The story follows two children with very active imaginations, friends since they were really small. One of them finds a mystical amulet, thinking nothing of it other than a nice looking toy. Yet when she wears it, she is transported in her sleep to a fantastical land where she gets to be a princess! The girl is so enthralled by the amulet that she never takes it off, taking every opportunity to fall in a deep slumber so she can visit that magical world. Such is her disconnect, that she won’t even talk to her best friend. We take the role of the boy, deeply worried about his friend but with little to do, or at least he thought so.
One night, things took a turn for the worst, as the girl’s parents' biggest fears came to be: She was no longer waking up. They called for the best doctors from around the country, and neither of them could wake the poor child or even tell what was wrong with her; that is clear to us since her affliction is magical in nature. Now, we must enter not only our friend's house but also her dreams as we try to rescue her from the clutches of a soon-to-be nightmare.
The game’s art style is very colorful, even when traveling to ruined down locales. Like many titles of its genre, each of its backgrounds are gorgeously detailed and filled with interesting things; they are not only pretty to look at, but they also tell the story of the world. Plenty of items in the world are 2D animated, giving a lot of life to an otherwise static image. And in some cases, objects will react to your clicking and start moving, particularly your titular amulet that you use all through your adventure.
The game is fully voice acted, immersing anyone into its story. Yet not only that, whenever you interact with a character they become a fully animated 3D model. There are even cutscenes where the full 3D renders interact with each other, making it almost like watching a movie. It’s hard to overstate the level of quality in play here.
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Gameplay follows the classic gist of the genre. You travel from area to area looking for objects, and investigate interactable zones to get even more objects. Some zones require objects themselves, others are puzzles that award useful items. These puzzles are very varied between one another, and they are where most of the fantastical things in the game happen. This makes it so you never truly know the reward for completing a puzzle, therefore you get double the enjoyment from completing them; from the challenge itself, and from the surprising effects that might happen!
As you collect things, you have to use them in order to advance to the newer areas. Plenty of times you will find yourself backtracking in order to solve previous puzzles, since all areas are interconnected like that.
The main puzzle for you to solve is the List. You are shown a scene with plenty of cluttered items, and you have to find and click on the ones shown on a list. Sometimes the list is made of words, other times of objects that you need to place on the scene. These List puzzles are found all throughout the game and sometimes you need to do the same one twice in order to get multiple useful objects.
Keep in mind that if you get otherwise stuck, you can always use the hint button to show you were to go next. While it takes a while to recharge, it is always useful in a pinch. You can even use it to skip most puzzles, quite handy!
Amulet of Dreams is a heartwarming story that not only dwells in the power of friendship, but also on how to find love in the most unlikely of places, and of course about following your dreams. While not the most challenging experience, it certainly is a ride to enjoy, and it makes one think about children on a different level.
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