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Game info

Weird Dreams

Weird Dreams
GenreAction Puzzle
DeveloperRainbird Software
PublisherRainbird Software
Reviewed byndial
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).
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.

The PC DOS version supports VGA, EGA, CGA and Tandy graphics hardware. Running in VGA is identical to the Atari ST and Amiga versions, which means that apparently it does not offer full 256-color screen graphics at once. The color palette is exactly the same and thus it has up to 16 simultaneous colors. Clearly an ST port here. The animation is not as smooth as the Amiga version and sometimes it gets frustrating. Running in EGA mode, is also visually pleasant to the eye, but running in CGA, things go south (as only 4 colors are supported) and gameplay gets hard (cannot distinguish easily some objects to avoid etc).
The sound is decent though, especially when utilizing an AdLib sound hardware or an IBM Music Feature Card. Quality wise, it's close to the ST version when running on an AdLib, but no sampled sound effects here (Amiga and ST only).
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Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms
Atari ST
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
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