Short Sessions, Part 6

This is another post in my series about the odd games that I have decided not to complete, although I will at least try them out for up to an hour.

  • Niko: Through The Dream
  • More games to come?

Niko: Through The Dream

Developer: Studio Paint | Released: 2015 | Genre: Puzzle, First Person

Graphically this was a beautiful first person puzzle game with minimalist graphics – mostly white to begin with. After a lengthy intro cutscene about a girl with green eyes exploring her surroundings (which was shown in a sketched style) I was dropped on one of many white platforms.

The puzzles were simple and relaxed to begin with. Time to lean back and relax.

I had to read the order of four elements on white stones as I approached them and then click four buttons in the same order. This created a suspension bridge to the next floating island. Here I used three by three buttons to slide circles around a transparent sphere. Next up was a maze with three colored spheres to find. Each sphere had three rotating symbols that had to be aligned. This removed colored bars.

Up until this point the game was easy and charming, one I actually intended to complete. Unfortunately the game upped the ante by introducing timed puzzles in the next section. This became a frequently repeated theme from then on and it was as annoying as it was unexpected.

First I had to swim through tubes, opening locks while sometimes using breathing holes to avoid drowning. It took mere seconds for this girl to struggle for air, and fans tried to drag her into their cutting blades. In the beginning it was okay, but a later lock had three extra handles in the breathing hole that had me drowning a dozen times until it occurred to me that I had to do it all in one go.

Next came two relaxing exceptions. The first had me aligning color dots on a large wheel and another by using four handles to align the water level in a transparent tube. Maybe those timed puzzles were the exceptions? Nope. Now came a series of chambers with falling stepping plates. I had to time my running and jumping in different ways depending on the puzzle itself.

That’s where I decided this game belonged in the blog series about short sessions.

It’s not that I couldn’t do those stepping plate puzzles. They were challenging but not impossible. The point is that the game looked so much like one of those games with relaxing puzzles, and then it turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I was not in the mood for that.

More games to come?

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