Soothing, charming and beautiful.
There are not many games out there that can bring a smile to my face from the instant I start playing, but Dreii is one of those rare occasions.
On the surface, Dreii doesn’t have much to offer. It’s a simple concept, with simple gameplay and a simple structure. You have puzzles, so you must solve them by creating structures and moving blocks onto a glowing dot to progress. Do enough and you complete the game. Doesn’t seem that grand and it doesn’t do anything innovative but it offers a surprisingly beautiful experience.
Dreii can be played on your own, or if your internet connection is switched on, you may be joined by other players. There is no way to choose which gamers you would like to play with or even if you want to play with others at all and it reminds me a lot like Journey in that regard… but in a good way.
You don’t need to speak to the other player with voice chat. You can give them small prompts using the very limited speech bubbles, but knowing exactly what the other player wants is half of the discovery and fun. It requires you to think strategically about your next move. Levels are completed by placing one of the white shapes on a glowing dot and hold it there for a few seconds. The fact that many of the puzzles have multiple solutions really does makes you think. Do you go with the first solution that came to your mind? Or do you go with the solution you think your partner is considering? But without knowing what they want to do, you have to think on your feet and convince them to follow your lead.
Some levels requires you to complete them with someone else but these aren’t on the main path needed to complete the game. Most of the first, 3/4 of levels can be done on your own with ease, but some levels will be difficult on your own. Let’s face it though, this is a game you want to experience with strangers and brings out the most of what this game has to offer, which is building connections with others to reach your goal.
There were many times my partner and I would be nearing completion of our structure only to have one of us knock it all over and start again. There would be a slight pause from both of us. Not moving our Figures. Almost as if you would be expecting an explosion of rage that we nearly completed our work only to have a 2 year old child come in and smash Daddy’s $200+ Star Wars Model kit of the Millennium Falcon… but… nothing. I never felt the rage you would expect. but I simply laughed it off and continued immediately after. You never get stressed out but you always feel accomplished.
Some puzzles throw curve balls at you from time-to-time and these can range from grey blocks which cant be used to hit the white dot, blocks that can’t be picked up or random gusts of wind. Which gives this game some variety, even if limited.
The only main issue I have with Dreii, is the lack of Music and Sound effects. The Figures you control are the main source of sound in this game. Every time you move them, they make Rainstick/Rattle sounds and with the lack of any other music besides the sound of wind and rain, it comes of annoying at times. So just head on over to YouTube or Spotify and put of some relaxation music and you are set.
REVIEWED ON PS4 WITH CROSS BUY ON PSVITA
ALSO ON SMART PHONES AND STEAM