We learn from an early age that dreams usually make absolutely no sense at all. What a great place to set a game then – nobody can hassle you with accusations of a lack of realism! Here are some of our fave dreamy games – some nice, some nasty…
(PS4, Xbox One, PC)
You’re a yellow raincoat-clad and very hungry little girl named Six (no relation to Eleven), and things certainly aren’t quite right in this eerie dream world in which you face all manner of challenges.
D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die
(Xbox One, PC)
Gloriously and inspirationally bonkers – as you’d expect from its creator, SWERY – you’re an amnesiac detective trying to stop your wife’s murder. Huh? Well, you’ve gained the ability to time travel.
(PS3, Xbox 360)
You’re perma-gapey Vincent Brooks in this refreshingly original adult-oriented tale of infidelity, consequences and, erm, boxes. Oh, we forgot to mention the creepy falling dreams, in which if you die you’re dead. Eep!
NiGHTS into Dreams
(Saturn, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
A delightful SEGA salad of racing, flying, collecting and time attacking, with a touch of cross country platforming, you’re a harlequinish jester thingy named NiGHTS who’s let loose in quite beautiful dreamscapes.
(Mega Drive, Super Nintendo)
Lob right in the middle of a 10-year-old’s brain as Bart Simpson battles a bunch of mini-games in order to get his homework, well, in order. From Indiana Jones homage to Bartzilla and bloodstream battles, it’s a trip.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
(PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)
From humble beginnings as a Super Mario Bros. clone to something quite lovely to look at – and challenging to play – the sisters each live in their own worlds – and we’re not talking of the mind. World goes nasty, world goes nice…
Rise of Nightmares
Made by SEGA specifically for the Xbox 360 Kinect (remember that?), this trip into the macabre and bizarre was definitely the most adult thing for the accessory – and a surprisingly playable cheese dream to boot.
(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Vita, 3DS, PC)
Rayman doesn’t just get legless, he gets limbless – he means it, maaaaan! When Granny Underworld lets loose a big shop of horrors upon the idyllic Glade of Dreams, he sets out to save the babes, in possibly the best-looking platformer ever.
Alice: Madness Returns
(PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
If Lewis Carroll’s original wasn’t dark, twisted and messed up enough for you, then here’s your ticket to nightmare city. Alice’s black adventures are pure splendiferousness – for goths and non-goths alike.
Kirby’s Dream Land
Everybody’s favourite glob of pink’s debut adventure introduced us to his Dream Land, where he ventured several times again on other Nintendo formats. Except – as even western artwork indicated – we didn’t know that he was pink then.