Every Day The Same Dream
Made by Paolo Pedercini of Molle Industria, Every Day the Same Dream is a short, bleak little tale about a day in a man's life. Or, rather, every day, since they're all the same, and nothing he can ever do will change that. Or will it?
Gameplay is simple, using the left and right [arrow] keys for movement, and the [space] key to interact with people and items when their name pops up at the bottom of the screen. The goal is to get through the day. A day like any, every other day. Your path appears to be predefined; get up, get dressed, say goodbye to your emotionally oblivious wife, and go to your cubicle at work. Wash, rinse, repeat. And yet, if you break out of routine any way you can, whether it be simply by going left instead of right or taking more drastic steps, you'll find that there are ways you can experience his small world differently. You'll have to play through the day multiple times to see all the content, but it still probably won't take you very long at all.
As stark and unsettling as the game is, it isn't without moments that are almost beautiful. Oddly enough, what I found to be most affecting was an interaction with, of all things, a cow. A simple gesture, and yet it's one of the only real moments of connection the unnamed man has in the entire story. The protagonist has no face, no personality, and yet there's something about his situation that makes him instantly identifiable, someone to feel sympathy for. I almost felt a sense of desperation the longer I played as I tried to find something, anything, that would change his life for the better... or even at all. Yeah, it's real cheerful. You might want to have the Nickelodeon channel fired up and ready for some fast comfort after this one.
I do a lot of writing, but it's not often that I feel as though I have to write something, and it's even rarer that a game makes me feel something beyond a few moments of simple enjoyment. Every Day the Same Dream did both. It's not joyful, and it's not for everyone, despite what may be the slickest soundtrack around. I could be wrong about all my new found thoughtful introspection, and it could simply be a cynical and grim window into another life. Whether you enjoy it as a finely crafted piece of interactive art, or find that it makes you think, Every Day the Same Dream shouldn't be dismissed for its simple presentation, and is definitely worth a look.