IFComp 2015: The Sueño   4 comments

By Marshal Tenner Winter. Not finished at the writing of this review; no hints or walkthrough used.


In The Sueño you are participating in a sleep study with a pill that gives lucid dreams.

The plot is a slow burn. After a fairly ordinary visit to the lab, dreaming starts in a standard-looking house. After leaving the house, drama starts to rise.

You dread heading to the southeast, down the rocky path. Something stops you. Something tells you that dark entities guard it. In your mind, you see large, black rabbits. Strange, yes, but terrifying for some reason. They are in your mind only for now, but something also tells you that you will lose your lucidity and wake up screaming should you head that direction.

I aborted play a bit after 2 hours rather reluctantly, so that’s a good sign. It’s not as tightly-made as I’d like — I hit jarring responses for reasonable commands at frequent intervals, and I found typos here and there, but the puzzles I solved were reasonable and the overarching mystery grabbed me.

There was one really clever idea, which I’ll discuss after some spoiler room.

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Because this is a lucid dream, it’s possible to DREAM OF things that don’t already exist.

> dream of richard
You try to conjure Dr. Lynch into your dream, but you feel as if you don’t have enough power or something to do it yet.

Once I accidentally teleported to an object just by dreaming of it. This seems like a mechanic that oozes puzzle potential, but unfortunately since I am only part of the way through the game I don’t know if there’s a real payoff. At the moment I get the feeling that there are too many “that’s not useful” instances and the mechanic doesn’t reach the real joy of unleashed possibility.

I also liked that while there’s an underlying current of horror, it’s uncertain whether the story will really reach that genre. At one point I “died” in the dream, but rather than the expected bloody mess there was a gentle exit.

You awake, terriffied, but Dr. Lynch assures you everything is fine. You are paid for volunteering in the sleep study and you go your merry way. Too bad you didn’t unlock the mysteries that The Sueño had to offer.

Is something evil happening (other than the typos) or is the intensity simply in the main character’s head?

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Posted November 10, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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4 responses to “IFComp 2015: The Sueño

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  1. Yes, something evil is happening. I advise finishing the game (even if it means checking the hints) if you want to know what’s going on. The first half or so of the game is really slow and there are only vague hints that something’s going on, but it ramps up later.

    • I think I’m ok still running hintless, I never actually got stuck (just ran out of time a little after entering and exploring the library).

      Looking forward to see where it goes… after I finish all the other comp games.

  2. Thanks for the review!

  3. Pingback: IFComp 2015 Summary | Renga in Blue

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