My usual witty remarks and pessimistic humor will have to take a step back today as I’ve been popping more pills than a 80’s raver trying to get rid of this horrendous cold I have (manflu, through and through). The only upside to the whole thing is that it gives me time to play the less hardcore games, so instead of shooting terrorists in the face or blasting through space with my sexy sun hammers of doom, I’ve been lifting blocks as a little dreidel type thing, not quite as interesting but the puzzles were quite fun never the less.
Dreii is the fairly newish Playstation 4 puzzle game which was released on March 9th 2016. It was developed by Etter Studio and published by Bitforge AG and see’s you take control of a little dreidel (or, what I can only assume is a dreidel) to overcome puzzles and ultimately progress through the level to god knows what at the end.
The object of the game is simple, you’re usually given a few blocks and obstacles to overcome and there is a small white glowing orb of some sort which you have to block using those blocks. Once you complete that, then your screen turns pink and you move onto the next level. It really is a simple game that anyone can pick up and play without any previous experience of video gaming.
The puzzles aren’t overly difficult to begin with but naturally get more puzzling as levels progress. The real test though sometimes is your test of patience, with certain obstacles proving particularly annoying, such as building a tower only have to wind come through and blow it away every 20 seconds. Each level has more obstacles to overcome, and whilst it can be particularly annoying it does make you want to keep going.
There’s lots of different obstacles to keep you from your toes, such as I mentioned with the wind, bouncing blocks, gravity, moving objects, objects that won’t move and certain objects that only rotate, so there’s quite a few things to keep you on your toes when playing.
Dreii’s main flaw comes to light fairly early on in the game in that there’s no real sense of achievement or reason to play it. Fair enough it’s a puzzle game and yes it can be quite challenging, but why should I play something that doesn’t encourage me to play it by rewarding me with a new ability, or by giving me an extra hint of story line, or atleast some kind of funky victory music? There is one reason why people play video games and that’s the fact that you get something in return. Whether this something is entertainment, information, emotion or something else, there has to be at least 1 reason to play and sadly other than a couple of puzzles, Dreii does not offer anything.
Although I didn’t really get to experience this aspect of the game, I’ve read that Dreii does allow you to join online and multiplayer modes in which you can have friends or randomers help you on your quest to complete the puzzles. Whilst this does seem like a good aspect, it paves the way for douchebags such as myself to just wreck everything in sight and ruin peoples games. It’s not a bad principle to play a co-operative online game, especially since seeing those trolls is likely to be a very minimal experience but the issue comes down to when you allow random people who you will never meet to dictate your game, in a situation like that it will usually end up with some idiot abusing the system, on the other side of the coin though, being paired up with someone who genuinely wants to play will leave you with a sweet spot in your heart for just how collaborative mankind can truly be when we’re not trying to make each other feel like crap.
The graphics are clean and smooth and I have no negativity about them whatsoever. The game is beautifully designed, from the avatars that you play as, to the blocks to the transitions onto and off of the levels that you’re playing. The graphics are fairly simple, so there’s nothing overly complex, but still none the less it’s a puzzle game and it doesn’t need to be flashy in any form. So as far as I’m concerned the graphics are perfect the way they are and work well with what the game is trying to accomplish.
The audio that’s used in the game is fairly high quality and works well with the way that you interact with the different levels. Even during the wind levels, the use of wind, rain in the backgrounds and other ambience is pretty effective and I think the developers have done well to incorporate both the graphics and the audio to give a truly atmospheric feel to the game, especially one which is quite simplistic as this.
Dreii’s heart is in the right place, and the sit down and play value of this game is what makes it a real winner. It’s not something you can sit and play for hours because frankly speaking it’s lifespan isn’t that long, especially considering the amount of levels and the repetition involved in it. The issue of the online trolling with this game isn’t a particularly huge one, and shouldn’t affect your decision to play in the slightest, especially considering I played for several hours and met no one. However, the only real decision you should have to make is if you are willing to commit yourself to a game with no real reward (bar trophies) and continue playing.
If you’re answers yes, then you’ve found a truly great puzzle experience which you can play for several hours and walk away happy. There’s nothing wrong with Dreii at all, if anything it’s a good puzzle game with a heck of a lot of levels and some really difficult challenges to overcome. Whilst I can’t recommend it for everyone, it’s a good game for those who are fans of the puzzle genre and will not disappoint.