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Incline Dreams in the Witch House - Out now on Steam and GOG

Maxie

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Oh, and yeah, I got robbed too... so I'm wounded also.

I succeeded on my bluff roll to avoid it :dance:

is this the lovecraftian survival adventure game we didn't know we need?

Well I'm having lotta fun so far. Gameplay-wise it actually reminds me a lot of Papers Please in how you have to balance 'plot' matters with mundane tasks like studying and acquiring potato and not freezing to death.
but is the management fun enough or just a chore
 

Alienman

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
but is the management fun enough or just a chore
Yes, I think so. But I guess it can get a bit frustrating when the witch decides to hunt your dreams 5 nights in a row. Not getting any sleep is a brutal penalty.
 

Darth Roxor

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Oh, and yeah, I got robbed too... so I'm wounded also.

I succeeded on my bluff roll to avoid it :dance:

is this the lovecraftian survival adventure game we didn't know we need?

Well I'm having lotta fun so far. Gameplay-wise it actually reminds me a lot of Papers Please in how you have to balance 'plot' matters with mundane tasks like studying and acquiring potato and not freezing to death.
but is the management fun enough or just a chore
fun

it's sort of a puzzle of its own
 

Alienman

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
My first go was a complete failure. Cthulu returned and enslaved humanity. The second run is going a lot better, but I have not felt this stressed since I was actually in uni myself.

There seem to be a lot of secrets you have to work for. So that is pretty cool.
 

Darth Roxor

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*draws mystikool protective signs under his bed*

hell yeah niggas no bitch gon invade MY dreams again :dance:

next day turns out the landlady wiped it all away while sweeping the floor

raeg.jpg
 

Rincewind

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320x180, really?
Easier to produce and it looks good if you restrict the viewport resolution to about 50% of the screen size. Looks like crap if you play it fullscreen on a 24" monitor, of course...

My problem with it is that they use *too many* colours; pixel art is best when the artist uses a 16, 32, or maybe 64 colour palette resourcefully, with lots of dithering. Palette restrictions are important—most artists lose direction without them, and start applying stupid gradients everywhere for no good reason...*

Plus I wish all these low-res games used some CRT shader.

*Exception: Westwood Studios.
 

Darth Roxor

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Okay, does anyone have an idea how to get rid of fucking Brown Jenkin?

I'm like a week away from May Eve, I can do dimensional travel into the bitch's hut and could potentially save the child, but that rat fuck is there on guard duty. I've been replugging the rat hole and spraying it with poison all the time for the last 20 or something days, and it still hasn't brought me any tangible result. At one point Walter remarked that Jenkin looked "quite sickly", but now he's back to "a bit sickly" again. DAFUK am I doing wrong?
 

Alienman

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Okay, does anyone have an idea how to get rid of fucking Brown Jenkin?

I'm like a week away from May Eve, I can do dimensional travel into the bitch's hut and could potentially save the child, but that rat fuck is there on guard duty. I've been replugging the rat hole and spraying it with poison all the time for the last 20 or something days, and it still hasn't brought me any tangible result. At one point Walter remarked that Jenkin looked "quite sickly", but now he's back to "a bit sickly" again. DAFUK am I doing wrong?

You will have to keep poisoning the wooden plank. Took two bottles and several wooden pieces for me. Finally, the bastards died. Might be too late if you are close to the end, maybe you get lucky, though?
 

Alienman

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
My review of the game. You can read it here down below, or visit my blog! Spoilers: It's good!

Another day, another Lovecraft-inspired game. However, the difference from other games that tries similar things, is that Dreams in the Witch House actually succeeds at what it tries to do. It got nice atmosphere that feels like it could be part of Lovecraft mythos, and it got interesting gameplay to boot – beyond the traditional point & click stuff. I played the demo last year and was impressed with the game then already, so it makes me happy the full title retains the feeling I got from the demo. Atom Brain Games created something truly special here, and now we can only hope that they continue on this track for the future. But enough of that, what about the story, and how does it play?

