(Normally, to unlock full functionality for C.H.E.A.T.S. and the route select menu, you must input a Sustainer-only Patreon password, but due to delays of the release of the 0.8.0 version, that password is being left public. It's 'chainsaw' for 0.8.0.)
Zach, a chronic underachiever who's been coasting through life without a purpose, just found a curious ecchi game called re:Dreamer, after idly wasting his time playing various mobile games as a broke freshman in college. This incredible phone app has world-bending powers, and he even accidentally turned himself into a girl! Now he's forced to collect points in a competitive sex tournament to rank up, and unless he wins, he'll never be able to go back to his old life!
Play as Zach as he finds his way through this predatory game, placing his full faith into one accomplice he's allowed to invite. Each choice you make will change Zach's personality, affecting his thoughts and game scenes. Will he be able to get enough points to win the game, without sacrificing too much of his masculinity and pride? Or will he end up in an irreversible situation in one of many bad ends?
Zach, the main character of this story, is a chronic underachiever who has been using his above-average intellect to coast through life with below-average grades. After a gap year taken to find his identity and expand his spiritual horizons that left his broke, he's now a freshman university student in a major he only chose because it's easy and can lead to a steady job right out of school. He spends his idle time searching for new and obscure phone games to play as F2P user on a broke college student lifestyle.
Ai is the unreliable and mischievous A.I. that came with Zach’s copy of re:Dreamer. She seems to treat this all as one big game, though it probably is just that for her. Ai appears to have her head in the gutter 24/7 and seems to take great pleasure in teasing Zach. It remains to be seen if Zach can trust her.
Britney is a dorky young-adult blonde white girl and anime/game/cosplay otaku who is quite attractive but abrasive if you can't keep up with her pace. She and Zach met in high school and bonded over their similar taste in anime and phone gacha. She is also Zach's only female friend.
Keisuke is Zach's childhood friend and neighbor. Despite being opposites, the two have been best friends since they were little kids. He's an athletic prodigy and social butterfly who gets along well with the ladies, despite being a blunt meathead. Though their personalities have diverged since they were kids, they've known each other for a very long time and have a strong bond of trust.
As of 0.4.4, each release's route flowchart is bundled as a .png with the release.
Natalie of Nigmabox has also provided a helpful player-focused flowchart in her glowing review of 0.8.1 here that should give a general outline for the routes.
(Please check the TFGS thread for the full changelog)
While re:Dreamer is still fairly early along in its development, the project is shaping up into something amazing. It can be funny, it can be heartfelt, it can be methodical, it can be existential, it hits pretty much every note I want to see not only as a TG story, but as a story overall.
the redone intro and TG sequence is riveting, getting the player to sympathise with Zach and his predicament. The writing is on another level compared to most games on this site, as it is interesting enough that I never found myself skipping any scenes (even going back a few times to reread some actually). If you value smut this game doesn't disappoint as each scene is both very hot and helps build relationships between characters, providing an excelent balance between the horny and the story, 9.5/10, removed .5 to make it look like I wasn't paid to say this. Re;Dreamer provides a wish fulfillment fantasy for those struggling with their current identity, definitely a replacement for therapy, cheaper too
Really loving this game and breaking Zoey in! Shower scene is wonderful~
Its a well made game
without anything remarkable or sexy
it targets ppl with wish & dreams similar to the main story
If you are strugling with the issue then i do recommend this game, other wise not worth at all.
re:Dreamer 4.1 version review
I've been following this game for a few weeks, and would like to think i've gotten a decent handle on it's current and past builds. I'm not a patreon so I don't have access to those builds, so take my freeloading opinion for whatever it's worth. Spoilers, by the way.
re:Dreamer is a game in development by CaptionCaption and espeon, from what I can tell are two relatively well known and active members of this board/comunity. I stumbled across this game when I stumbled across NigmaBox's review of their project and others like it- most notably Student Transfer, which CaptionCaption has contribueted to in the past and with which the game shares it's engine.
But on to the actual game. It centers around Zack, who stumbles across a phone app by the name of re:Dreamer while poking his head into the local 4chan analog, and after aquiring the program by less then legal means, is turned into a girl, and more importantly, forced into a dark and forboding game of sex acts and crimes, where the winner recieves a single wish. Zack must choose which, if any of their friends to confide in and recieve aid from, for only one helper is allowed by the games twisted rules. Will Zack be able to escape theur fate, or is something else in store?
My experience with visual novels is limited, just Phoenix Wright games and the aforementioned Student Transfer but a general familiarity with anime tropes that you get when navigating the internet has led me to at least be somewhat familar with the tropes associated with this kind of story (and this particular subgenre, let us call it) and I have to say, re:Dreamer starts with a rather shocking twist to the genre: Intead of focusing on something amazing happening to a bland, middle of the road high school boy, it focuses on something amazing happening to a bland, middle of the road 20 yeyar old college boy!
Though I suppose that isn't quite fair. Zack, our lead, is not someone I would really call bland. They have a certain amount of baggage that does make them stand out in comparison to your 'tipical anime protagonist', though only if you go down those paths. Wether or not Zack embraces or rejects the changes thrust upon him is largely up to the player, and there is a decent bit to chew on.
The same goes for the other character currently floating about in this current build. Keisuke, the most prominantly featured as of now, is Zack's childhood friend who is at the top of the school's swim team, and has always had a talent for getting Zack out of trouble, is something of a meathead, but has a strong sense of responsibility. Britney brings a level of brash passion and dept a of empathy to aid your quest. And throughout all the routs, your A.I. compainion bluntly named Ai is there to help you navigate the game and laugh in your face.
