The Dream Chronicles series comes close to poetry in motion a la video game style with its picturesque design, lyrical story and piquant game play. While the series keeps the rhythm going, it loses a little luster with Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air, the fourth game in the adventure game series. Faye’s daughter, Lyra takes the lead in this one where she finds herself alone with the only communication coming from her grandfather in the form of notes.
Tangle, Lyra’s grandfather, tells her to find the Clockmaster to get herself out of her tangled situation of being in another dimension. She travels in an air ship to complete her tasks based on her grandfather’s notes to bring her a step closer to finding the Clockmaster and getting him to help her.
As usual, you collect dream jewels with one new twist (about time). When you collect enough dream jewels, you earn a spell that will help you in your journey. The game contains five spells. Don’t fret if you miss a dream jewel like I did (I played a puzzle before picking up the jewels and couldn’t return to the scene of the puzzle after finishing it) because it won’t affect your earning the spells. There are plenty of dream jewels leftover. Once you obtain all the spells, finding dream jewels turns into a small side challenge with no bearing on the game play.
One puzzle befuddled me — the one near the end that involves a scale. I calibrated all of them and still nothing happened. I searched for solutions, but all said I did it right. Hmm… I had to skip it to move on. The improved hint system couldn’t save me. Now the game’s hint system points to dream jewels, so you can make sure you’ve picked up every nook and cranny. But you don’t get to choose the hint it gives you.
Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air has two game modes: Casual and Challenge. Casual lets you skip games after so much time has passed while Challenge won’t. The puzzles, of course, are a little harder in Challenge mode.
The story had little going on beyond find Clockmaster and find the keys. I almost didn’t mind that I didn’t catch some of the cut scenes because there was little mystery to reel you in. The puzzles and interactive parts of the game didn’t bring in anything new like the previous Dream Chronicles games had. I understand adventure games like this one with rich details and interactive puzzles take more time to develop, but this one was notably shorter than the others. Despite the disappointment, I still enjoyed some of the point-and-click puzzles and will check out the next one when it comes — this is the first of a new trilogy — I just hope we see a step forward and not a step back.
FTC disclosure: Reviewer received copy from affiliate, which had no influence on the review.