An Inception-like visual novel
The Dream Alchemist is a free-to-play simulator putting you in the shoes of the titular character, blessed with the ability to see and act in the dreams of other people. This visual novel from Clara Faye Games will allow you to perform actions similar to those seen in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi classic Inception, but this time set in a fantasy world.
Its story and Art Nouveau aesthetic make The Dream Alchemist a work of art in the story and in graphics. Other alternatives to this unique take on the genre include Jolly Roger and The Letter - Horror Visual Novel.
Down the rabbit hole of dreams
In The Dream Alchemist, you play as the fierce yet kind titular character Nova. In her shoes, you will be tasked with invading the dreams of a foreign ambassador. However, what she thought was an ordinary mission turns out to be deeper and darker than she initially thought. This is where the gripping story sets in, immediately telling you to be cautious of every character you meet.
For its visuals, it seems lacking in details or dynamic lighting, which gives players the opportunity to appreciate its rare aesthetic. This feels like reading from an old-school illustrated book–giving the game a unique entry in the visual novel genre, at least as far as graphics go. This also creates a unique feel as far as its dashing male leads are concerned: from the silent Atlas to the prickly Felix.
With a game like this, expect mature content in terms of visuals, languages, and themes in general, making it unsuitable for younger players. Also, the game has a relatively short playthrough. It is engaging, yes, but the game ends rather abruptly. However, the developers assure its players that new players are coming and that the storylines will branch even more with the following updates.
A quick yet addictive run
All in all, The Dream Alchemist manages to stand by its fantasy premise, creating an experience that is fleeting yet memorable. Despite its rather short playthrough that leaves you looking for more, its limited cast of characters each makes an impression–a rather difficult task in the visual novel genre. This is an engaging story to experience, although not recommended for younger players thanks to its mature themes.