[Editor's Note: This is a review of a game not officially released on the Sega Dreamcast. The build reviewed is a homebrew application that was created by fans well after Sega decided to drop the Dreamcast from production. If you have any questions about the game's availability or creation I recommend you visit Alice Dreams' web site. Sega did not endorse this product for use with the Dreamcast.]
The order of the day in these parts is the neglected systems; those who developed a strong underground fanbase but were relatively obscured by the bigger names. Surprisingly, many of these systems lived on after the world forgot about them; particularly the Dreamcast. This machine is capable of everything these days. And the starry-eyed programmers and developers of tomorrow haven't forgotten its power and abilities. Alice Dreams is the product of only a handful of people, created by Patbier and Poche. While this is not a full game yet, there is so much potential here I couldn't keep silent any longer.
Alice Dreams stars a young lady named Alice who dishes out the puzzle solving and platform action as well as any seasoned adventure character. There is a nice mix between talking to various background characters to collect information and items, and negotiating the twists and turns in between via climbing ladders and jumping across platforms. The audio is, without hyperbole, the best I've heard in any Homebrew game to date. The characters all have recorded speech, and the occasional background tune or appropriate atmospheric ambiance really adds to the depth of this project.
Graphically, this also stands out as a shining step forward in the realm of the Homebrew title. The backgrounds are beautifully rendered in vibrant colors, and the blend of background and foreground expertly conveys a sense of depth without masking key objectives or making it too difficult to understand what or who it is you are to interact with. The controls are also much more responsive than your standard Homebrew affair.
My only real gripe about this one is that I don't have a full version yet! The look and feel of this game harkens back to nostalgic favorites of mine such as Monkey Island and The Legend of Kyrandia series, and I see limitless potential for these gifted creators. If you have a Dreamcast you owe it to yourself to take part in the thriving Homebrew scene, and why not start with one of the very best?