is a game where you pick up blocks and try to build towers. You control a little floaty, er... thing. Iím not sure what it is. But you use your little avatar to pick up blocks and stack them. The tower build projects get more and more complicated, with spheres, ramps, water, and even wind coming by to mess things up. The game is also multiplayer, but with little warning. Other avatars just show up in your levels.
The results of people just dropping into your game can be the source of endless comedy. If youíre taking a serious stance on this game, you can easily get frustrated by people coming in and pulling blocks out or unbalancing something youíve been working on. If youíre the type that finds comedy in tragedy, this can be pretty hilarious. After an endless stream of failures and sabotage, you sometimes just give in to the chaos and start wrecking your own tower. Well, I do anyway.
Dreii is a minimalist game in almost every way, which means it cleverly hides the tutorial levels. Like a set of instructions for an Ikea cabinet, Dreii shows you through visual cues, not words. It starts simple, teaches you the rules, then builds complexity on those simple rules later. I admire this sort of design for a number of reasons, one being that the experience needs little to no translation. For example, I could write a few sentences to describe a particular level where you encounter a block you cannot pull. It turns out you need to pull another block over the top of it, using the friction between the two blocks to make the first one turn over. Thatís a whole lot of writing for what Dreii can show you by just placing a couple of blocks next to each other in a very specific way. For that, itís quite a brilliant teaching system.
Certainly itís not the first game to do it, but Dreii also supports a seamless multi-lingual communication system. You communicate in your language in a small set of phrases and your words will be translated into whatever language the other player speaks. I remember Phantasy Star Online doing this way back in the Dreamcast days, and I always thought that it was a pretty smart way to handle (and corral) communication between a diverse player set. Well, for Dreii it could be a smart way to communicate, but youíre limited to a lot of convivial language, rather than words that could help you give directions or receive them. For example, you can say "Hello" or "Huh?" but you canít really tell someone "take that block and put it on the left" if you need to. There are more phrases, to be fair, but even "slowly" or "drop" can be difficult to convey when you have to select your words from a menu, one by one.