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Yume Nikki's version 2.0 update takes the dream deeper

Yume Nikki: Dream Diary

It’s no secret that recent 3D reboot/sequel Yume Nikki: Dream Diary (an impressively redundant title) left fans of the quiet indie cult-hit exploration original disappointed, as well as our resident dream-delver Adam. A combination of mechanical missteps, technical problems and a much narrower range of environments and things to do with them left many cold.

Development of the game doesn’t seem to have slowed or stopped since its original release, however. Today, version 2.0 of the game rolled out, a major free update adding several more dream-worlds to explore, new things to do in them and apparently some new secrets to dig deep into.

There’s a big ol’ chunk of bugfixes (far too many to go into here, although if you want you can wade hip-deep into the patch notes over on Steam) but the highlight of this update is a slew of new content, most of it integrated quite smoothly into the game with new connections being made between zones, especially out in the wilderness area. Here’s the heart of the update notes, followed by a new trailer:

  • Added several new areas to the game.
  • Added new concept art.
  • Added some new effects.
  • Mini games now save high scores when quitting.
  • Added audio for when the girl in the school disappears.
  • Added some missing effects to the mall.
  • Added an option to adjust the brightness of the game.
  • Improved performance of the eyeball wave.
  • Added some more secrets.
  • Improved AI of NPC that chases you.

This of course won’t address the feeling that this pseudo-sequel/reboot is a more tactile, action-oriented game than the much quieter and more abstract original, but several more areas from the original are now present and correct, plus some new stuff mixed in. A peek at a few community gathering places reveals that folks are mostly pleased with the update as well, with the new areas featuring new Effects (the items you use to interact with the world in strange new ways), story beats and even a couple well-delivered scares for those who dig too deep.

I do hope that further development is planned and that some day we see a version 3.0, perhaps turning Yume Nikki: Dream Diary into the game it always could have been, but until then I’m quite happy with this new stuff. I’m considering diving into it tonight, in the wee small hours of the morning, when all seems hazy. By the next day, it’ll all seem like a dream.

Yume Nikki: Dream Diary is currently 50% discounted on Steam, down from its usual £15.49/$20 price. The freeware original is also available there, too.

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Dominic Tarason

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