Dreams are the stuff that video games are made of. They’re the fabric of the imagination. But sometimes those dreams can quickly turn to nightmares. Suddenly you have a host of skeletons looking to tear your flesh off and giant worms slithering to smash your bones to dust. Dream Tim is a brand new running game for the iOS where you have to battle the baddies in Tim’s dreams to rescue his love. But the question remains, is Dream Tim like the finest of slumbering fantasies or is it a complete nightmare?

The first thing that will strike you about Dream Tim is its art direction. It is a solidly realized title with a clear sense of style. The watercolor aesthetic blended with the sharply outlined shapes of a comic really stand out on the retina display. It looks perfectly suited to the land of nightmares that you’ll soon be entering.

The second thing you’ll notice about Dream Tim is the subtle lack of a title screen. Instead, you can tap most anywhere and begin the first story animation. That is where Dream Tim shines brighter than other running games. You’re given a solid motivation as to why you’re running. You’re escaping your nightmares and saving your love. I know it is a tired old trope, but it is more than we get with most running games. In Dream Tim you get five chapters complete with brilliant little animations to keep you moving through the game. You’re even treated to a progression of landscapes and enemies.

Also, the running mechanic dovetails nicely with the setting. Think about it. How many times have you spent many a night stumbling and running desperately through your dreams? You’re being chased through the subway by some muggers, you have to escape a giant pumpkin with hands and a meat cleaver. There’s always some absurd reason why you can’t stop running through the images in your head while you sleep. Hell, even dogs do it.

Sadly though, the running is where things start to get a bit dodgy. While Tim is plowing along through his nightmare, you’re charged with slicing up any enemies in his path. This should feel like running a plasma cutter through butter. But, it isn’t. You slide your finger in a perfect swipe through a line of skeletons taking every single one out but one. Why didn’t one fall under your finger’s slash? No idea. It got lucky within the coding. The game moves so fast that one missed move could cost you a run. You’re only option is to quickly swipe back and forth over everything on the screen that moves. You’re basically rubbing your enemies to death, and that sounds a bit dirty. Hopefully they’ll get around to fixing this with an update.

The control gripe is only that. A tiny gripe at that. Once you figure out that rubbing trick, you’re able to make it through without much of a problem. Tapping after stealing a heli pack to make it over the pools of lava works well and is a welcome change to gameplay that could probably ignite tinder with the friction between you and your phone.

Of course there is a store for you to use points earned to purchase power-ups to use while you’re on the run. As it is with most great games, the ability to purchase items with real money is there, but is thankfully relegated deep within the menu system so you never have to see it if you don’t want to.

Minor control issues aside, Dream Tim a really fun and addictive little running game that offers your a bit more depth than you’d expect. It is fast paced, skills based, and worth a couple cents to play. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to be forced to run through Tim’s nightmares, it’s nice to know they’ll be lucid ones.


App Store Link: Dream Tim for iPhone | By Lovapps | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 50.6MB | Rating 9+
7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating