She Dreams Elsewhere Might be the Next Incredible Indie
At the [email protected] event, I came across She Dreams Elsewhere and it felt like the making of something special.
She Dreams Elsewhere is the upcoming indie game that should be on everyone’s radar. Immediately as I began my demo I was greeted by a groovy and funky tune entrancing me, a beautiful retro art style that I consistently found mesmerizing, and a colorful cast of characters that I want to learn about and love right this second. This wonderful experience all but lasted me thirty minutes and it was crafted by the one man developer, Studio Zevere.
In She Dreams Elsewhere you play as Thalia, a woman who seems to be an introvert that feels like her friends have more fun without her. After leaving a party, she tries to find her dog Laury who decides to run off. Thalia’s motive is getting her dog back home. This was the main objective throughout my demo. The game presents itself with gorgeous pixelation and design. Mainly shown in black and white, Thalia is detailed in a bold light blue along with any other people, animals, or items of importance. While my experience was pretty linear as to where I could go, I was able to explore Thalia’s apartment a bit.
While there, I was able to search through her kitchen, living room, and bathroom interacting with different items including her TV, toilet, and a leftover pizza. Two of my favorite interactions were when she looked at her microwave and simply thought “it’s a microwave, stupid.” Another while looking at her unpaid bills thinking, “Hmm, what better way to lift my spirits than going through unpaid bills. Let’s deal with that, like…tomorrow, shall we? Or never…never sounds about right.” These are only a few of the many moments I found myself laughing out loud throughout my playthrough. Immediately I was charmed by the writing and how relatable Thalia was as a character and in such a short time too.
In the blink of an eye, I was in a place known as Oblivion. During my time there, continuing the search for Laury, I ran into a variety of enemies for Thalia to defeat. Every regular enemy encounter begins by running into a purple skull. I have yet to learn why that is or if it is an integral part of the story. In turn-based RPG fashion, I would attack enemies either physically or with skills. When using Thalia, I have different elemental skills to use at my disposal by using her SP (skill points). Party members also have an LP bar. When the bar is full, they are able to use their Limit, unleashing an all-powerful move.
Each enemy has at least one weakness which is shown with a question mark until that weakness is known, requiring me to try out different skills to find out the weakness of each enemy. Enemies also have a shield above their health bar with a number next to it. When I hit an enemy with one of their weaknesses, a shield level will drop. Once their shield is depleted they are stunned for an entire round.
Exploring through Oblivion, I would get to speak with dogs (yes, speak). Each of them had a name and a distinct personality. They were also my save point maxing out my parties health and skill points. During important dialogue moments, I was able to choose my response. It didn’t happen often, but when they did it felt meaningful. It wasn’t enough to make Thalia your own but to put a little bit of yourself into the game.
As the demo went on I gained new party members in Amia and Oliver, friends of Thalia. I didn’t learn a lot about either of these characters, but I do know that Amia is a woman with a strong backbone. Compared to Thalia, a lot of Amias skills focus on dealing with status effects. One of her skills is literally called “STFU” where she deals damage to enemies with a chance of silencing them. It is completely on-brand with her character. Oliver was introduced at the tail end so I really have no idea as to his character, but his skills revolve around healing and buffs. Based on Amia having skills reflected by her personality, I expect the same for Oliver.
What truly stood out most to me in She Dreams Elsewhere is the music. It is so unique and fresh that I already want it available to listen to today. I hope there will be a wide variety of tracks to listen to once the game launches. If I had the ability to, I would have played through the demo again just to hear some of those tunes one more time.
During my time with She Dreams Elsewhere I was blown away. Not entirely by what I played, but with the potential of what it can be when it is fully complete. I got to play only a portion of the prologue so there can be a lot of growth moving forward. It didn’t break any barriers and it looks to have a fair amount of similarities from other titles in its genre, but it has everything it needs to be a major success. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the final product.
If you’re interested in She Dreams Elsewhere, the full prologue is available for free right now on Steam, Mac, Linux, and Windows. The full game will release on Xbox One, Mac, Linux, and Steam sometime this year.