Type: Action ,Adventure, Horror, Exploration, Narrative
Device: Gear VR
Control: Touchpad, Gamepad, Gear VR Wand, Your Body
About the developer
CREANET3D has made a handful of games for the google cardboard, Violince,DARKNESS COASTER VR CARDBOARD, A TIME IN SPACE VR CARDBOARD part 1 and part 2, Bad Dream is their first attempt on the Gear VR.
A few months ago CREANET3D, asked for help on our FaceBook Page, Virtual Reality, and asked if anyone would like to help play test Bad Dream and give our feedback to help make the game better. I was interested, and since then I have played many iterations of the game. I have held off on writing this review until the definitive edition was released.
You begin the game relaxing on the beach, sun shining, birds chirping the wind is softly blowing through the trees. Then something goes horribly wrong, the game isnt real clear on why you blackout on the beach and end up in a room with cement walls, and blood splatter everywhere, with bodies under bloody sheets surround you. Given that the title is Bad Dream, and dreams don’t make a whole lot of sense most of the time. And like any nightmare, your goal is to escape!
Game play Mechanics
I really applaud CREANET3D for really going out of their way to create something as unique as the game play styles found in BAD DREAM. When you start the game you wake up and make your way towards the door on the far end of the room by using either the touchpad on the side of the Gear VR itself, a bluetooth enabled game controller or the new Gear VR wand, by tapping the touch pad located on the top of the controller. You steer your avatar with depending which way you are looking.
That’s not all though, there are parts of the game that require you to stand up and take action. By either flailing your arms out wards and pretend you are pulling yourself through a dirty Spider infested air duct. Or leaning side to side while sprinting past deadly zombies in the sewer system. The game does a great job of prompting you when it’s time to do these actions and it even show a video of a person doing the actions to give you a good idea of what it wants you to do.
And while it takes a second to adjust to each new gameplay style, after I was used to the movements the game responded nicely. Which kinda surprised me to be honest, cause it was hit and miss in the beta. These movements are fun and new, no other game I have played on the Gear vr has used real life movement in game.. Ever.. so I have to say that it’s the best i’ve played for the mobile platform. That’s not to say they work flawless, just never been done before and that should be worth some points.
VR Comfort Level
The over all comfort level is pretty low due to the auto camera taking over and taking you on a mini roller coaster ride as it swoops and does dramatic camera angles that causes some nausea, the auto camera takes over often in the beginning of the game and I think most people will take off the head set at that time. But after the first playthrough and you are used to the jarring gameplay switches, the game is fun to go through again and mess around in each area to see just what you can get away with.
With all the advancements Bad Dream introduces it still feels like the VR design feels extremely sloppy, the game suffers from a lot things. Mostly.. The game is broken. I really, really wanted to like this game… I gave it lots of chances, it has lots of potential, it just doesn’t work. For starters when you choose the new game option, you start halfway through the first chapter. But when you choose continue, and choose the chapter one option, your avatar wakes up sitting on the chair he was sitting in on the beach, but in a dark room with screams and yells permeating the darkness, flashes of lightning lights up the room to reveil monsters creeping around in the pitch black shadows. This is where I presume the game truly is supposed to start. But why Doesn’t it start there from the start option in the start menu, why only from the continue level select menu? That’s something only the developer can answer. The developer should have seen this flaw when they started the game on their own, I dont think it was an isolated event on my device only.
At least when you start the game, Bad Dream gives you a pretty clear clues on what to look at and where to go. Instead of you frantically looking around for a clue of what to do next, the game does a good job of supplying markers with white circles and text descriptions of just what you are supposed to do next, and they are usually with in view as you start each level.
After you get you get your bearings, and get a feel for how to play the game, it’s like the game almost pushes you down a dark water slide with events happening so fast you have no idea what’s happening.
Finally bad dream suffers from it’s lighting, but i’ll cover that in the next section.
Bad Dream has a lot going on, from huge giant Zombies, to chainsaw wielding super mutants, and rooms filled with spikes like a giant maw from a hungry possessed house. I just wished I could see what was going on.
I remember watching a talk from John Carmack explaining the limitations of what the Gear VR could do, and the number one point he tried to stress was to stay away from the color black.
It smears and smudges across the screen when you turn your head due to the limitations of the screen refresh rate. Either Creanet 3D never heard this proclamation, or outright choose to ignore it, because Bad Dream uses too much black. And true to What John Carmack was saying, It smears across the screen and makes the quicker scenes turn into a messy blur. I tried changing the lighting level in the options and it made no difference.
The graphics are certainly an important part of the experience, and Bad Dream has some really cool moments and monster designs, it’s just too bad the extreme clipping, freezing and lighting issues cover up most of the creative design. And i’m baffled as to why would Creanet 3D not fix these issues before releasing the ultimate version of the game. I can’t imagine that they didn’t see it as a problem while playing it on their devices. I could go on and on about all the flaws, but it will get redundant and boring, so I will stop there and just say, there are more problems than these Gunslinger. ( Dark Tower Reference! )
Music/ Sound effects
The music is actually the best part about this experience, and when you finish it I was delighted by the end credit scene. It has a few funny sayings like special thanks to Princess Leia, for your smiles and has dancing monsters, the ending sound was awesome and gave you a sense of how much fun Creanet3D had fun making the game.
For only 2 bucks at least you know you are getting a two dollar experience. Don’t expect it to be the greatest thing ever. This game is a little like sharknado, so bad it can be fun. But know you are buying something that might be deliberately bad. Because nightmares, or bad dreams in this case, aren’t supposed to be fair, bad dreams aren’t pretty, smooth and over all enjoyable.
Oh, I really enjoyed that terrifying dream I had about all of my family being chewed to pieces by a giant spinning wheat laythe while I stood there and watched in horror, not being able to reach them in time cause my body was to weak to push back the little strands of wheat that lay before me -Said no one ever.
They are jarring and confining and all the bad stuff your mind can come up with, if that was the real purpose of the glitches and the lighting issues and weird camera shots then Creatnet 3D did a great job with making Bad Dream disorientating and confusing at times. Although, I have a hard time believing that. If you want to see some game play footage, or watch a video review of Bad Dream, watch the video below!
- Unique game play!
- Great jump scare moments
- Awesome ending dance party
- Bad Graphical Clipping
- Lighting at times... horrible
- Broken start menu