LSD Dream Emulator Review & Explanation
I originally wrote this as a review for a friend’s website: http://www.thegameenforcer.com/ but I decided not to give it to them and put it here. I only honestly review the game at the very end as I want to educate people about this interesting title and there isn’t much information about it on the internet.
Asmik Entertainment 1998
Apparently this game isn’t about an acid trip but it’s actually about a dream diary written by the creator of the game.
I’d like to start off by saying that the better known freeware game Yume Nikki was probably inspired by this game. I even believe that Uboa him/her/itself was inspired by this game.
So when you start of in LSD you’re greeted by a strange opening sequence in which there are several strange animations with a menagerie of effects going on at the same time. It really gives you that “WTF!?” feeling that you need to start the game off. Your basic gameplay is:
1. Entering a dream (Each dream is marked by a day)
2. Walking around and running into objects which will teleport you to a different location
3. Freaking out
4. Ending the dream by dying (running of a cliff or other events), having the dream go on for 10 minutes, or the game will decide when it wants to end
Many people debate whether or not this game is scary and in my opinion it is. While the game Dead Space level scary it has made me jump a few times. Most of the time it seems like the game isn’t even trying to be scary it just ends up doing so. The only part where the game seems to try to be scary is the city area which includes crashed cars, falling heads, limbs in dumpsters, and multiplying bodies on the street.
The game consists of about eight main areas and a few areas inside of those. These include your house, a city, a Japanese village, what is essentially he Tower of Babel, a small area featuring some landmarks from around the world, another small enclosed area with a large pit inside, a large expansive field, and what I like to call Toyland which is filled with colorful faces huge flowers and marching penguins.
You normally will start off a day inside of your house which normally includes 2 floors of small rooms, a rooftop, and a lower area that leads to a yard and what appears to be a bar(which is normally attended by a giant head on legs.)
I believe the game has a static map as there are certain tunnels that lead to certain places. Going through one of those tunnels will bring you to that location but normally running into an object is random. From doing this you can go into any of the various locations.
· City(Violence District)- This is for the most part the scariest part in the game. It’s a city with a port that includes a variety of freaky things such as women with their heads rolling off, disappearing sailors, and several women being hanged from a lamp post. Overall the city isn’t a very enjoyable place to be.
· The village seems pretty normal despite its odd statues of limbs. It contains a palace and usually monks can be seen walking through it. This too also has a fair share of strange things such as minotaur rickshaws and goblins.
· The Tower- It’s pretty simple. The odd part about it is that it brings you to the moon
· Landmark Area- Contains Dutch Windmills, The Empire State Building, Easter Island Heads, The London Bridge, Big Ben, The Pyramids of Giza, and the Sphinx. Nothing much goes on here, strangely there are a few benches around the landmarks.
· The Pit- Normally a giant pink elephant floats from the center of this pit but other than that nothing much goes on
· Field- Also pretty empty but every so often you’ll see something really strange including a mirage of The Three Wise Men
· Toyland- EVERY STEP YOU TAKE WILL MAKE THE MOST HORRID NOISE EVER. It’s also filled with cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head, a Ferris Wheel, a castle, and FABULOUS COLORS!
At the end of each day the game rates your dream. This can either be Upper or Downer on the Y-axis and Static or Dynamic on the X-axis. As far as I’m concerned this has nothing to do with the rest of the game.
As the game progresses it seems like you enter a hellish nightmare. Textures that once matched their location become replaced by faces. ALL OF THE TEXTURES. The walls will have faces, the floor will have faces, and every object will have textures of faces on them. It becomes very unsettling towards the end of the game. There’s also the “Shadow Man” who appears randomly. He approaches you very slowly and disappears when you get near him.
Other than this there isn’t much to explain about the game other than that occasionally you will have a day which consists only of either a Japanese poem written entirely in Kanji or an FMV of something totally random. One of these FMV days lasted 20 minutes for me.
Finally the Scores:
Graphics: 4 I didn’t grow up with PS1 so I can’t really judge here, the game doesn’t really try to have good graphics and the render distance is very short. I’m giving it a 4 based on what I’ve seen.
Sound: 2 WHY? This is painful on your ears after a while but adds to the creepiness. The games music is small loops, some of them are catchy but mostly annoying.
Atmosphere: 9 YOU WILL FOREVER BE AFRAID TO TURN AROUND! YOU WILL NOT SLEEP AFTER YOU SEE THE SHADOW MAN!
Overall Gameplay: 7 It’s fun for a while but in the end it gets pretty repetitive and you’ll be bored with it.