You play Walter Gilman, a student of Miskatonic University with an interest in the occult. The location is of course Arkham, which is an infamous city when it comes to Lovecraft lore. It’s a place where strange powers manifest more easily than other areas – in other words, a great spot for the occult! Your aunt and benefactor have rented an apartment in the “Witch house”, and each week she will send you an allowance of 10 dollars so you can live and study. The game revolves around Walter’s life as a student, and it’s quite possible to ignore the occult and focus on your studies. But as these things go, the mystery of the city will eventually seek you out, and it’s a hard thing to ignore if you are like me and have a love for a good mystery. The risk of this is that you open something that will be hard to close once opened, and the further you get into this riddle of the dark arts, the risks get bigger with Walter’s life at a stake. Yes, you can die in the game! Not going to spoil anything here, but the story is great, and the way it’s told is good as well. It’s slowly being told in segments spliced between more of the mundane moments of student life, and often it’s dependent on your investigations which adds a feeling of you having to actively seek out the truth. This is a superb addition to the game since it rests the narrative progress on the shoulders of the player. I should add that this is a tale based on one of Lovecraft’s writings that goes under the same name. If you know the plot since before, you will know what is to come since it follows the same story beats, however, the narrative in the game is not set in stone which allows you to dictate how it ends through your actions.

More notes for the exam…


What makes Dreams in the Witch House stand out, beyond the story, is that the game has actual gameplay more than clicking and combining items as most classic adventure games, even if that is a thing too. Right from the start you will come to the knowledge that student life in Arkham is arduous and dangerous, especially if you take the plunge into the occult. You will have to balance money, time, what to study, what to eat, and try to maintain your sanity. It’s a survival game in the middle of your typical adventure, and I found it highly immersive. For example, to survive night terrors you might have to buy sleeping pills for your precious few dollars, otherwise, your lack of sleep might spiral out of control into insanity or worse. Do you eat, or do you waste dollars meant for food just for one good night's rest?

The best part is that the game lets you plan it out by yourself, and gives you no help past the tutorial screen. In my first playthrough, lots of things went wrong, I starved, I got sick, missed classes, and got haunted by visions beyond what my mind could sustain. And when it comes to looking up information for historical events and other things to proceed with your investigations, you will have to go through lots of “indexes” to search for clues, and at times it feels really involved and often it leads to interesting events. Walter also has stats, like health and sanity, but there are also occult and math. I would say the occult skill is the most important if you want to take part in the mystery. It lets you read old tomes, and decipher standing stones filled with mysterious texts which leads to cool stuff for the narrative. Probably more so than the other stuff, but since it’s all a balancing act, other academic work will suffer which in the end will affect how much money you earn. It depends on how rounded, or “normal” you want Walter to be. Roleplaying at its finest, at least when it comes to point & click. I should also add that there are puzzles to solve in the traditional sense when it comes to adventure games, and most of these puzzles are randomized from playthrough to playthrough to add to the replay value.

That is a bit unorthodox for a wall


The visuals are nice, it’s pixel art in style, as is typical for adventure games, however, it’s well-made and looks beautiful beyond what the quality of the price suggests. It’s cheap (around 10 euros) and got graphics past what is required. Lots of things are animated, like movement, interaction with items, and so on. It helps with the mood, and certain scenes do truly stand out, like the dream sequences of the alien planet. There is no voice acting (not that it is missing), and the sound for effects is okay. The music was good at times, specifically the one tune that plays when something sinister is going on. The reason this one stood out to me is that reminded me of X-com TFTD. Very similar in the tone of the music, as in ominous. You can tell something bad is going to happen when that tune plays. There are a few other pieces, but they do repeat a lot and sadly get a little obnoxious, so I would say the music is the weakest part of the game. Not saying it’s irredeemable bad, but it probably could have been better.

One surprising aspect of Dreams in the Witch House is the price, as mentioned earlier. I got it for around 10 euros on Steam, and from what you get, it is quite remarkable. You can not go wrong by investing in this game. It is well-written, entertaining, and suspenseful providing a lot of different endings that are dependent on what you do ingame. It also maintains the style of Lovecraft, which is something many “inspired” games fail to emulate. A top-notch game, for a top-notch price, recommended!

Thanks for reading.
 
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Darth Roxor

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Aaaaaaaand finished.

I did manage to get rid of Brown Jenkin eventually.

by bashing his fucking head in with a leg bone holy shit was that satisfying :dance:

This is the best adventure game of the last many years hands down, maybe even of the last 10. I'm so thoroughly impressed by it that I don't even know where to begin.

For starters, I strongly appreciate how it doesn't drop the ball at any point. It's great from start to finish. By the end you kind of learn the ropes enough to achieve a smooth sailing course, and for the last two days I found myself with little to do other than preparation for the grand finale, but it felt somewhat thematic, and given that the game keeps throwing unexpected problems at you all the time, you gotta watch your back and make sure you don't become too complacent.

