The Sueno

We're taking part in a study at a sleep clinic. We take a drug, and proceed to sleep and dream. It's lucid dreaming, so the dream world isn't quite so surreal as it otherwise might be. In fact, it seems fairly realistic ... if more than a bit "Twilight Zone"-ish.

It didn't really grab me. I did not feel as tough I had a stake in it, nor did I feel as though I had any clear goals to achieve. It seemed, from the premise, that this would be a game of exploration and self-discovery. The appearance of this "Wallace Josephs" character kind of changed the direction of the story a little bit, but that's not a problem. It gave the game some direction, even if the development seemed a little "out of the blue".

What did come as a surprise was that there might be a real link between this "Wallace Josephs" and the kindly old doctor conducting the sleep experiment in the real world. I mean, a link is established early on, but I just assumed that this was some subconscious paranoia ascribing villainous attributes to the one authority figure currently in control of the situation. But in the end we wake up somehow knowing that everything is real, and that we've been exploring inside his subconscious, not ours. Personally, I think we're actually just letting our paranoia get away with us, and we're going to wind up in a straitjacket somewhere as a result.

A few more points:

Firstly, randomised success, particularly in dangerous situations, is not a good thing. The first instance of failure will be taken to mean that this avenue of action is not the way to go, and only a very desperate player will try the same thing a second time. And if there's a chance that the second attempt will meet with an identical result, the player is almost certainly going to give up.

Secondly, the command "dream about..." is problematic. It's not particularly consistent. At one point, it's used to banish a dental probe; but then, why can't it be used to banish other obstacles in the dream? Until that point, I thought that it worked solely as a teleportation device. As for dreaming things into existance ... well, I think that is territory into which no game author should ever allow a player to venture, not without some serious limitations. There's just no way you could catch and deal with every single thing that a player could think of to summon.

Cherry pie and very strong, black coffee. Because I'm also getting a bit of a "Twin Peaks" vibe here.