Sweet Dreams Alex is going to give you plenty of nightmares in a figurative sense, as this is a puzzle game where you must fend off the bad dreams and put the titular girl to a great night’s sleep. It’s a relaxing puzzle game that is suited to the whole family, but don’t let the cute pixel art look deceive you – the challenges can be quite demanding, often requiring good observation skills and persistence to make that final step count. It’s charming, fun, with a cute pixel art style, albeit a little repetitive at times.
Deceptively simple and unabashedly sweet, this game is all about dreams, as you safely put Alex to sleep, starting with a little customization to make her comfier and more prepared to be tucked in. From hair style and color to the pajamas, with individual pieces or a cute full set themed as a panda or a tiger, among others, it’s a nice little start to our journey into dreams.
The player steps into the shoes – if there’s such a thing – of the Dream Builder, responsible for keeping Alex’s sleep safe and sound, protected from the nightmares while welcoming good dreams with open arms. It’s a visualization of sorts on how the nightmares reach us and disturb a peaceful night, gamified for more comfort and ease of interpretation. To put it simply, there’s a timer (more of a step counter, to be fair) and if these nightmares find their way to Alex before it expires, the round is lost.
Ultimately, our goal is to create the most labyrinthic and disruptive paths possible, so that the nightmares – often more than one – don’t reach Alex. With the use of cardboard boxes in the first world, you are going to create corridors that twist and turn, avoiding a direct path as much as possible, stalling the enemies, often overcoming the challenges by the skin of your teeth. Other worlds (streets, underwater, mall, and more) introduce different mechanics such as crosswalks, lights, and switches, fundamentally changing some of the principles that you had learned and requiring new methods.
It's also incredibly cute how the nightmares may be all hideous and nasty, but they look both ways before crossing the road. Even when they’re going to haunt a little kid’s dreams, they decide to act responsibly. In fact, the action of looking to the left and right is a valuable way of making them waste a couple of moves, so don’t ignore this opportunity.
Along the way you may spot these items if you are attentive, serving as a light distraction through which the cute story of Alex’s childhood will unfold. It’s all very charming, from the artwork to the pixel art throughout the levels, and the lovely and relaxing music is going to please your ears, a perfect match for the theme of the game.
Sweet Dreams Alex isn’t perfect, however. The puzzles may be sprinkled with some diversity, but the whole concept can’t escape the fact that it ends up being a little tiresome, so it’s best played in short bursts. In terms of UI, the object that we place shows the same opacity level when we’re both hovering on a right and a wrong place, making it harder to sometimes understand which areas can be used, and which ones are obstacles.
A map editor is available to anyone who wants to create their own challenges, and it’s a full-fledged one, with all the elements unlocked so that you can mix and match world assets without hesitation. When your work is done, sharing it with other players is a simple matter of copying a code.
Dreaming in Pixels
With over 250 levels and a challenge that starts smooth but will have its difficult moments, Sweet Dreams Alex is a game where relaxation and frustration go hand in hand, but never at the sake of quality. This is a delightful adventure, a puzzle game that may tickle your memories and imagination, and even if it begs for a break here and there, the appeal to return is always palpable – even if only after a peaceful night of sleep.
- A charming and engaging dream theme
- Cute pixel graphics and pleasant soundtrack
- Simple but challenging puzzle design with hundreds of levels
- Map editor
- May get repetitive after a while