On some reflection I also came to the interesting conclusion that Dreams doesn't really have a lot of standard 'adventure game' gameplay like combining items or solving puzzles, but it didn't bother me at all here because the entire game feels like a puzzle. The way you gotta plan each day, each week, protect yourself from random nightly encounters, solve problems and complications that keep mounting against you is really just insanely engrossing. It has a 'just one more turn!' effect no weaker than games like CIV. There were several times over the last week where I wanted to just advance a day or two and found myself playing for up to 3 hours straight like stupid. The open-ended format where you are left to your own devices only reinforces this.

The general non-linearity also works insanely well with how interconnected everything is and with how much effort you gotta make to crack all of the game's secrets. I got what I guess is the best ending, but I still feel like I missed a few things, and I'm very curious how some others would turn out if I made different choices. In this sense it reminds me a LOT of games like Heroine's Quest - that might be the most apt comparison I can make, I think, with the non-linearity, 'stats', character management for health/hunger, secrets etc. Though as I said before, the more mundane character of some of the challenges (not freezing to death) or the forced repetition of actions that don't actually influence the plot in any way (studying for exams) is also strongly reminiscent of Papers Please.

I should give it another spin at some later point. I'm particularly curious if you can try to play through this game with Walter as a total fucking normie :lol:
 

Modron

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There is an achievement for beating the game with 0 occult... how normie a run that is I don't know. Makes me wonder if you don't get the dreams with 0 occult or you have to savescum because those add to occult (I should see if failing that simon says close encounters of the third kind dream doesn't give a bonus to the stat).
 

Modron

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Adventuregamers got around to reviewing this: https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/dreams-in-the-witch-house
Dreams in the Witch House is an engrossing experience. It uses well-executed visuals, music, and writing to seamlessly place the player in the center of H.P. Lovecraft’s story. The role-playing elements work seamlessly with the narrative to heighten empathy for the protagonist.

Excellent​



The Good:​

  • Provides a new way to experience Lovecraft’s famous story
  • Role-playing elements solidify player control and intensify rapport with the protagonist
  • A useful To-Do list
  • The ending left me wanting to play again

The Bad:​

  • Finding study materials was somewhat difficult
  • Voice acting would have intensified the fear factor
 

Darth Roxor

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I wonder what exactly was 'somewhat difficult' about finding study materials, when they are always communicated to you explicitly...

@Darth Roxor you penning a review for any prestigious magazines?

nah
 

Starwars

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I'm playing this and really enjoying it, though I'm doing horrible. My dude is broke, gets no sleep, caught a fever and got injured from rather intense dreams. Helvete.

Fun game. Not really a fan of these types of management games usually (it's more that than an adventure game I think) but this one has me hooked.
You gotta enjoy the feeling of a game kinda screwing you over though, just roll with it.
 

Jenkem

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Make the Codex Great Again! Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. I helped put crap in Monomyth
has anyone who has finished the game once replayed it? curious how much replayability there is, or if there are multiple ways to tackle things.. thinking of picking this up soon
 

Starwars

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There is a time limit to the game, and you play through the game day by day. Each day you can spend your time on different things. This can lead to different things.

It's a bit hard to gauge, and depends a bit on what you mean by replayability. For my replay, I was mainly driven by the desire to uncover more stuff in the game because it's easy to miss quite a lot. The game does a good job of providing you with the basic directions but there are many cool things to discover without the game pushing you to do it.
I did really bad on my first playthrough, and discovered a lot more on my second playthrough.
I enjoyed my replay of it a lot and will probably do one more, even though you're technically going through a lot of the same content in a way. There is a slight degree of randomization which freshens things up a bit.

It's not a game with endless things to do, but it's cleverly designed and manages to make the player feel like he is in the driver's seat and makes it feel rewarding when you do discover some cool stuff on your own.
It's *easily* worth it for the price.

But don't look up any guides or anything before-hand, and go for ironman straight away.
 

SerratedBiz

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Without spoiling too much, you can easily spend one playthrough figuring out the mechanics of the game, solutions to puzzles and what direction you need to take things. You might get lucky enough (or good enough) on your second playthrough that you can start beating the game already, but I went for Ironman and I managed to get the worst ending in the game - however at that point I knew enough about the game to get the best ending on the third playthrough.

