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Introduction / Yume Nikki Fangames
Yume Nikki Fangames!Now, if you don't know Yume Nikki, you need to read that page and then go download that shit right now. Because there is a reason Yume Nikki is widely considered to be one of the best indie games of the past decade. I'll not bother to explain the premise here, for it's easily found there and in a much more succinct and informative form than I could put it here. So we're going to move on to the fangames, in the order I've played them. also SPOILERS AHEAD OH MY GOD SO MANY SPOILERS IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS DON'T READ THE REST OF THIS OKAY THANK YOU. Lighter and Softer in general, .flow is Darker and Edgier in general. There is very little lightheartedness here. Most of the game is dark, oppressively dark. There is a heavy industrial theme, large swaths of the game are clanging, smoky, rusting messes. When organic elements show up, it's to add to the horror. Examples include a back-alley hospital that seems normal, but turns utterly terrifying when you go into the back rooms and find meat hooks and dead patients, and then even more horrifying when you go beyond that into a room full of dead and dying children (appearing to be infected by some kind of virus). It's important to note the virus part, because sickness is a central theme of this game. It's not necessarily always explicit sickness, so perhaps it's more fair to say decay. Large parts of the game are covered in rust, and during the endgame, Sabitsuki (the protagonist) has her very name changed to Rust. This supports her interpretation as an Ill Girl. Also of note is that this is the first deconstruction of this type of game on this list, as the final ending strongly implies that what Sabitsuki has been experiencing are not dreams or hallucinations at all, but very real.
Yume NisshiI did not play Yume Nisshi for long, and have little to say about it other than it struck me as extremely generic and I did not enjoy it.
The Looking GlassThe Looking Glass is the most unfinished game on this list, the version I played had only three effects that I could find, and many of the worlds are dead ends. That said, it's a charming game with potential. Also of note, the bed here does nothing, you enter the dream world (?) by stepping into a magic mirror. Yes really. This particular game is western-made, as are the next three.
Lcd DemI have also not played Lcd Dem for long, but my opinions on it are much the same as my opinions on The Looking Glass. I also find Chie's choice of weapon interesting.
Answered PrayersOf all the games on this list, Answered Prayers just might turn out to be the most innovative. I don't say that lightly, nor do I say it with certainty. AP is far from done, but it has a lot of promise. Mostly because unlike Yume Nikki, or even .flow, Answered Prayers seems to have a plot. And one made of a loving deconstruction at that. At this stage in the game's development, it's difficult to see if that will pan out or not (even if it doesn't, this is still a cut above most Yume Nikki fangames), also, one thing utterly shocked me about this game, because it defied all of my expectations with a single, and oh-so subtle thing, and it is the only thing in this article I feel the need to warn of spoilers:
SPOILERSFlourette can speak. As in, she has at least one line of dialogue, a seemingly insignificant one, but it's a complete left-field nonetheless to me. With that, I bid you all adieu for now. Keep on dreaming, people!
The more recent version of Yume Nisshi shows incredable improvement. Yume Nisshi is terribly underrated. I enjoyed it when I played it.
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