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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your deepest insecurities manifested themselves as nightmarish dungeons? Well the team at Afterburner Studios has done just that with their first project, Dreamscaper. Developed by a small team of three veteran game developers, the game is looking to take on “the nightmares that plague our subconscious” through a hack-and-slash action RPG.
Inspired by rogue-likes such as The Binding of Isaac, Dreamscaper sends you into the depression-ridden nightmares inside the mind of a girl named Cassidy. Every night that she sleeps, she is thrust into a different strange and surreal dungeon, forced to fight her way through until she finds a wake to wake up. Failure to do so will result in Cassidy descending into darkness, never to awaken again. As is the case with rogue-likes, death is permanent, with each new run providing an entirely new adventure.
Combat is fast and fluid, bringing in a variety of different weapons and abilities to help face your nightmares. The team promises that there will be a huge variety of unique weapons and abilities, allowing you to use everything from massive, destructive spells to projectile and melee weapons. Even something as simple as a yo-yo or a pair of boxing gloves can be a weapon. Throughout your adventure, you’ll be able to find items that will help you take on enemies and bosses, and you can also upgrade your gear to make stronger, more powerful weapons.
Not only with you have to fight through nightmares, you’ll also play through Cassidy’s day, using the time to develop relationships with other characters and build up her “hopes and memories.” Doing so will allow provide you with bonuses in the next dream you enter, so your interactions during the day are key to helping you survive the night.
The game is heavily rooted in the themes of mental health and its effect on our well-being, and it’s definitely an interesting take on the subject.
If you are interested in checking out the game for yourself, the team currently has an alpha demo available through their Kickstarter and the game’s Steam page. The Kickstarter campaign has already ended, with the funds almost doubling the initial $25,000 amount requested, but you can preorder the game to help contribute to the project.
While the game doesn’t yet have an official release date, Afterburner Studios is hoping to release Dreamscaper on PC and the Nintendo Switch sometime in the beginning of 2020.