Have you ever wanted to play a sweet casual game during the holiday season – you know, the kind that does not tax you with too much unnecessary action, strategizing, and thinking? Well, you sure can with Dream Day Anniversary from Oberon Media and I-Play. You may have heard of the Dream Day series before, the one that takes you along on a fantastic journey with a couple as you play the role of wedding planner, then honeymoon planner, and finally home planner.
Dream Day Anniversary is the first of a compilation of three games that includes Dream Day Wedding, Dream Day Honeymoon, and Dream Day First Home. In this trio of games, you will be helping Jenny and Robert the newlyweds plan three important phases of their lives. Each episode takes you on an incredible and personal journey with the couple as you try and help them find a number of objects over a handful of hidden object scenes within a specific time limit.
What you get
Each game session is presented to you like a page from a photo album, and each page of the album will have two to three hidden object scenes on it. You must find two less the total number of objects to “win”, so if the total number of objects in all scenes is 30, you must find 28 of them to win. You can choose to play the scenes in whichever order you like, with each scene presenting you a list that has from 8 to 16 objects. Some of the objects are hidden very carefully in the scene, so you need to really look very carefully. If you get stuck with an object, you can either elect to use a hint, or exit to the album to choose another scene from the current page.
You will find at the start that there are only three hints for the entire page of an album. This lack of hints in the game raises the difficulty one notch, so make sure you don’t rush off and use them. To get more hints, you must find cute little bluebirds hidden in every scene; five of these will net you one extra hint.
After meeting the target number of objects, you have completed a page and are taken to a mini-game. In the first two games, you get to play mini-games like Perfect Match – a Concentration-style memory game, Choose a Story – where you decide the choices Jenny makes in personal occasions (like how Jenny meets Robert), and then Wedding (or Honeymoon or Homeowner) Crisis – where you must repeat a scene but with objects scattered at different locations and with much less time.
The music in all Dream Day games are very relaxing in nature. There are however only a few short loops being played, so you will start to feel frustrated after hearing them for the umpteenth time. The sound effects are typical fare, so at least you won’t feel short-changed in the audio department.
Note: In Dream Day First Home (the latest of the three games), the bluebirds have been replaced by nest eggs, which we feel are more easy to find amidst all the clutter. You will also find two new mini-games to try out: Puzzle Garden – a game where you pair up objects on the game board (like pairing “sword” with “dragon”), and Fix-R-Upper – this is more of a potluck event where you use a jackpot machine and apply random textures and accessories to furniture for the married couple.
In our opinion, Dream Day Anniversary makes for a happy and blissful casual game that will suit players who absolutely love wedding and honeymoon events. The latest of the three games even has two homes for you to choose from – when you complete the game the first round, you can play it again with an entirely different set of hidden object scenes in the new home.
The first two Dream Day games had some blurry scenes and hidden objects (especially Dream Day Honeymoon), which made it much more difficult to enjoy the journey. There were also instances when the developers resorted to using color to challenge the player – try finding a green sombrero in a green background… now who in the world would wear a green sombrero? The other problems we had with the Dream Day series is the lack of hints and a strong story – sure, we know Jenny and Robert are getting married, but I think many players would have loved to see key moments being reenacted in a romantic story cutscene.
Dream Day Anniversary is a very good collection of themed games that will surely please casual players. Although starting to feel a bit dated, this still makes for a good present this holiday season. Why not get it today?