Developer: Desert Fox
Publisher: Forever Entertainment S.A.
Price: £8.99 / $9.99
Release Date: 24/01/2019
Bad Dream: Coma is a dark and wonderful point and click adventure game that will have you scratching your head at puzzles as you leave your bed and start on your journey. It’s not for the faint-hearted but if you don’t mind games with a creepy atmosphere and a little bit of blood for good measure, then you should definitely give Bad Dream: Coma some of your time.
Let’s cross the bridge…
In this game, you’ll find yourself in a surreal and wonderful dream world where everything hinges on your actions. I’m not a master of point and click games but I have played a few in the last year or so and found them to be wonderful games. The likes of Grim Fandango Remastered and The Wardrobe have been on my Switch and kept me busy solving puzzle after puzzle. Bad Dream: Coma is no different. The beginning of this game almost caught me out in the Chapter called the Bridge.
Maybe I’m alone in my thoughts here but an early puzzle involving a remote control car had me stumped for a little while. I won’t give any tips or spoilers on what to do but it really made me think and one thing I can say about this game is you really will have to think outside the box with this tremendous puzzle filled adventure. One of the things I found I liked about this game was how I really had to use my brain. Bad Dream: Coma does not hold your hand at all and that’s no bad thing. Games can become tiresome and too easy when it’s constantly guiding you and not letting you think for yourself. This game is not one of those games don’t worry about that.
Everybody is trapped in this nightmare, including yourself. The only thing that is real is pain and fear. Not a nice situation to find yourself in!
You are thrown into an apocalyptic dream world and have to discover what on Earth is going on. You appear to be on your own with no other life around you apart from some creepy Alfred Hitchcock crows and the odd insect scurrying around. As you explore the world you meet other survivors who aid you, one way or another, in solving the many bizarre puzzles you encounter.
The world that you enter is one that’s very basic and almost hand-drawn looking. The simple line drawn art style is eye-catching in its own minimalist way. It’s very edgy and sets the tone really well and the birds that seem to be around everywhere are very disturbing in their presence. The green and black visuals are easy on the eye and except for the occasional spatter of blood or the yellow glow of light the world stays very drab and atmospheric. Colour is used sparingly, but when it is used, it’s extremely effective. This Bad Dream world is creepy and twisted and I really like that, it keeps you on your toes throughout.
The world is filled with everybody’s fears, including giant spiders and creepy dolls.
Night, night, don’t let the bed bugs bite
It turns out you’re in a dream world which people can’t wake up from. Even death does not wake those found trapped in this living nightmare. Have you ever had those dreams which seem so logical and coherent at the time, but then when you wake up and think about what you just dreamt about you think to yourself “WTF? What goes on in my head when my consciousness is not supervising?!?!” Bad dream coma captures that crazy logic that is so synonymous with dreams. Well, my dreams anyway. Although admittedly, my dreams aren’t as messed up as what occurs in Bad Dream: Coma. If they were, I think I would need therapy.
I wouldn’t describe the game as a scary horror but it is disturbing at times. It is a dark and at times rather twisted game but it gets away with it because of its setting. Think clearly about everything you do, from the moment you begin the game it’s an early decision that may dictate what ending you get.
Puzzles to get you thinking
One of the puzzles requires you to cure an ill patient in the hospital and one of the things they require are new eyes. I ended up acquiring one of these visual organs by stabbing someone else in the eye and taking theirs. In all honesty, I didn’t realise quite what I was doing until it was too late but never mind I got his eye. I’m sure there was another way of doing it as there are different moral paths you can find yourself on depending on what actions you choose to take.
I quickly found myself on the bad path after this incident with another NPC telling me that I was insane. It’s not always obvious how your actions will affect your morality through the game (often until it’s too late like my cyclops moment) but I think it encourages the player to start again once they complete the game to try and see if they can solve things differently.
At times i found myself stuck and didn’t know how I was supposed to solve the problems presented to me. The game is so abstract that logical thinking is not always helpful. However once solved I often thought it was clever and well thought out. There were times where I would just be clicking on every single object on the screen and on more than one occasion I had missed something really small and unobvious. Nevertheless this is not unique to Bad Dream: Coma and is a common annoyance with point and click games.
The game launched on Steam in 2017 but I love the fact that lots of Steam library games are making their way to Switch as the portable nature the console has means you can take your favourite game anywhere at anytime, what’s not to love.
Looking into the game’s performance, I noticed no issues whilst playing. The game loads at good speeds and the sound effects are punchy and completely atmospheric.
The review key for this game was provided by Forever Entertainment S.A.