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Dreii - Superb multiplayer physics weirdness


For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, PS Vita

Stacks up

Product: Dreii | Publisher: Etter | Format: iPad | Genre: Multiplayer, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Dreii iPad, thumbnail 1
Dreii is a bit like a dream where you build flat-pack furniture designed by a mad Swiss with a penchant for the abstract.

There are no instructions, you can't talk to your co-conspirators, and everyone's levitating, only able to grab objects with a spindly tether.

At first, Dreii baffles. It gleefully dumps you in its strange minimal world, and leaves you to it. But, really, this is a simple game. Broadly speaking, each challenge involves a goal and some shapes.

You tap a shape to snare it, move your little creature by way of taps (to dart) and drags (for subtle nudges), before tapping the shape again to drop it. If the goal's covered for a few seconds, job done.

Early levels are simple, but before long you'll come across sterner tests. Completed goals mischievously move as additional shapes fall from the sky, leaving you to obliterate your carefully constructed towers.

Frequently you'll hit a puzzle that's essentially impossible to complete by yourself - and therein lies Dreii's masterstroke.

Friends

Hang around and with luck another player will join you. Together, you can lift heavy objects, more easily shift things around, and work your way through Dreii's tougher tests.

A speech button enables very basic communication - "Help!" "Slowly!" - but for the most part your oddball creatures will flit about, sounding like irate xylophone players and shaken wind-chimes.

Complete a run of particularly galling puzzles and you'll start fashioning silent language with temporary partners, happily flinging your little creature in circles before arriving at the next trial.

Naturally, this doesn't always work. Although you can visit a map to see puzzles with active players buzzing around them like fireflies, you may find yourself alone and stuck.

Also, some people revel in destruction, and others get annoyed when you mess up. Moreover, a few puzzles - notably those with sporadic wind or platforms atop water - can be frustrating to the point you'd happily arm your little levitating weirdo with a huge gun and go all postal.

Benefits

For the most part, though, Dreii is a captivating and magical experience, and one you should delve into immediately.

It won't be nearly as much fun - nor perhaps even possible to finish - when the initial wave of players vanish and you're left alone, struggling to stack a pile of white cubes in a gale.
 
Dreii - Superb multiplayer physics weirdness
Reviewer photo
Craig Grannell | 12 February 2016
Given its resolutely multiplayer stance, we question Dreii's longevity. For now, though, it's a superb, mesmerising creation
 
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