Features & Use
When you first start Dream: Hidden Adventure, you'll be introduced to the characters and settings through a tutorial with a little blue guy called Whiff. He sets the scene for the various magical Cloud Folk you'll encounter on your adventure and also for the kind of tasks you'll be required to perform in order to assist your new friends as they live in fear of being swallowed up by the Fearglade Sorcerer's black hole. The Dream World in which the game is located consists of various floating 'islands' in which your adventures will take place. Each island has its own peculiarities and characters.
As you explore each island you'll encounter new characters that require your help with a specific task that involves you collecting objects for them. Of course, all of these interactions and the dream visions in which the hidden objects are placed, all occur while you are asleep (hence the title of the game). Rather than energy, like in most games, here you need Drowsiness to be able to stay sleep and continue. Each of the environments, with great, evocative names like The Enchanted Forest, Egg Colony, The Fearglade, Mirror Labyrinth and Candy Cabin, are beautifully illustrated still images in which a variety of objects are craftily hidden. It is your task to locate them all in a given period of time.
Clues will be given to help you find the objects – either written descriptions or silhouettes – and if you wake up before you find them all you can extend the time with a quick trip to the Store where you can pick up all sorts of great stuff, from sleep elixirs, to charms to weapons, chests and more. You'll find yourself being pushed to the Store repeatedly throughout your adventure, but in-app purchases are not required to progress. All you need to do is cash in your accumulated coins and pearls to properly equip yourself for the upcoming task. Along the way you'll collect various Artifacts and build Collections of objects that can either be valuable or just pretty to look at.
Each time you complete a task you'll be directed to a character interaction or the Store, and at various intervals you'll level up and be able to unlock new areas of each island. Fortunately, you are not restricted to completing an island before moving on: you can switch from island to island to get a better feel for the Dream World. Island navigation is managed through a 3D map overview of the various islands in the Dream World. Your character interactions occur from here as well. On this screen you'll also have access to your Inventory, Collections, scores and timelines, Rewards, Store and sharing options for social networks.
Screen & Controls
The layout of Dream: Hidden Adventure is pretty spectacular, with gorgeous visuals and easily navigated areas, despite the very intricate and detailed setup. The tutorial and prescribed nature of your progress through the game will also tend to make it easy to know where to go next and what you need to do, buy or equip. Most interactions are handled with simple swipes, taps or touchscreen button presses. The actual Dream scenes and hidden object tasks are nicely done and responsive. The screen can sometimes seem a little cluttered though, so this game might be better played on a tablet.
Speed & Stability
During the testing period Dream: Hidden Adventure was always responsive and smooth. There were no crashes, although an occasional but temporary freeze occurred when accessing your pull-down notifications menu when receiving messages, for example. The game is very polished and highly detailed but managed to perform seamlessly on every occasion, although there is a very short loading time at start up. Strangely, the Play Store comments report crashes, freezes on the lock screen, bugs and more, but I suffered from none of these problems.
Dream: Hidden Adventure is free to download and does not require any in-app purchases to proceed in the game. You'll get the occasional ad popup, but for an incredibly involving game that is a small price to pay and I never had the actual gameplay interrupted by ads. As far as free hidden object games go, this one is a keeper. It's a pretty large install though at just over 300 MB.
If you're a fan of hidden object games, Dream: Hidden Object will keep you happy. The tasks can be quite tricky, although once you're used to the objects it gets a lot easier. The storyline that accompanies the gameplay is very detailed, engaging and atmospheric and makes the game infinitely more enjoyable. It's free, light on ads, requires no in-app purchases and is highly replayable as you complete the many different environments and tasks, unlocking more as you go. It can be a little ''commerce-heavy'' at times, with very frequent trips to the Store to equip, buy or increase levels, but it all adds to the richness of the game's storyline. I experienced no crashes or bugs, but a lot of other users seem to have found them. It's definitely worth a try though.