[PlayStation 4] Dreamlands: Aisling’s Quest Review
Dreamlands: Aisling’s Quest is a beautiful point and click game. Learn more about this adventure in our Dreamlands: Aisling’s Quest review!
One day, Aisling experienced an event that opened the way for a mysterious being that transports her into a world shaped by her dreams and nightmares. There, she learns about The Mourner, a dark entity that is covering and corrupting the land. Aisling must go on a quest to recover three treasures that will help her face The Mourner, bringing peace to the Dreamlands and ultimately to herself.
The intro to the game was like a movie scene, and I was very impressed by it. After seeing it, I thought it would give me an idea as to how the gameplay would work. Once the intro ended and the colorful location came to life with a woman standing on the edge of a precipice, it gave me a bit of a shock. The game revolves around Aisling on her quest to free the Dreamlands from the evil. She’s sitting at her desk writing in her diary about how she longs to see her mother again, the story could further expand on what happened to her mother, and as far as I can tell her mother doesn’t appear to be living. There is a lot potential for a more in-depth story about Aisling and her mother and their relationship before she went into the dreamworld, which felt like a missed opportunity for me. Aisling is then told she is stuck in a world between dreams and nightmares which are being controlled by a dark entity known as the ‘Mourner.’
Dreamlands: Aisling’s Quest is largely a point and click adventure, but not a truly native one where you can explore stuff – it felt more like a streamlined version of a point and click game. The hint system is also not really a proper hint system, as it seems to pick and choose what’s interesting and what isn’t, which I thought was a bit annoying. For instance, most point and click games will highlight anything that is of interest, but there is nothing of that type in this one.
The animations are also weird as the characters have no movement, and even during a dialogue section their mouths do not move. While the environments are really beautiful and polished, the same amount of time and effort didn’t go into the character creations. Artifex Mundi usually creates far better character models including great animations, and hopefully, the studio developers can learn something from for their next game – and yes, I am aware of the difference in budgets between Artifex Mundi and an indie developer.
The control is an area where it works quite well as you have two controller set up options. You have a constant cursor that you can move around with either thumbstick, or if you prefer, you can use the touchpad set up, which I actually didn’t like so I stuck with the default thumb sticks settings. You can simply move the cursor over items and when it turns into an eye, you can either collect it or take a closer look at the item. To move from screen to screen, simply move the cursor over to the corner of the screen and the cursor will turn into a hand. As I mentioned before, Aisling has no movement, so there is no real exploration.
The game can be completed in a single hour depending on how good you are at logic puzzles and hidden object scenes. The puzzles could have been a little better, as some of them require a painfully slow rotation grind to them. I was also rather surprised to see combat in a game like this. You will have to fend off bad guys by clicking on them with your lantern, and that mechanic worked fairly well!
Overall Dreamlands: Aisling’s Quest was an interesting game, with some niggles that could be ironed out in future games, I would recommend the game as a stepping stone into the point and click genre as there is nothing too taxing for players, and it’s also a short experience.
This Dreamlands: Aisling’s Quest review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by The Domaginarium.