Niko: Through The Dream [official site] is a ghastly title, but is it a ghastly game? I’ve been wandering through its dream-ish puzzles for a good while, to give you my impressions:
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Usually when I see a game in set in a weird and beautiful world, part of me wishes it where a walking simulator rather than… whatever it is. Niko: Through the Dream [official site] certainly looks pretty, but I also dig the sound of the puzzles its floating islands hold. Developers Studio Paint say some are based on things like colour, shape, and sound, which I dig far more than physics and frustrating object-combining, and also splash in stealth, riddles, platforming, and goodness knows what else. Well, if it works as well as I’m imagining. I suppose I can see for myself now, as the game launched yesterday. It’ll run you about £6.
How do you describe the art style of Niko: Through The Dream [official site]? Some may call it a Magritte painting in the form of a puzzle game; Others might say it’s like experiencing one of Cheryl Cole’s fever dreams from when she had malaria. Actually, to a certain extent it reminds me of Rod Humble’s The Marriage – in spirit, at least.
Seems like only yesterday that we were posting about Crawl’s spiffy new hot-pink-emblazoned Steam Greenlight page, and that’s because it was. In what has to be some kind of record, it’s already emerged from Valve’s crowd-run dungeon with keys to the Steam kingdom in hand. Why, before you know it, Crawl will probably be learning to drive, graduating from college, and serving minimal time for its first white collar crime. They grow up so fast. Other standouts from this week’s 50-strong Greenlight selection include NIKO: Through The Dream and open-world horror-thon Memories of A Fisherman.
Any time I hear any variation on the word “Niko,” I just hear Roman from Grand Theft Auto IV going, “Niko! My cousin!” And then I get really upset about bowling. It is, as they say in the parlance of our time, A Problem. But perhaps NIKO: Through The Dream can help me get over it. It’s a first person puzzler so minimalist, clean, and free of corners that it looks like the world has been scrubbed clean with an Apple iSoap. The aesthetic is a soothing one, though, and it makes way for some brain-ticklingly Escher-inspired locales. There’s a certain element of aged majesty to them, though. An alluring mystique that hearkens back to the likes of Myst and – more recently – PS3 megahit Journey. Oh, and there’s a little hooded figure in there that may as well have been lifted straight from Journey. So that’s a thing too. Rather beautiful trailer below.