All the characters have well defiened personalities, and are vfun to interact with. However, there are only so many routes that are only so fleshed out, as this is still an Alpha build. Keisuke's is the most developed, with a solid few hours of content to dig through- though us non-patrons may hit a roadblock at the current build and have to fiddle with the route select to prgress, as one of the sex scenes is currently locked to non-patreons- a bit annoying, but perfectly acceptable and entirely reasonable. There route is currently centered around doing what they can to navigate Zack's new life and challenges by pretending to date (or perhaps...) protecting each other from well meaning friends who don't have the full picture, buying clothes to help Zack pass as a member of the fairer sex.
Oh, and have an audiatious amount of sex. Some of it's even romantic. A game after my own heart.
Britney's route only has an hour or so of content, but is filled with quite a bit comedy, screaming at phones, heart to heart confessions, and two girls getting locked in a closet, crying into each other's shoulders, and then kiss/eat each other out.
(It's these subtle bits of symobolism that keep us true intellectuals engaged. Any rube would miss that even if it was pointed out to them with a road flare, but not us.)
And then there is a solo route, with about 30 minutes or so of content. There's not much to talk about as I imagine it's going to be last on the development cycle as there are already two other characters teased as choices for our compaanion, so all I'll say is that there is a spooky sequence and leave it at that.
The game like Student Transfer before it is mostly made up of canabalized light novel sprites, but that is changing. A few recent updates have given custom drawn sprites for Keisuke and Ai, with more on the way. The sprites are quite well drawn, but do not completly mesh together with the recycled sprites due to a diffrence in coloring- the new custom sprites have a less glossy mid-late 2000's color, if you can parse my meaning. (color thoery isn't in my education, unfortunatly) this has the effect of making characters shift faces, cloathes and models on a whim when trasitioning between sprites and HCG drawings, but again, this is a public alpha build, so there is only so much that can be done, and looks to be remidied in future releases.
All in all, I enjoyed my time playing re:Dreamer, and would reccomend it to people intrested in ths*subgenre*, as there is plenty of fun and contiplative character develpoment to go around, and it is clear the authors care about their audience and the subject matter.
There are problems I had with the game, and it wouldn't be much of a review if I didn't go over them, so lets go down this rabbit hole. Lets start with the easy, and move on to the... *sigh*
...problomatic. Everyone's favorate subject.
Anyway, the easy. One thing I noticed was despite being in a college, the characters talk about having and wearing a uniform. I'm not sure why, as from what I can tell, japanese colleges don't have any and american schools most certainly do not. Maybe it was an idea floating around in drafts when the game was set in high school before it was scrapped, I'm not sure. Or maybe it's a bit from the universe this game is set in. I can't say. Nonetheless, a head tilter.
Speaking of the setting, it's an odd one. The game takes place in California, but in this universe, WWII raged on quite diffrently, with the Soviets more or less soloing Nazi Germany and Japan and the US fighting an entirely seperate war on their loansome- one that lasted for a good 30+ years longer then real life, ending with Japan having a proxy state consisting of most of the US's west coast. There is a lot going on there, and from what I can tell, almost none of it factors into the plot, doesn't seem to do much for the tone of the game, and while I would love to go into a hour long think piece about why or why not none of it makes sense, all I'll say is that in the current build this comes off as convoluted and headscratching, and can easily be replaced with the sentence: "We're in Japanafronia, eat your hamburgers Apollo."
Next some crituqes of the art, which are going to brush up on some of the *problomatic* point previously mentioned, so get ready. I understand that this is a porn game, and this can be easily brushed off with a "What did you expect, bug off prude," but still I must say that some of the drawings are...questionable. Let's start withh something I think will be a bit less contentious- some of the framing for the HCG scenes. From what I can tell, pornographic visual novels have a habit of cutting off the male leads head- that is to say not showing the self-inserts face- so the (primarly male) audience can more easily imagine themselves in the scene, giving/recieving sexual favors to the pretty anime girls, a theory the recycled HCG's seem to support to my untrained eye. And that's all well and fine, product working normally. It's to be expected of them, even if we are playing as the cute anime girl given the source.
But then we get to the comissioned HCG's, which have our cute anime girl protagonist...getting it from the headless horseman. I can't help but feel it's very strange, and is one of things that once you notice, you never stop noticing. It's headscratching.
Second is the general anatomy, where we might run aground, but still, I'm gonna say it. Like all Hentai I've seen, the fact that female characters have tits the size of their heads is...distracting (and not in that way) and a bit concering (Their poor spines).
One final point on the art I'll make is during one of the shower HCG's Zack/Zoey gets a pretty bad case of centaur spine. I know why she's drawn like that, but still. Bad anatomy.
And finally, one last critque. This is a game where sex is featured heavily, and it is to be expected that we run into it, but a problem I have with the Keisuke route is that the first real sexual encounter is one where he coerces sex out of Zack/Zoey. This is...fairly gross. I understand it's a fetish, and Keisuke is socked you took it seriously, but still, this is something of an establishing moment for him, and given all the weird 'a jury wouldn't convict him' thoughts surrounding the scene, it comes off as...just bad. The current ending to Britney's route has a similair scene, with somewhat similair problems, but at least that scene starts with Zack giving an ok, and it doesn't bang you over the head with an internal monlouge of what a jury would think.
Another point is that during this scene there is an odd choice you can make- By selecting "let Keisuke fuck me," the game translates this in a very strange way, where there is a very out of body internal monologue spoken in past tense about how this was the point where zack became completly devoted to Keisuke, complete with creepy music. Not sure what to make of it, but...I'd say that's something to build up to rather then just plop onto the player this early on.
Also it gets pretty wordy at times (almost as much as this review) but I have yet to find it unbearable- the general pacing is solid enough.
Despite my problems with the game, I look forward to what the future brings for the game, and give the creators my best.