When I learned that a sequel to Dream Chronicles was being released, I was elated. The original is such a beautiful blend of puzzles, adventure, object finding and Myst-like environments. Now, Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze is out and continues where the first game left off. You play Faye, a mortal woman whose fairy husband has been kidnapped and daughter imprisoned by Lilith, the Queen of Fairies. By solving a series of puzzles you can reach Fidget and awaken Lyra, but the Queen is always one step ahead!
Dream Chronicles 2 plays out like a cross between a hidden object game and a point-and-click adventure. Each area has a number of items scattered amongst the scenery, and it's your job to locate objects and use them to solve puzzles. The artwork is impeccable — beautiful, immersive, and extremely good at hiding that last item you desperately need to get to the next level.
The gameplay in The Eternal Maze is a little more involved than the original. Whereas in the first Dream Chronicles you would solve one scene and then move on to the next level, in Dream Chronicles 2 you may need to move between different scenes in order to progress. Each level becomes more complex as you advance through the game, and how you solve the puzzles will vary greatly. Dream Jewels, previously a mere bonus for high scores, now have a function, as collecting them and solving their puzzles reveals hints for completing levels, so it's worth collecting as many as you can.
Analysis: It's hard not to be captivated by the setting and artwork in Dream Chronicles, and the second installment doesn't disappoint. The overall layout is essentially the same, but the addition of more complex puzzles and useful Dream Jewels scattered around the levels adds a new layer to the experience. However, whereas the first game featured strong and witty dialogue, Dream Chronicles 2 is not only flatter, it's grammatically sloppy — ok in a quick 'n' silly Newgrounds shooter, but really inadequate in a game where care in writing was a strength.
One of the criticisms of the first Dream Chronicles was that it was a bit too quick and easy to play, especially for point-and-click enthusiasts who drive the success of games like Azada. Dream Chronicles 2 improves upon this to a certain degree with multi-stage puzzles as well as more environments to explore.
New to Dream Chronicles? Read our review of the first game in the series.
Does Faye reach Fidget and Lyra? Is Lyra the Chosen Child of the Fairy Kingdom? You'll have to play Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze to find out!