The Chosen Child
Hey look, it's Dream Chronicles 3: The Chosen Child! The latest installment in the Dream Chronicles series has arrived, and it's as breathtakingly brilliant as everyone would expect. A little bit of hidden object finding, a little bit of puzzle solving, and a whole lot of adventuring can be found in this superb sequel, along with some of the most gorgeous scenery you've seen since looking out your own window (assuming you live in a fantasy world with fairies, fountains, and vibrant gardens). It's an excellent follow-up to the previous Dream Chronicles games and a fantastic game in its own right.
In Dream Chronicles 3 you reprise the role of Faye who is in search of her missing husband and daughter, kidnapped by Lilith, the Queen of Fairies. Unfortunately it seems her memory has some, er, "gaps", as she lives in a tree house and remembers practically nothing of her former life. Not even her name! A helpful voice soon appears to help guide you on your quest, and before you know it the adventure begins, those trickster fairies pulling pranks on you at every turn.
Dream Chronicles 3 is structured much like Dream Chronicles 2. Each area, which consists of half a dozen or more unique locations, has a set of puzzles to solve using items you find strewn about the landscape. Finding these objects is a straightforward affair, all you have to do is travel back and forth, scrutinizing the scenery for pieces of a machine, colored stones, keys, parts of a windmill, or whatever it is you're looking for. Often you'll pick up objects that don't seem to have a use just yet, and then again, sometimes you'll need to get your hands on something you just can't find! Carrying items between scenes is an important part of solving the intricate puzzles.
Don't miss our reviews and walkthroughs for the entire Dream Chronicles series!
Mini-puzzles are strewn about Dream Chronicles 3, ranging from word unscrambling to potion mixing and other logic-type games. Nothing that breaks the atmosphere, of course, and they're a welcome (but subtle) shift of pace from the game's hidden object/adventure theme. Dream Chronicles 3 is also filled with flavor-text, little bits of information that pop up when your cursor passes over many of the items. Clicking these objects produces a short description at the bottom of the screen. Entirely optional in most cases, but clicking and exploring are all part of the adventure game experience, and it's nice to have this aspect fleshed out to such an extent.
New in The Chosen Child is the nexus, a hub-world of sorts that allows you to travel between areas by pulling levers to rotate a massive set of gears and portals. Instead of being confined to a linear path, Dream Chronicles 3 opens the door for wider exploration, creating the epic feel the series needed to move to the next level.
Analysis: If Myst were a casual game, it would be Dream Chronicles. That's a tall order to fill, but the two series share a lot in common, from the top-notch visuals (Myst was gorgeous in 1993!) to the silent worlds filled with fantasy content. Dream Chronicles 3 has a decidedly more modern slant to it, obviously, and its focus on object finding and mini-games certainly sets it apart from the classic Myst masterpiece.
Even though Dream Chronicles 3 can be categorized as a hidden object, the type of item hunting you do in this game is quite different from most. Objects are hidden very naturally, no over/undersized partially-opaque camouflage cop-outs here. Instead, the things you need to find are small and can usually be found in logical (or at least semi-logical) places. There's no penalty for going on a mad click-fest, but Dream Chronicles 3 encourages you to take a breath and just look at the scenery, a mechanic made even more powerful by the impeccable visuals you'll want to stare at regardless of what's hidden there. Soon, items will pop out at you, and I never had a frustratingly difficult time finding what I needed.
Dream Chronicles 3: The Chosen Child is a breathtaking follow-up to the first two games in the series. These titles just keep getting better and better. It's a perfect blend of object finding and adventure gameplay, and the puzzles are constructed so cleverly you might even giggle when you think of the solution. And I swear you'll melt from the combination of the gorgeous visuals and enchanting music. In short: Dream Chronicles 3. Play it now!