MyDream is a voxel based community construction game. Which really means it’s like Minecraft if I’m being honest; at least in its presentation. As the market is flooded with voxel based games trying to be the next Minecraft, it can be hard for any diamonds in the rough to not get lumped in with the rough. MyDream sits on a precarious ledge in that it is doing enough right to one day differentiate it from the pack, but is in danger of falling short. It is a Steam Early Access game, so everything in this review could change by the time it launches.
Graphics: The very first thing I noticed were the wonky settings the game defaulted to. It set my resolution to 720p windowed mode and its sparse graphics options set to medium or lower. This is strange because I can run Shadows of Mordor at max settings and 60fps, and my normal resolution is 1080p. Even after correcting the resolution problem though, the game refused to run in a full screen mode. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but the games item bar rests at the bottom of the screen, which was now blocked by my taskbar. Very annoying to deal with. However, after getting in game I was pleasantly surprised. Graphically speaking it is leaps and bounds ahead of vanilla Minecraft. Not everything is blocky and you can in fact use the in game tools to round the landscape and objects. This improvement comes at a cost however, as the worlds are sparse. The worlds I played on were generally just flat land dominated by a player made structure; which were actually impressive. One world had a massive space ship that had some clever engine effects. Without these impressive player made structures though, the game lacked any scenery to look at. I also found it to be somewhat poorly optimized as my FPS began to drop noticeably once too many objects were on screen. The art style is perfect however, it’s cartoony and fun. While the player and NPC models lack a lot of fidelity, you have to accept some compromise when you’re playing in a world this large, with this much freedom. One great graphical addition though is when you switch items. Instead of using a tool to dig and sculpt the land you use a transforming gauntlet. It turns from a drill into a crossbow and some other crazy stuff and was a nice attention to detail.
Sound: The sound design leaves a lot to be desired. Upon loading a world there’s no ambient music or any sound really. The only things you can hear are the sounds of you placing blocks or digging until eventually the ambient music kicked in. I’m not sure if that is a bug or intentional but I found it to be extremely off putting. When the sound was working it was nothing special. The effects were extremely vanilla and the ambient music was as well. Not much to say other than I hope it improves with time.
Gameplay: I have never been the biggest fan of games like Minecraft, since I like having a clear objective for what I am doing. MyDream solves that problem–sort of. One of the best things about MyDream is that it you can go on developer made and user made quests. However, the quest system isn’t always clear on what you’re supposed to do. There is a tutorial world, but the tutorial is a bit vague. I found myself wandering around the landscape trying to figure out exactly what to do before restarting. The instructions faded too quickly, often before I had a chance to even fully read them. Eventually I just hopped into a community world and decided to figure things out on my own, but apparently the community isn’t too sure how to do quests either because none of the ones I found actually worked. Movement in MyDream is a bit strange as well. The normal walk speed is agonizingly slow, requiring you to sprint everywhere, but the jump distance is ridiculously high. It’s sort of like walking through mud but jumping on the moon. Also, you will most likely need to turn down the mouse sensitivity in game as the default had me twitching all over the place. The construction aspect itself works fine, though the world creators are required to give you the tools you need, as there is no mining. No matter how deep I dug there was nothing but sand and more sand. The servers worked surprisingly well for an Early Access game though and I never encountered any connection problems during my time with the game.
Overall: It’s an Early Access game so expectations have to be limited. MyDream has all of the building blocks to succeed; it just needs to put them together in the right order. If you’re a big fan of games like Minecraft it would be prudent to keep an eye on this one.