I think it's hard for games to represent the bleakness of early 1900s New England without falling for cheap tricks such as tinting everything blue-green (looking at you, nu-Call of Cthulhu game), but this game delivers plenty of atmosphere and memorable moments. Puzzles are definitely not too hard and you don't need to guess what the developer was thinking in order to solve them as the solutions are usually presented to you in-game somehow (by speaking to other characters about your situation or reading books).

All in all, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone with a taste for point-and-click adventure games, horror and/or the Lovecraft mythos.
 

JarlFrank

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Played through this yesterday. Finished it in two days, with 10 hours on the clock - it does have that "one more day" feeling where you just wanna keep playing. Couldn't put it down.

Discovered quite a few things and got a decent enough ending, but I missed a lot. There's many mysteries left open and I feel like I tackled some things sub-optimally.
In fact, I was pretty surprised when I got a good ending because towards the end I felt like I left too many open ends.

- I killed the rat with poison during the last week before Walpurgisnacht, but when I wanted to bring it to Professor Armitage as evidence, he was out of the city. Didn't expect he wouldn't be available on the last few days so I couldn't finish a couple of things I intended to do then
- Same with my paper, I finished the second chapter just when Armitage left so I couldn't hand it in
- My occult skill was around 3 or 4 at the end, enough to start understanding things but not nearly enough to fully grasp them
- I had several clues I would have followed up on later but didn't have time for anymore; expected to get a bad ending because I was still clueless about so many things
- I managed to access the hidden cave beneath the island, and unleashed some beast there; it mauled me and escaped, I descended into its lair and found a cigarette case containing a sequence of symbols I didn't get to use because it was already too late in the game
- I talked to the police about that cave and went there with them; probably the worst way to handle this as the beast was already unleashed but the cult wasn't in at the time, so the police only scared them off
- I was in the dream dimension several times, got the little elder thing figurine, but didn't figure out how to get past the code-locked door and didn't manage to get the machine running
- I never figured out how to perform dimensional travels

Despite all that, I managed to kill the witch and save the child at the end. I just used the dagger on the witch and plunged it into her heart, didn't even expect it to work! Perhaps it worked because my sanity and health were at their peak, as I spent the final days just resting? Perhaps having the cave occupied by police also helped, and killing the rat too? Who knows.

Definitely will try again because it feels like I left too many open threads. I need to delve deeper into the occult...
 

Starwars

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I kinda wonder how optimal/completionist of a playthrough it's possible to get.

- On my first try, I couldn't kill the witch when I tried. She had taken control of my character. I'm not sure what exactly caused that but I would guess there's a sanity check probably (can't remember what level I was at). Still, even so I guess that would be one critique I have for the game. It definitely feels like the best ending, and it feels a bit too easy to "unlock" or whatever.
- I wonder if there's a different way to interact with the monster in the ruins somehow. I'm guessing not but it feels like a significant thing to let it loose, but not that much seems to happen in the grand scheme of things. Loved that section though.
- To do dimensional travel, you need to study a certain forbidden book as well as learn chemistry.
 

Rincewind

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voice acting is overrated, half the time you just end up clicking to the next sentence since it's faster to just read.
Yes and no. Voice acting can be glorious when it really adds to the experience, e.g. Beneath a Steel Sky, Sam'n'Max, and another neo-noirish one from around 2010 that I can't remember the name of for the life of me even after 10 minutes of googling *sigh*

EDIT: Gemini Rue!
 
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Maxie

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voice acting is overrated, half the time you just end up clicking to the next sentence since it's faster to just read.
Yes and no. Voice acting can be glorious when it really adds to the experience, e.g. Beneath a Steel Sky, Sam'n'Max, and another neo-noirish one from around 2010 that I can't remember the name of for the life of me even after 10 minutes of googling *sigh*

EDIT: Gemini Rue!
I'm impressed that you enjoyed any Wadjet voice over :roll:
 

Rincewind

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voice acting is overrated, half the time you just end up clicking to the next sentence since it's faster to just read.
Yes and no. Voice acting can be glorious when it really adds to the experience, e.g. Beneath a Steel Sky, Sam'n'Max, and another neo-noirish one from around 2010 that I can't remember the name of for the life of me even after 10 minutes of googling *sigh*

EDIT: Gemini Rue!
I'm impressed that you enjoyed any Wadjet voice over :roll:
Have you played this particular game? I played other WadJet games, but wasn't impressed. In any case, they just act as publisher, so you can't make general statements about the games released by them.

Gemini Rue was done by a guy who never did any other game either before or after it. One of my favourite adventures, it's very very good.
 

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