SWEET LILY DREAMS / Roseportal Games / PC

CNN BREAKING NEWS REPORT: Sweet Lily Dreams is not a furry game. Despite what the title screen and some of the portrait art would lead you to believe, there is no trace of fur-ism other than some talking animals here and there, it's more of your general purpose whimsical childlike fantasy world. Just to be safe I also looked up the creator and he denied it being a furry game in an interview. He also doesn't have a DeviantArt account so I think we're safe.

It's more like the episode of South Park where Butters goes into the imagination world, just way less violent. Scuttlebutt is that it lifts some plot elements and characters from Kingdom Hearts, but I still haven't played any of those except that weird GBA one, so I can't comment on that.

The basic structure of going into different imagination-lands from a hub is the same, though. Only instead of it being all part of a Disney-Squeenix fantasy, we're in the dreams of the titular Lily. Lily somehow winds up stuck in a place between dreams and she'll accompany some talking animal/shrubbery companions to work her way out. This involves going through a series of worlds Lily has read about or seen somewhere before. Some of them are a little strange for such a young girl, like the first world seems to be based on obscure Canadian horror movie series Cube and Stephen King's It (TM) randomly pops in as a boss in an otherwise unrelated story, but there's also more traditional worlds like Sleepy Hollow and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The somewhat arbitrary mishmosh of stories actually works out all right and certainly throws some curveballs at you over the course of the game. The tone also gets surprisingly dark and grim at times, though never really descends into outright horror.

I still don't have much experience with RPG Maker games at this point, but this one appears to push the engine more than usual. It has a custom side-view battle system that's more interesting than the stock one, there's various little logic puzzles thrown in here and there, and you've got a personal room in the hub world that you can place furniture in for stat bonuses. It also uses a lot of unique art assets and has a wholly original soundtrack that's pretty good.

It's really quite well-designed, and I made it about 11 hours in with the intention of finishing it, but it ran me off with a poorly-designed pyramid level in the later reaches that's nothing but a string of sliding tile puzzles and trial-and-error pit mazes. People have hated both of these things since the late 80s, Roseportal, please join us in modernity at some point.

Only other real complaint is that the Xbox 360 pad works, but the buttons don't. The game is still playable with mouse and keyboard, but that's a weird flaw and might cramp your style if you do tablet gaming with a pad.

Links :

* Closest I can find to a full walkthrough, everything else only goes up to chapter 3 or 4

Videos :

* Gameplay Video