I'm not a card-carrying member of the Yume Nikki cult. If I were, I'd be able to tell you how to pick your way through the dreamscape, and might even be able to decipher some of the mysteries that it contains. Since it's original release over a decade ago, Yume Nikki has fascinated me but I've never spent enough time in its surreal environments to become a true acolyte. I hope there's still room for me if I do decide to sign up because the cult of Yume Nikki is about to expand.
Yesterday, the game arrived on Steam. It's still free, still weird as heck, but something has changed, or is about to change. Ten years on, solo developer Kikiyama is working on a sequel of sorts. Looks like we'll know more in a couple of weeks.
It's a walking simulator, made in RPGMaker. An honest-to-goodness walking simulator with no combat and a massive world (or worlds) to explore. Here's the official word:
It is unlike any other RPG especially in the fact that there really is no action or dialogue to speak of. This gives the game a very dark and foreboding atmosphere. Can you make it to the secret ending?
There are no particular goals nor story of which to speak. You simply walk around.
Checking certain characters inside the dream will increase the number of "effects".
Using "effects" will cause the main character's appearance to change.
(During this time, you can use the 1 or 3 keys to implement special movements and effects.)
Using the same "effect" a second time will cause the character to revert to their original form.
"Effects" can only be discarded inside rooms with many doors.
If you do want to start digging into the mysteries that surround Yume Nikki, this new podcast from Lewis Denby might be a good place to start.
Featuring interviews with a range of developers, journalists, and other specialists - including Jasper Byrne, Liz Ryerson, Giada Zavarise, Jon Calvin and Lucie Prunier - as well as some of the fans themselves, the podcast will explore the history of Yume Nikki - while reporting on the events surrounding the new teaser website, as they happen, episode-by-episode.
Everything clear? Good. Time to dream.