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Mimpi is a lazy dog. He likes to sleep a lot but in his dreams, he can be whatever he wants to be and go wherever he wants to go. In his dreams, Mimpi can be the star of the show, the hero of the narrative, collecting dog bones and solving puzzles. Where does this lead to you might ask? Well back to his own bed, of course!

Gameplay

Mimpi Dreams seems to be a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, allowing you to seamlessly transition from buttoned controls to touch screen when you are required to interact with your surroundings in order to solve puzzles. However, I would only recommend playing the game in handheld mode with the use of the touchscreen as it is awkward to control the cursor with the right analogue stick.

The puzzles are imaginative with the right amount of challenge for players of any age. They’re solvable for children without being impossible and they’re challenging for adults without being dumbed down. However whilst the game shines in its puzzle solving, it lacks in its controlling of Mimpi himself. Controlling the dog feels stiff and slow, but it’s functional at its core.

Collectible bones are pointless. Sure, they create a nice challenge, but collecting for the sake of collecting always tends to leave a bitter taste in the player’s mouth. Collectibles are best used when they act as currency, or at least provide rewards for going that extra mile. But when they’re just simply there to fill in the gaps, the task simply becomes hollow. On the contrary however, you can also collect hint bulbs and costumes, making these collectibles actually worth seeking out.

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The use of HD Rumble in the Switch version wasn’t fantastic, but it was certainly used in the right moments. For a game that originally began on mobile and PC, it was possible for the Switch version to be a simple port that lacked this feature, but hats off to the developers at Dreadlocks for going that extra mile.

Level Design

Whilst the platforming is simple and basic for most of the game, there are some moments that will surprise you. The levels feel naturally paced, with a comfortable mix of platforming and puzzle-solving.

Sometimes, 2D platformers can have boring and mundane levels. When Mimpi Dreams doesn’t do anything special with its level design, it does so with character. Whether it’s climbing a tower and descending stairs in the form of Rapunzel’s hair or riding a piggy bank that requires coins in order to take a few steps forward, it makes the simple moments engaging and adds to the magic.

Story

Mimpi Dreams is an adorable game that’s filled with lovable characters, witty humour and endearing characterisation. Mimpi being a dog, it’s difficult not to fall in love from the very beginning, but his mannerisms and idle animations add to his character in fantastic ways. Also if you time it right, you can get Mimpi to cock his leg on an enemy – genius!

As charming as the game is, there are moments where the tone of the game seems to be in a struggle with itself. The overall feel is lighthearted and childlike, and then at other times, it can show much more mature themes like drug testing on lab animals. Given its E rating, it seems to want to go for the former, and by no means is this a negative point, it just proves to be slightly jarring.

Graphics / Art Design

Mimpi Dreams looks like it’s been taken straight from a children’s picture book. The attention to details is stellar, bursting with personality and odd quirks… my favourite was the flamingo with a cast on its leg and a crutch under its feather. Completely unnecessary and I love it!

During each level, you can collect costumes for Mimpi that are in theme of the level…

They. Are. Adorable!

Seeing Mimpi in a Robin Hood hat with a sheathed sword strapped to his side during the fairy tale level or with a patch over his eye and two peglegs in the pirate level; it didn’t need to be done but it really adds character to the overall experience. However, these costumes are merely aesthetic; it would’ve been nice if they were each tied in with special abilities, but that may have detracted from the direction of the game.

Music / Sound Design

The soundtrack is charming and wonderful. It surprised me at how lighthearted it can be in one moment and then tense in the next. However, the only issue that I found with this were the queues as sometimes it wouldn’t click over, leading to awkward silences or the wrong track, completely missing the intended tone of the situation.

Sound effects were admirably done and the use of murmuring for the voices is always a whimsical touch. I never had a single complaint against the sound effects, it all just blended together very well.

Final Score: 80%

Mimpi Dreams was such a delightful surprise that I would definitely consider it to be a hidden gem. The major complaints are primarily things that can easily be patched with a simple update, making the core of the experience hit the mark on almost every aspect. If you’re a fan of puzzle-platformers and looking for an endearing three hour adventure, then Mimpi Dreams is not one to pass up… unless you’re a cat person.

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Posted by Alex Harding