Dream Maze (a.k.a. Yume Meikyuu: Kigurumi Daibouken) is a 3D maze exploration game which has an unique concept. It was published by Hector in 1994. Unfortunately, much like the early Wizardry games, exploring the maze does get tedious, and the game’s charm doesn’t necessarily make the game pleasant to play. The concept of the game is a dreaming kid who wears various animal costumes to fight toys. Traveling through various towers, the hero finds presents and gathers partners.
As you explore the game, you can get maps and there are the typical dark levels that you can’t buy maps to explore. Unfortunately, like most games of this type, it’s hard to find a specific area from the map. The maze mostly isn’t terrible to explore, but it can get tedious especially due to the enemy encounter rate.
The battle system is unusual. Character fit within squares on a grid. You have two main physical attacks. They are punching and kicking, and animals have various weaknesses. Enemies can also move on the grid, so you may punch an area and miss them. In practice, this unusual system ends up picking the best attack, hitting an area, and hoping the randomizer doesn’t have the enemy move.
The actual graphics, as shown here, are pretty colorful. Scrolling is pretty smooth through the maze, and the music is quite bouncy. The various monsters you fight have fairly interesting designs, and the kigurumi tend to have amusing and varied uses and appearences.
The game is comedic, and King Mike’s translation picks up on the quirky humor of the game. If you are looking for a serious dungeon crawl, this is not really the best game for that. In fact, due the size of the maze and the difficulty, the humor actually feels strange. If the game is meant to be a jokey fun romp, why make it so difficult? If it’s meant to be a difficult game, why have a jokey goofy plot covered in primary colors? Considering that the bright colors, it’s a rather garish choice for the look of the game. I suppose my main impression of the game is that it’s a curiosity, but not necessarily an amazing one.