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Dream Day: True Love

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: I-play
Developer: Oberon Media
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Adventure/ Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Dream Day: True Love is the 7th installment of the Dream Day game series helmed by game designer Cara Ely, but this one is far more personal than all of the others. It tells the story of the 70+ year romance of her grandparents, Bill and Helen Ely. Because Dream Day: True Love is based on actual events and people, it contains lots of real photographs, settings and letters.

When you are tasked with restoring an old farmhouse, it's the actual farmhouse Bill and Helen lived in. When you piece together photographs or see collages, postcards or newspaper clippings, you are viewing actual materials from the Ely family legacy, which is a nice twist.

The voice acting seems a little forced, but it's not bad. I would sort of cringe every time I got a phone call on the cell from the son, George, tasking me with something. His voice just seemed a bit too much. While no one from the Ely family do the voices for the game, members of the family, Cara included, worked together to create the game's script so it would remain true to its history. There are nice sound effects in the background and the background music appropriately matches whatever location you happen to be in for the game segment you are playing, be it San Francisco, Hawaii or Paris and beyond. Remember, this game spans some 70 years and this couple lived around the world, so there's quite a variety.


Dream Day: True Love is a hidden object/puzzle game based on the lives of a couple and the family that grew from this marriage. You are tasked with planning the ultimate 70th year wedding anniversary for Bill and Helen Ely and your job will include so much more than simply planning a mere party. Real events are recreated and remembered throughout the game and your job begins when son George asks you to go out to the old family farmhouse to get things spruced up and ready for the big day.

Your jobs will include cleaning things up, redecorating the old place, preparing the food and drinks, restoring an old family quilt and, of course, designing and sending out invitations and such. In the living room of the farmhouse is a scrapbook which you will go through as you play the game and this advances the story and provides lots of mini-games. Additionally, you'll have the typical hidden object screens to deal with, as well, although the mini-games and hidden object screens are about 50/50.

Mini-games might include anything from piecing together an old photograph to comparing two pictures and picking out the differences, to spotting changes in a picture, or even a game of memory. Some of the really fun ones were puzzles where you had to either fill in a wildly patterned dress without having one of the colors touching itself or do a seating chart without having certain people sit next to each other. There are also times when you'll be presented with rows and columns of items and you'll have to move and arrange them by color or style, etc. There's definitely a good variety of game types to be found here. Most times, the mini-games can be skipped if you get really stumped, although you'll lose time from your timer when you do that.

While most of the games were fun, some of them seemed a bit random and forced, meaning it must have been hard to figure out how to turn a certain aspect of someone's life into a game. Some made perfect sense, but others just didn't really feel organic to the game. For instance, I loved the hidden object screen in Paris; that was great fun and the scenery was fantastic. On the other hand, there was a mini-game based on golf that I actually skipped because it just wasn't fun.


There are two difficulty settings, First Love and Soulmates. Soulmates opens once you have completed the game in First Love mode and kicks things up a notch simply by giving you less time on the clock. The mini-games may be slightly harder, but I didn't really notice a big difference, aside from the lowered time on the timer. You can also play the game without a time limit, for a more relaxing approach, but I found the time on the clock was more than ample in both modes, so most people won't feel the need to do that.

Dream Day: True Love uses a tricky approach to some of its hidden object items, often hiding objects in clouds or unexpected places. While I know this annoys some people, I didn't really find it made things too difficult. More often than not, I could find all of the objects and, if I got stumped, it was only on the last one or two, so I could use the Hint function. This refills over time, so it comes in handy. There is also a walkthrough that fills over time and then becomes available to you, in case you aren't sure where to go next. Unfortunately, with the more adventure-based parts of this game, of which there seemed to be more than usual, I found the need to check the walkthrough once or twice, since I wasn't sure where to go.

Game Mechanics:

Dream Day: True Love is all point and click based moves. You'll click to locate hidden objects, you'll click to drag items around if you are designing a photo collage, you'll click to fill in patterns - you get the picture.

In addition to advancing Bill and Helen's storyline, in every level, three blue birds will be hiding. If you find them all in a level, that means Bill and Helen will get a present to open at the party. Once you've completed the game, you can open the presents and see what they are. Additionally, once you beat the game, you unlock not only the Soulmates mode, but also several additional backgrounds.

Dream Day: True Love is not really the type of game you'll go back through, once you have beaten it, because you've already seen what the story is and completed the puzzles, however you can go back in and play any level again via the scrapbook. You can also go in and read the love letters between Bill and Helen, which is a nice touch.

While I didn't quite enjoy Dream Day: True Love as much as I enjoyed Dream Day: Viva Las Vegas, mainly because the story seemed a bit forced, it was really cool to know that the entire story was based on real life events and I enjoyed my time with the game. If you aren't sure, check out the demo and see for yourself.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

Operating system: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7, Processor speed: Pentium III, 1000MHz, RAM: 512MB, 1024MB recommended, Video RAM: 128MB recommended, Hard drive space (uncompressed): 150MB free hard disk space, Resolution: 1024x768

Test System:

Windows Vista, 2 GHz AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor, 8GB RAM, Realtek High Definition Audio On-Board Sound, NVIDIA GeForce 8300

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