I'll admit it, I'm a fan of dream logic in games. From Max Payne's drug-induced phone conversations with himself, to Sam and Max's bizarre mishmash of talking heads and office furniture - surreal dream sequences in games can illuminate the character's inner-most thoughts. Characterization is something games have been pretty weak at and dream levels help fill that gap. That's why this week's game appeals to me, it's entirely about one character's crazy dream.
Mr. Jones Dream seems like a standard Atari-level platformer. Jump around and collect items then use those items to unlock new areas. What sets it apart is the content, which is bizarre. After a man is fired from his job he goes to sleep then has an interesting dream. Unleashing a giant money demon, guiding a sperm to an egg, and fighting robots with a laser rifle all fall within the realm of the same dream. The game rarely makes literal sense. The music adds to the ambiance with it's bizarre, dreamlike melody. You're not completely without guidance. Women, babies and flying pigs placed throughout the levels will give cryptic clues to where to go next - though the women inform the player that they will not take their clothes off. “This is not that type of dream; this is not that type of game.”
A few puzzles are to be found in the game and they're very fairly good. Some nonsensical items, some red herrings, plenty of weird twisting passages. Much like a real dream. Some difficult platforming and a long backtracking sequence at the end make this game harder than it really needs to be however. It's still a quick, enjoyable game with plenty of weird dream imagery to make up for the occasionally frustrating sequence.
This game was entered into the TIGSource Adult/Educational competition, which is about games using adult themes. There's several other odd gems in there, if you care to take a look.
Why You Should Check This Out: A surreal experience – a game that's a standard platformer is seen in an entirely different light when you throw in some odd dream imagery and strange yet symbolic events. Mr. Jones has a very common set of fears and wants - this game lays them out for everybody to see.