My first obscure indie Steam game! I do make a few references to Yume Nikki in this episode. If you don’t know what that is, I recommend looking it up. The game is free and is just a bizarre but fascinating piece of freeware that has built up an amazingly devoted cult following over the years. It’s free on Steam (don’t get the $20 one. That’s a remake that is not well received.) so go try it out. Dreaming Sarah will make a lot more sense with that context in mind, since they are pretty unashamed of the influence.

2/21 – Dreaming Sarah

Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s video game of the day.

Today’s game is Dreaming Sarah, an independent game released by Brazilian developer Asteristic Game Studio in 2015.

Originally released on the PC and later ported to the Xbox One, Dreaming Sarah is an adventure-platformer game inspired by the Japanese cult hit, Yume Nikki.

Players play as Sarah, a girl who is in a coma after being in an accident. Players must navigate Sarah’s dreams and face her inner fears, doubts and demons to escape back to the real world. Dreaming Sarah isn’t a long or difficult game but focuses instead on creating a surreal atmosphere evoking senses of dread and self-reflection in players. Depending on player’s actions, they can receive one of two endings.

As with its source of inspiration, Dreaming Sarah has received a cult following and holds a Very Positive user review score on Steam. Reviews praise the artistic direction and thoughtful use of thematic imagery but note that it is quite short, with most completing it in around 2-3 hours.

The developers have announced a sequel to Dreaming Sarah called Awakening Sarah which, at the time of this recording, does not have a release date. However, developer Asteristic Game Studio does have another unrelated game, Dandy & Randy, currently available in Early Access on Steam. Awakening Sarah will bring back the original composer, Anthony Septim, to create the new game’s haunting score.

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