Into A Dream
Into A Dream has some interesting ideas, but the muddled storytelling and enjoyment-sapping gameplay stifle its ability to have a positive impact.
I don’t think there has ever been an age where there has been a larger global concern, understanding or recognition of mental health as there is right now. With everybody struggling from the long-running effects of Covid-19, the concept of mental health is no longer the large taboo it used to be.
Into a Dream is a decent effort for a solo developer’s small debut game. It’s a promising start in terms of dialogue writing, visuals, and music. Apart from a game-breaking bug, I would have given it a higher rating if I had experienced more agency as a player, in terms of really making an impact on Luke Williams. I wouldn’t recommend picking it up for the puzzles, only for the themes, though unfortunately, I don’t think the game made an impact on me theme-wise. But I appreciate that it chose to focus on a working father/husband, a demographic we don’t often hear talking about their inner struggles.
As a critic, I can’t pretend that the game’s flaws don’t outweigh its qualities. It’s all but impossible to really dislike a game like this, one that has such obvious good intentions and a sincere, hopeful outlook. But there’s also, unfortunately, little reason to recommend that you play it.
There is so much to like about Into A Dream, and the overall experience is a compelling, heart-wrenching look at interpersonal relationships, mental illness and connection. At a time when so many in the world are feeling understandably out of control, isolated and disconnected, Into A Dream is a welcome reminder of the beauty of compassion and empathy.