Thursday, June 2, 2011

Microreview: Psychosomnium

Cactus is not an orthodox developer in any sense of the word.  His games are weird, surreal, and oftentimes contain not even the slightest bit of logic.  In 2008, he released a little-known game called Psychosomnium, a title about the strange, strange world of dreams.  This year, developer-producer MiroSurabu released a flash port, revamping some of the graphical aspects and slapping a big ol' Newgrounds logo in the bottom left-hand corner.

You start out as Jimmy, an odd looking block-headed character.  You use the arrow keys to run and jump and make your way across a strange, brickcovered dreamscape until you find your blockheaded comerade Jimmy on the other end of a spiked wall.  It's hard to describe the main gameplay element without spoiling a little bit of story, but it involves a lot of switching between characters.  The dialogue is oftentimes surreal, but it has an inescapable charm to it that I've only seen in prior titles from Cactus.  I have to say, though, this game is extremely short.  You'll likely finish in about 6-7 minutes at the most, but it's a game worth experiencing.  

VERDICT: There isn't really much more I can say, as I've pretty much covered all the bases, but Psychosomnium is a strange, almost entrancing experience that will leave you baffled, dazed, and longing for more.  It's not perfect; it won't win any awards or garner that much critical praise, but it's an enjoyable little game nonetheless.

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