“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Lucy Dreaming is a charming point-and-click comedy adventure set in Britain. Players take on the role of Lucy and explore both dreams and reality in order to get to the bottom of a notorious local crime and rid the young girl of her nightmares!
Developer: Tall Story Games Ltd.
Released: 18th October 2022
This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.
Lucy Dreaming plays like a classic point-and-click. Interactivity options include look at, talk to, pick up, and use and nearly everything in the game can be clicked on, players can even talk to inanimate objects! It does a good job of directing the player through the gameplay but for reminders, there is a diary listing all objectives and indicating which are complete.
Whilst most puzzles are inventory based, there is a lot of variety amongst them and solutions reveal themselves in a plethora of different ways. Some of the conundrums are really quite tricky but the answers are very logical for the most part. To help, there is a hint system that will indicate important items that can be interacted with. The game will take anywhere from 6 -12 hours to play depending on how thoroughly the player explores and how difficult they find the puzzles.
The game is set in the town of Figgington (home of the Figgington plop!) and the dreams of a young girl named Lucy. Players take on the role of the titular character and must find a way to rid her of her nightmares. Whilst doing so, a mysterious email leads her to look into a local crime from the past and discover a dark family secret.
The narrative is nicely paced, with plenty of fun twists and turns and the witty writing is full of meta-jokes, puns and delightful silliness! There is comical hyperbole of British stereotypes, for example, Lucy’s mum hunts with a blunderbuss and goes otter flinging! A host of eclectic characters are available to meet, all vividly unique and full of personality. Some of the humour is slightly mature with the odd bit of innuendo or a swear word but the game does not go overboard with this and it adds to the quirkiness of the experience.
Lucy Dreaming has distinctly retro styling featuring detailed pixel art and muted colour palettes that sometimes appear dingy, much like British weather! There is also a wide variety of nostalgic visual allusions to enjoy amongst the range of settings depicted, such as a Ludo Plushie from the 1986 film Labyrinth or a reference to the 1993 game Day of the Tentacle. The game has a variety of locations that gradually become available to explore, being set partially within dreams affords it some charmingly bizarre settings including a stand-up show for carnivorous plants. Even the scenes set in locations in Figginton, such as the town centre and the library can be a tad eccentric!
The primary music is somewhat jovial, featuring keyboard, xylophone, and cymbals with a subtle noir/detective game feel. There is some nice variety amongst the OST and there are a number of tracks that deviate from the main theme in a bid to bring the different scenes to life such as organ music in the church. Sound effects are plentiful, implemented well and often quite amusing. The voice acting is great with Lucy’s expressive northern accent being a highlight.
Lucy Dreaming is a fantastic example of a point-and-click game. Its humourous writing, charming setting and wonderful characters come together to depict an engaging and intriguing story with well-designed gameplay and challenging puzzles. Overall, it is a lot of fun and definitely a game worth taking time over since there are so many enjoyable details to discover. The British accents, clichés and nomenclature are familiar to me and often implemented in a fun and amusingly exaggerated way, adding to my personal enjoyment of the experience.