The 90s was such a high point for point and click adventure gaming.
Back then, there were so many players and stakeholders putting out one hit after the next, fans were eating good and were spoilt for choice. It’s little wonder modern-day developers look back on it fondly and still want to pay homage.
And that is Lucy Dreaming’s schtick through and through. From the very first room, you’ll find nods to Monkey Island, Ghostbusters and Doctor Who. And it just continues on from there.
The game has a very British feel to it which bears more than a passing resemblance to Simon the Sorceror, and you’ll find nods and winks to the likes of Maniac Mansion, Broken Sword, and just about every other hit from that decade.
Lucy Dreaming is absolutely a game about nostalgia, but it’s also one that does its own thing pretty well. From its well produced pixel art, its surprising voice acting performances, and even its storytelling.
As you might expect, this is a game about a girl called Lucy who is dreaming. But these aren’t ordinary dreams, rather nightmares where she just keeps falling and falling through the clouds.
At least, that’s how it starts, but gradually as Lucy starts to learn about ways to manage her dreams in the real world, so hers begin to change and she starts to learn more about herself and what’s causing her problems.
This will take you all over Figgington Plop – which is definitely a name – from Lucy’s house to libraries, village fetes and even cafeterias. But the real twists come when Lucy goes to sleep at night and her dreams take darker, more sinister turns.
It’s a really smart premise and it’s one that works especially well with the game’s humour. At times, it’ll feel a bit Monty Python, then there’s elements of the Carry On films, and even a splash of The Office.
Lucy is a fun lead with a dry sense of humour and a desire to learn more about herself. She’ll use just about anything in her inventory on everything, and she gets herself entangled in all sorts of unique situations.
Puzzle solving for the most part is all very logical, which might surprise you in a topsy turvy world. It’s surprisingly hilarious, there’s a few really great lines here, both self-aware and self-depricative, and the overall cast is, on the whole, an entertaining batch.
You can even get a helping hand on what to do by looking at Lucy’s diary and where to go by clicking on the hotspot highlighter. This can be really handy when you’re a bit aimless and lost, not sure where to go.
It is interesting how Return to Monkey Island had a full walkthrough available to you, fed out in stages, whereas a few others like Lucy Dreaming have kept their hints vague. Either way, both games make their experiences accessible and don’t penalise you for that.
As an adventure, its absolutely one of the better offerings in recent years. Lucy Dreaming starts as a fun ride back in time but gradually pieces itself together and carves its own identity. There’s even a hint at a sequel, so who knows what comes next?
Lucy Dreaming is among the best point and click adventures in a year that has been full of some brilliant ones. It starts out as a homage but it ends with its own identity and the promise of an all-new humorous franchise. Some tonal frustrations aside, this is definitely comfort food for adventure game purists and a must play!
+ Lovely point and click art style
+ Logical Puzzles
+ Good characters that are really funny
– Struggles late on to balance some of its humour and dark aftertone
Lucy Dreaming is out now on PC
Played on PC
Code Kindly Provided by Tall Story Games