Game: Lucy Dreaming
Genre: Point and Click, Adventure, Retro, Comedy
System: Steam (Windows, macOS, Linux)
Developer|Publisher: Tall Story Games Ltd
Controller Support: Full
Price: US $18.99 | UK £14.99 | EU € 15,99
Release Date: October 18th, 2022
Review code provided with many thanks to Tall Story Games Ltd.
Lucy Dreaming is a retro-looking, Sierra-like game with a lot of heart and a ton of humor. This quirky little point-and-click game is hilarious and very, very British.
Ahh, the Good Old Days of Point-And-Click
When my age was still in the single digits, my father brought home a game by Sierra. It was probably Space Quest, as that was the game I remember him playing the most growing up, but it could have also been one of the King’s Quests or even Quest for Glory. Either way, it began a decades-long love of weird little point-and-clicks that I still play. I have a massive collection of old Sierra titles that I hold near and dear to my heart.
Lucy Dreaming might as well have been programmed by Ken and Roberta Williams back in the early 1990s. It feels like an old Sierra game but updated for a new audience. It tickled the nostalgia centres of my brain in the same way that the new King’s Quest was released in 2016 by The Odd Gentlemen. This game was made by people who grew up loving these types of games just like me, and you can tell in every pixel of this game that this a labour of love.
The Story of Lucy Dreaming
In Lucy Dreaming, you play a young girl who has been plagued by the same dream for as long as she can remember. Her father buys a psychology book that instructs Lucy on how to begin taking control of her dreams. She must solve puzzles in the real world to get items to put in her Dream Box. Everything in the Dream Box travels with her into sleep to help solve puzzles in the dream world.
At the beginning of Lucy Dreaming, players wake from a dream of falling. This frightening dream is one that Lucy has been dealing with her whole short life, and she begins to wonder if this dream is trying to tell her something important. In order to dig up all the memories lost in the depths of her mind, she will first need to learn to take control of her sleeping mind and steer the dream world into giving her the hints she needs to unravel the mystery.
But Somehow Better than Sierra
While this feels like an old-school Sierra title, there have been some improvements to the old formulas that make Lucy Dreaming just a little bit better than some of the old ones. This point-and-click has a HINT BUTTON. I cannot tell you the number of times I wished for a hint button back in the day; the thought of calling Sierra’s hotline was enough to send me into hiding as a child. I would have rather never finished the game than have to pick up the phone and talk to a live human about the problems I was having in a game.
While the hint system doesn’t give too much away, it lights up all the places you can interact with to make sure you didn’t miss anything important. It was a very light spoiler, and I loved that type of hint. It pushed me in the right direction when I was caught without yelling the answer.
Also, all of the puzzle answers make sense. Like that part of Monkey Island that makes fun of Sierra puzzles, I remember growing up and poking fun at some of the weirder solutions to early point-and-click puzzles. Thankfully, there are no impossible puzzles like guessing the gnome’s name from 1984’s King’s Quest or trying to find that hidden passage in Riven. All the puzzles I have come across so far have been challenging, but none have been just insane puzzles that require both mental gymnastics and luck to get right.
The Look and Feel of Lucy Dreaming
This game is beautiful! For anyone who says a game can’t be stunning without realistic graphics, I challenge them to play this game and not fall in love with it. It’s charming, weird, funny, cute, and did I mention weird? Lucy’s dreams are a landscape of the surreal, making for some wild characters and even weirder locations.
The humans in the real world are just as weird too. There’s the rude mom who is picking blueberries out of a blueberry muffin for her child to the priest who does not take his vows seriously.
There is even a librarian who may or may not worship the devil since her long-lost love disappeared.
I love this game. It’s deeply British in a very funny way. It makes fun of Great British Baking Show. It has a joke about how the local fair successfully “installed the rain” just over its location and nowhere else. There are weird puzzles with fun locations. Everything I love about Sierra games is in here, and the devs didn’t include all the stuff people don’t like about them.
Overall, I can’t say too much more without spoiling the whole thing, but if you love point-and-click, Lucy Dreaming is a game you cannot miss.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up: