Sweet Lily Dreams Review: Not all dreams are sweet

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Sweet Lily Dreams
Price: $14.99
System: PC
Release Date: May 16, 2014
Publisher (Developer): Degica (Rose Portal Games)

Sweet Lily Dreams is not a title for a game that would immediately grab me and make me want to play it. It sounds very much like a child’s game – a fluffy piece that would be a fun time-waster. Well, it doesn’t take long to realize that Sweet Lily Dreams is just not that kind of game. RosePortal Games seems to follow the philosophy that games should be fun, but they should also serve a purpose. The founder has said that games should have a moral and “artistic merit”. Given my experience with Sweet Lily Dreams, RosePortal Games does just that.

From the opening sequence of the game, I realized that it can also be read, “Sweet Dreams Lily,” as the main character’s name is Lily. While Lily is sweet, she doesn’t always have sweet dreams.

Sweet Lily Dreams

Dreams turn to Nightmares

Think back to the last time you had a dream that you remembered clearly. It’s probably pretty difficult, huh? Well, think of one of those that you did remember. I imagine it was really strange, disjointed, and confusing. Add into this dream the theory that you’re actually in a different dimension. A very real dimension. This is the situation that sweet Lily finds herself in.

While having a dream that she was riding on a pirate ship, she meets two interesting characters, Faith and Curly. They are a talking dog, and a talking cat, respectively. These two are teammates, part of a nightmare fighting duo. They defend against monsters that would seek to take over the dream world. In this particular instance, they meet a strange bird-like dragon with pirate flags for wings. Eventually Faith blows the ship up, the trio are separated, and Lily is left alone in the dream world. This is where Sweet Lily Dreams‘ gameplay begins.

Nightmares are taking over the Realm of Dreams. The Fairy Godmother designates different warriors to fend off the baddies. Because Faith and Curly brought a human back to the capital of the Realm of Dreams, they are grounded. But of course that doesn’t stop them. They take off with Lily to help fend off terrible enemies.

Sweet Lily Dreams

A Quirky-Cute RPG Worth Loving

There are many things to love about Sweet Lily Dreams. The characters are adorable. Take Muggles for example. He’s a plant, deer, cat, thing? He’s got rosy cheeks and a cute, little, striped tail. (It’s adorable.) Faith is based on a border collie, from what I can tell, and she wears a flower behind her ear. (How darling!) The characters are perfect for a quirky, dream world setting. Their designs fit in with how little sense dreams make, especially when they are dreamed by a small child.

Another great thing about Sweet Lily Dreams is the gameplay. It offers a lot more than just your classic rpg. Yes, there are very familiar turn-based battles, and players can craft equipment; but there are also mini-games and, yes, interior decorating. One of my favorite parts of Sweet Lily Dreams, oddly enough, is that Lily is given a room in the capital city of the Realm of Dreams. You can purchase furniture to place in Lily’s room. While you can make the room as aesthetically pleasing as you like, it’s important to note that the furnishings can help in battle. You get various battle bonuses depending on what you put in Lily’s room.

The mini-games are also a fairly quirky add-on to the retro rpg style of Sweet Lily Dreams. There was one moment in my playthrough where I had to play that ever so familiar childhood game of “find the die”, or candy, or pebble, or whatever you had on hand. In this case it was a die, and I’ve got a confession to make. I am a badass when it comes to that game. I can almost always find the die no  matter how many times the cups get switched around on me. There were a few times at kiddie carnivals where I was asked to stop playing because I starting winning too many times. What can I say, I love Tootsie Rolls! But I digress…

A slight detriment to Sweet Lily Dreams, if ever there was one, is that the story can be a little dry. There were a few times where I just didn’t feel like continuing because it wasn’t compelling enough to warrant it. I’m definitely not saying Sweet Lily Dreams wasn’t innovative, it just proceeded a little too slow at times.

Another ever so tiny negative to Sweet Lily Dreams was the fact that the cursor wasn’t always spot on. I found that I had to usually click under what I wanted to investigate, otherwise it wouldn’t register what I was doing. While this is such a small factor, it’s annoying enough that I thought it worth mentioning.

Sweet Lily Dreams

Sweet Lily Should Dream Sweet Dreams

While I did find the story to be a little dry at times, and the cursor inaccuracy was annoying, Sweet Lily Dreams was still an enjoyable game. The concept of how you design a child’s room translating to battle bonuses is especially unique! It really added extra originality and a reprieve from the classic battle and crafting systems of the game. It really is a mini-game within the game, just like the others that cropped up from time to time.

The characters are truly one of the best parts of Sweet Lily Dreams. Who could ever say no to Faith’s adorable, furry, little face? And Lily’s childhood innocence is a thing to behold. She’s cute and naive in the best way. If you’re looking for an enjoyable RPG to add to your Steam collection, and don’t mind a slow storyline, Sweet Lily Dreams is a winner.

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