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dreeps: Alarm Playing Game iOS Review

Dreeps is billed as a title for RPG aficionados that no longer have the time to commit hundreds of hours to games in the genre. It accomplishes this task by letting a huge amount of the gameplay unfold without asking for much interaction from players. Unlike pretty much all other games, when you open the app on your phone, it is not to partake in the action, it is instead to see what is currently happening in your chosen hero’s world.

Since my last check, my little guy just fought 2 enemies, and gained 16 extra Exp. I missed the fights, as I was trying to figure out how to kick off this review. Pity. Well done him though, he doesn’t need my help!

My time with Dreeps somewhat reminds me of when Big Brother used to air almost 24 hours a day on E4 in the UK. You could tune in early in the morning and see people eating their breakfast, as you were eating your own. Later I’d tune in during the middle of the day – when they were feeding chickens for some reason. I never understood that. Sometimes I did not go to bed until everyone in the Big Brother house went to sleep too. It was weird. It was also very compelling. But ultimately watching Big Brother all day was kind of bizarre. I had too much spare time back then to be honest.

Dreeps is a weird one too. As I write this review, stuff continues to happen in the world of Dreeps. My protagonist is all about action, continuously marching onto the next location looking for things to do. I won’t check in to see him feeding chickens, or something equally mundane. There is Exp to be earned, and he is going about it with a one track mind. It is strongly compelling to intermittently check into the game every so often just to see how his adventure’s developing. I have pulled the game out of my pocket many times just to nab a quick glance – and see is everything okay – only to spend a few more minutes watching him meet a new friend or take a small rest at a camp. I’m a very compassionate fellow it seems.

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Apart from the voyeuristic high you get from snooping in on someone else’s awesome adventure, the main reason I enjoy check ins, is due to the fact Dreeps is so well presented. A quick glance at the screenshots dotted around this page, and you can see it is quite the looker. It looks so good that initially I detested I could not actually play the game in the traditional sense of the phrase. The music is top notch too, with various different 8-bit chimed filled tunes accompanying the on screen action. Everything about presentation is very minimal – but it is a style that perfectly suits what the game set out to be – so I cannot bring myself to be critical about that.

The sole interaction players will have with Dreeps is managing your characters HP. It decreases throughout the day in real time – which means it is actually more of a stamina bar, but the game labels it HP, so I will not complain. You manage this “whatever-it’s-called” bar by choosing when your character sleeps. You do this by setting the games built in alarm clock. Set the alarm at night, and your hero sleeps whilst you do. When the alarm goes off in the morning, it is presumably to wake both him and you up. Although, I would not rely on Dreeps as your sole alarm. If you are a heavy sleeper you’ll easily sleep through it. Regardless of if you wake up or not, the little hero inside your device will jump into action again, getting work done. You can check in on him if you want – although you never have too. This game is almost to mellow for its own good!

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Over my week or so with the game, my little guy went from Level 1 to level 11. My only connection with him was telling him when he should rest, suggesting when he should wake up, and coming to his aide a few times by touching the screen if an enemy paralysed him. Even though I never controlled where he went, what was happening, and who he fought or talked to, I grew attached, and became interested in his wordless adventure. Dreeps may not be the most action packed game I ever played, and I hasten to add I never “played” it in the usual sense of the word, but I do know that I enjoyed whatever you’d choose to call my interactions with the app. And I will be alongside my tiny protagonist as he adventures for some time to come.

7 out of 10