cinematic Roguelite

Developed by Afterburner Studios, published by Freedom Games, Maple Whispering Limited – August 5, 2021 (S, PC)
*MSRP: $24.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1040420/Dreamscaper/

Dreamscaper is a roguelite that oozes style. The graphics look fantastic and create a surreal world that feels something like a dream captured in a diorama.

The gameplay of Dreamscaper is fantastic as well. It streamlines the gameplay so it’s easily accessible for those already familiar with action adventure games such as Dark Souls. If you read a lot of my articles you know I love bringing up Dark Souls whenever a game has dodge rolls and parrying. The game strikes a fine balance of being easy enough to learn while not being too frustrating in terms of difficulty.

The game has two portions, the combat phase in the dreamscape and then purchasing upgrades in the real world. The combat feels pretty good. You have your stand melee attack, ranged attack, two spells for offense, and a dodge roll, block, and parry for defense. The parry window is pretty generous so I would recommend using that as much as possible. If you find it difficult, you can upgrade it later once you spend enough points.

Dreamscaper is a well designed game where it respects your time. The minimap will always display items left behind in that room.

Each level is a maze. And here the game once again shows some excellent design. The minimap shows any items left undiscovered in each room by a distinct icon. This makes sure that you don’t leave any items behind unless you want to. The game also lets you fast travel to any previously explored rooms, making traversing the map a breeze.

The boss fights are pretty fun and decently challenging but if you don’t feel like replaying them, you can skip them completely.

You must find and defeat the boss of each floor before descending to the next. Here again, the game does a great job of keeping it accessible by letting you skip boss fights that you have already won, if you don’t feel like spending time on it again. The tradeoff is that you do not earn any resources and items for defeating said boss.

You purchase your upgrades in the real world by interacting with people. This creates some quiet, character building moments in an otherwise action heavy game.

You spend the game defeating enemies, clearing rooms, and finding new equipment. Once you die however, you return to the real world. Here you can spend your resources to upgrade passive bonuses, unlock new weapons and gear, and unlock level specific bonuses to make each run easier. The game also throws in some narrative elements by letting you talk to npcs and give them gifts to unlock more upgrades after playing a scene with dialogue. It adds another layer to the game.

Overall, Dreamscaper is a well made roguelite. It has a lot of quality of life improvements where it respects your time. The smart design lets you jump into the game and spend as little or as much time as you want in it. The combat and mechanics are pretty solid as well. On top of this is a very stylish aesthetic.

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