Yume Nikki: Dream Diary revives cult series on Feb 23

I hadn’t heard of Yume Nikki until a fortnight ago, when the Japanese cult classic explore-o-horror popped up on Steam after over a decade and a sequel was announced. After reading Giada Zavarise’s praise of the first one, I feel I’ve really missed something. I’m now on a timer to catch up, as the publishers today announced that sequel Yume Nikki: Dream Diary will arrive on February 23rd. It’s no longer the work of enigmatic solo creator Kikiyama but an entire team, and the sequel’s also jumping from RPG Maker’s 2D to fancy 3D.

Publishers AGM Playism say they’re making Dream Diary with one of their own internal teams and the RPG Maker folks at Kadokawa, “under supervision and with the full cooperation from the original creator, Kikiyama themselves.” Exactly how much Kikiyama is involved is a mystery, then.

“This diverging follow-up combines influences from the original game and other recent indie juggernauts to create something wholly unique,” Playism say. “Characters that have lay dormant in Kikiyama’s imagination (and design documents) surface 16 years after Yume Nikki’s original release.”

Hmm! We shall see soon enough.

Yume Nikki: Dream Diary will cost $19.99 when it hits Steam and Playism’s own store on February 23rd. More screenshots are that-a-ways too.

4 Comments

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    Drib says:

    This is quite a change. I wonder if it loses something in going from largely abstracted 2d to something more fully realized.

    Mostly, that sense of abstraction, of having to fill in the (numerous) blanks with your own imagination.

    Still though, here’s hoping it’s interesting at least. We could use more weirdo arthouse kinda games.

  2. Seafoam says:

    Bleh, as dwarf fortress shows your imagination is the createst graphics card.
    Adding fancy 3D serves no purpose. The original game didn’t care much at all about presentation, and that’s where the charm lies.
    Usually the fan depictions of the characters differ wildly because of the different ways of visualising the pixels. Hell, even the names are unofficial.

    Giving new fancy graphics only serves to demystify the game.
    Like explaining a magic trick, it doesn’t improve on it any way.

  3. indigozeal says:

    Yeah, the comment about “influences…from recent indie juggernauts” sounds alarms – Yume Nikki shouldn’t be copycatting anything mainstream (or any other work, period), and anyone who wants to shoehorn in hot new gameplay mechanics!!! is missing the point. (And, of course, modern titles usually require teams, but I’m not sure corporate groupthink is capable of creating something that lives up to the personal weirdness of the original.)

    I’m glad that Kikiyama will see commercial recompense from Yume Nikki in some form (beside previous merchandising), but maybe this illustrates that it was never the type of thing that could have been created with the pressure of commercial impulses. At least this project got the original up on Steam for a wider audience.

  4. unimportant says:

    There already is a 3D build engine port of Yume Nikki.

    link to zykoveddy.itch.io