What is Dreamscaper?
Dreamscaper is a Roguelite blending elements from brawlers, top-down shooters, and dungeon crawlers. Every slumber is a different dungeon in an ever-changing world with a multitude of unique events and challenges. Play as Cassidy, dive into her subconscious and take on the surreal nightmares she wrestles with in order to save her from a dark fate.
- Lean into the nightmares and make the rush of permadeath your ally.
- Use lucid powers to manipulate the elements, warp space, and even control time itself.
- Battle bosses that embody Isolation, Fear, Negativity, Loss and more.
- Upgrade a multitude of surreal items and discover powerful artifacts.
- Live Cassidy’s waking life and uncover the mystery of her story.
Dreamscaper is being developed by Afterburner Studios and is published by Freedom! Games and Maple Whispering Limited. The game is currently in early access and can be purchased or added to your Steam wishlist here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1040420/Dreamscaper/
In the story of Dreamscaper you will be introduced to Cassidy, a character with a shadowed past and desire to figure out who she really is in the waking and dreaming world.
In the day you will assist Cassidy in forming a group of friends. These companions will bolster her confidence, and provide her with the needed strength to face the nightmares that await her in the realm of dreams.
As Cassidy gains trust and companionship by day, she will tear down isolation, fear and despair by night. The persistence and growth of this character is the core of Dreamscaper’s story, and a fitting theme for a game of this genre. The determination of the player to defeat each level of the game without dying mirrors Cassidy’s persistence to carve out an identity she is proud of, and so the journey of the player and the character they control compliment each other well.
The purpose of any decent tutorial is to assist the player in becoming comfortable and eventually masterful with the game’s mechanics, and Dreamscaper’s tutorial fulfills that purpose without any issues. The dungeon that represents the tutorial is split into multiple sections or rooms, and I will introduce you to each of them now.
The first room covers movement, which is basic but vital for an enjoyable playing experience. Once you have mastered this mechanic, the next lesson awaits.
The second room grants you a melee weapon. Depending on the playstyle of your choosing, melee weapons will often be your primary weapon, which means you will be using them most of the time.
What observant players will be able to take advantage of, is the combo system. Every time you strike with your melee weapon your character’s frame will flash shortly afterwards. If you are able to attack in time with the flashes of your character, you will output a higher level of damage, and so you will find yourself moving rapidly through enemies.
The next chamber grants you access to a ranged weapon. Ranged weapons are extremely useful for when you need to keep your distance from an adversary, and for the most part have unlimited ammunition.
That being said, using your ranged weapon drains a bar in the top left of your screen, so be smart when using it.
After your ranged weapon is given to you, you will obtain the doge ability. There are many different types of dodges, but the most common form is a roll. This is useful for dodging enemy attacks and for avoiding red zones, which will damage you if touched.
The next item you will receive is a shield. Shields have two functions. By holding the shield keybind of your choice, Cassidy will hold the shield in front of her, blocking all damage in front of her.
By tapping the shield keybind just as an attack is about to strike Cassidy, she will parry the attack and either briefly stun the attacker, or send the projectile back to the one who sent it.
Although she has yet to fully master them, Cassidy’s dreams are of her own making, and Lucid Attacks allow her to alter reality in many ways.
Lucid Attacks have a brief cooldown, and Cassidy can hold up to two Lucid Attacks at a time.
Lucid Attacks are incredibly powerful abilities, but the most powerful ability of all is Lucid Awakening, which freezes time and briefly gives Cassidy full reign over the fight she is in.
This ability has a much longer cooldown, so should be used more sparingly than the others.
There are two types of destructible objects in the world of Dreamscaper.
The blue destructible can be destroyed by any weapon, and will drop currencies and items for Cassidy. The rusted colored destructible can only be destroyed by bombs, which will be found simply by exploring.
Finally the tutorial teaches you how to manipulate the map in order to quickly travel to a desired location. By pressing the map keybind, the map in the top right will become enlarged.
The rooms that make up a level of Dreamscaper are represented as boxes in the map, and by selecting the box/room you want, can travel there in the blink of an eye rather than walking all the way there.
That’s the tutorial finished! Now you can begin the first level of Dreamscaper.
Hometown, the First Level
When you begin any level of the game, you will find yourself in a starting area.
The layout of the levels of Dreamscaper change every time you play them, but the starting area of each level will always be the same.
You will only be able to see the first room on the other side of each of the portals in that starting area, and so with no idea where the boss is, you have no choice but to explore.
Some sections will confront you with enemies, others with destructible objects and chests. Regardless of the contents of a section, you will become stronger after completing each one.
In the video at the top of this article I show the shop that can often appear in a level. However the items within are linked to the mechanics of the waking world in Dreamscaper, something I will undoubtedly explain in the next video/article I make.
Here are some key tips which I think you’ll appreciate.
- Recycle items and potions you don’t need for the Sand currency.
- The box representing a section of the map will show a specific icon if there is something in it that you missed. A section is only truly complete if the box representing it is clear.
- If you are struggling or feel that you will need it after a fight, then don’t recycle a potion and save it for later.
- Use the map to fast travel!
- Become familiar with the level. Remember, in this game dying makes you start from scratch, so you’ll be playing this level several times.
Occasionally Cassidy will stumble across a memory. Once activated she will reflect on her past, after all each level is a place from that past. Discovering these memories are not vital for completing the game, but if you care about the story of Dreamscaper then you will find that these little memories add a lot to Cassidy’s character.
Once you have explored to your heart’s content, or simply feel that are you are ready, proceed to the boss room and face the first real challenge.
Fear, the First Boss
In comparison to the other bosses of Dreamscaper, Fear is an easier boss from my experience.
As it swims around you, it will be impervious to your attacks. Fortunately for you, the mines placed around the arena will be its downfall.
FLIP HIM OVER! By standing close to a mine you will trigger its countdown timer, and if Fear is in close proximity when it explodes the boss will be launched out of the water and onto its back. This is your damage phase.
Get as close as possible, and immediately use your Lucid Awakening ability if it is available. This will of course freeze time, and extend the duration of your damage phase. After using this ability, activate whatever Lucid Attacks you have available and begin attacking with your weapon of choice.
Without Lucid Awakening you will have approximately five seconds to damage the boss, so don’t hold back!
DODGE HIS ATTACKS! After every damage phase, Fear will use an attack against you. It has several of these attacks, and I will fill you in on them now.
The first and most common attack, is when Fear sits at one of the corners of the map, and launches a row of projectiles at you. These are easy to dodge, and your shield will block them.
Another attack is when it flips into the air, and launches a projectile from its tail at you.
You will have a shorter amount of time to dodge this attack than the previous one, so be careful!
Sometimes Fear will sit at one of the corners similar to the first attack, but instead will shoot a steady stream of water, and swipe it from one side of the map to the other.
Your shield will not block this, so you’ll have to dodge through it in order to not take any damage.
Finally its most powerful attack is when it jumps through you.
Its outline will be visible beneath you, and so you will have to dodge at the right moment, or attempt to leave the area before Fear reaches it.
FINISH IT! If you can consistently avoid Fear’s attacks, you will in time defeat it.
Once the boss is destroyed, you will be rewarded and presented with the opportunity to begin the next level.
However, your health will not regenerate after defeating the boss, so either use any potions you left behind, wake up, the next level will still be there next time you sleep!
I hope this guide helped, and I look forward to continuing this adventure. My name is Ben, and it’s been a pleasure to help!