Weird Dreams is a quite memorable action game both for positive and negative reasons. It's based on a pretty weird (as its name says) scenario and gameplay style. The game was released in 1989 by Rainbird Software, for the Amiga, ST, C64 and PC (DOS).
STORY / GAMEPLAY
Weird Dreams is literally weird and it's a game like no other of its time. You play the role of a man under a dream-filled comatose state caused by a revenge attack from his girlfriend that turned out to be an alien all along (pretty weird indeed). This game must have been brilliant on paper, to the extent that an entire unnecessary background story was written and was included as a story book to accompany the game, but its poor execution results in a frustrating to play experience and often impossible to enjoy. Its puzzle sector mixes up different genre of games. There are 15 enemies / challenges in total, like a cotton candy stick, a giant wasp, a rosebush with teeth, a lawnmower, a soccer ball with mouth, a little girl with a knife, a jack-in-the-box scary clown, a fat dancing ballerina as well as hopping totem poles, desert creatures, fake doors, bats, a giant roast chicken and a gigantic brain with an eye in the middle plus 7 different death animations. The main character's movement is slowed down by the number of frames that animate his walking and the only move he can perform is to the left or right, across a series of static backgrounds. This is where the game starts to fall apart as the basic handling of the character's actions across the nine -very limited- levels requires extreme patience and immaculate precision to avoid instant death and level reset that results in any contact with an obstacle or a foe. Even when the player knows exactly what to do, Weird Dreams often falls down to luck due to the slow and awkward handling and response. Well, it is surely an interesting game, even if it has lots of negative aspects so someone might give it a try but we believe for not too much long.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics on the Atari ST are identical to the Amiga, so the ST version seems to be the basis. The color palette is limited to the 16 simultaneous colors standard. The animation is not so smooth and sometimes it gets frustrating. The sound on the ST version is decent enough and includes a great intro theme, some in-game tunes and a bunch of sampled sound effects.
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).