The Last Dream: Developer's Edition Review
The Last Dream: Developer's Edition Review
A well-made and intelligently written casual adventure with an intriguing and touching story.
Posted: 12/15/15 | Category: Review | Developer: Specialbit Studios | Publisher: Specialbit Studios | Platform: Windows

Genre: Casual Adventure
Release date: December 3, 2015

A few months back I previewed The Last Dream by Specialbit. I said that it looked and played like a cross between a casual game (candy-colored graphics, static screens and no exploration to speak of) and that old adventure nightmare classic Sanitarium (strange, nightmarish environments). Well, the game has now been greenlit on Steam, although I played the version from the JA Digital Download store.  

I haven’t changed my opinion much now that I’ve played the complete game. The story of the young Eastern European married guy who’s just lost his wife and is now seeing her beckon him on in his dreams continues to be touching. The gameplay still consists almost entirely of simple inventory usage interrupted occasionally by standalone logic puzzles and hidden-object screens.

Basically, the full version of The Last Dream is an expanded version of the demo. You travel to a half-dozen or so more graphically luxuriant and often nightmarishly altered dreamscapes, always being led on by your wife’s ghostly presence. Connecting each of these dreamscapes is a somewhat grainy cut scene of “you” (the surviving husband) moving through some real places such as an amusement park or a mechanic’s shop. These were obviously shot live in some Eastern European nation. I liked the way the story tries to physically interweave the dream and real worlds, although not much is done with the concept beyond linking one scene to the next.

The music is pleasant, the puzzles are fun and often interesting, and the images are frequently stunning and entertaining. The Last Dream is a nice casual adventure. It took me about five hours to complete the main game, and then another hour or so to finish the “bonus” game. Why the two weren’t simply combined into one entity is a puzzle to me. As with most casual games, there’s a lot of “achievement” earning going on. You look for toys for your cat accomplice and Polaroids of you and your wife throughout the game. None of these is too difficult to locate.

If I have any knock on The Last Dream it’s that perhaps it gets a little repetitive towards the end. The scenes continue to change, often dramatically, but the actions you have to perform remain pretty much the same. At the start of the game, you’re given a choice of no less than four difficulty settings. As usual, I just picked the hardest one, knowing that nowadays it was likely not to be too hard. One still gets hints, of course, although you can’t skip the minigames and a few other things.

The Last Dream boils down to a pleasant few hours spent in beautiful, vibrant (if somewhat static) dream scenes. Despite the nightmare aspect of the storyline, the game is really rather Zen to play. I had been playing an older adventure (circa 2002 or so) and broke off to play The Last Dream. The older adventure was a lot more challenging, and thus mentally stimulating, as older adventures generally are. In fact, I’d been stuck on one puzzle in this older game longer than it took me to play The Last Dream. in its entirety. Still, the casual break was not an unwelcome one.

Final Thoughts

The Last Dream is a well-made and intelligently written casual adventure. It seems quite reasonably priced to me. It's likely to entertain you for a few hours some weekend. You won’t be thinking about its puzzles at night, or at work, or while brushing your teeth in the morning the way a really good, absorbing and challenging adventure will do, but that’s all a matter of taste, of course. Generally, I prefer a game to really suck me in and involve me. Most players nowadays seem to just want a few idle hours agreeably filled.

Final grade for The Last Dream: B. It’s well-produced and has a touching story, but is rather short and won’t get your blood racing. Though maybe that’s a good thing.

Grade: B
Beautiful graphics of various dreamscapes
+ Some interesting standalone puzzles
+ Intriguing and touching story
- It's a casual game, but still a bit short
No game saves
Gameplay gets repetitive after awhile


System Requirements
OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
Processor: 1.5 Ghz
Memory: 1024 MB RAM
Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: Is not essential
Specials from Digital Download
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