“Last night was a night of bad dreams and ambiguous visions.” – Sophocles
Bad Dream: Stories is a series of short, unsettling, point-and-click adventures set in a disturbing dream world. It is a collection of older games in a new, remastered form with the original versions available to download individually on itch.io for free.
Developer: Desert Fox
Released: 30th September 2021
Available on: Steam
Engine: Game Maker
Content Warning: Contains occasional violence, gore and self-harm.
Gameplay and Narrative
Bad Dream Stories features logical inventory-based puzzles. Usable inventory items are automatically selected when the cursor is placed over an object in the scene and the straightforward mouse-only controls require only movement and left clicking.
Each story in the series has its own narrative with multiple possible endings and different paths by which to get there. All of the stories are equally creepy and rather morbid by nature, in fact, there are some truly gruesome moments involving things such as stabbing somebody’s eye out or painting with bodily fluids.
Bad Dream: Stories has a simple art style with backgrounds like aged parchment, yellowed and stained. The minimalist black line art is broken up by the occasional and deliberate splash of colour – usually red! The overall effect is quite striking and dramatic.
The immersive sound effects range from creepy ambient noises such as doors creaking to horrifying sounds like agonised screaming. A lullaby is used for the menu music, fitting the game’s themes in a rather ominous way. The in-game music is much more subtly evocative with delicate strings and eerie droning.
A single playthrough of Bad Dream: Stories can be completed in under two hours, however, there is a heap of replayability in terms of multiple endings and fun Steam achievements. It is also perfect to play as individual stories in shorter sessions. The art style and narrative elements are original and brilliantly horrific and the puzzles are logical and satisfying. I highly recommend this series of games to fans of the point-and-click puzzle genre or anyone that likes their games macabre!
For more original psychological horror games check out:
Buddy Simulator 1984: The Best Friend You Didn’t Know You Wanted! – SHUT IN: This Game will Insult You!