I like puzzles and I like platformers, so naturally the puzzle platformer genre is right down my alley. Reverie — and by extension Reverie: Revisited — is another flash game in this niche that succeeds at mixing both of the “p” words above and making an interesting and (maybe) memorable experience.
You have two abilities: jumping, and dreaming. I don’t think I need to explain jumping, but the dreaming bit needs some explanation since you spend the majority of the game doing so. So here it is:
When you dream, some things are there that were not there before.
There, I explained it. Let’s move on.
Or not. Dreaming is a toggle in Reverie. You toggle it on and you can see platforms that simply don’t exist in on the reality plane or manipulate your perception to get past certain areas. Dreaming a toggle you need to be good friends with during the course of the game. Many of the jumping points past the first few rooms require you to dream, jump, go back to reality mid air, and begin dreaming again in order to reach safety. It takes good timing and can make Reverie a bit torturous if you either can’t figure out where you need to do this or simply don’t have very good timing.
The game’s grey-scale visual style is decidedly gloomy. It’s not meant to put you in a state of tension, but it can be unsettling as you progress. There’s not much graphical detail here, but what’s there does look decent and further adds to the atmosphere. The slow piano music playing in the background only serves to make the experience even more melancholy.
I mentioned Reverie: Revisited many moons ago in a distant paragraph (The first paragraph in this review. Go ahead, scroll up. It’s there.), and how it was a sort of extension of Reverie. Revisited serves as a sort of retooling of the original game, with a new control scheme and some changes to a few rooms. I don’t know which the developer prefers, but I personally prefer using the up arrow for jump in Revisited instead of using the space bar in the original.
Worth it? It depends.
This game (games?) doesn’t do anything new or exciting. It’s not going to blow you away with its humor, its visuals, or its pixel perfect platforming — but it is a thoughtful exercise in puzzle platforming. I just can’t help but feel like there’s some heart is in this game, and sometimes that makes all the difference.