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Yume Nikki

ゆめにっき

Developer: Kikiyama
26 June 2004
Yume Nikki [ゆめにっき] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.06 / 5.0
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1,540 Ratings / 9 Reviews
#122 All-time
#11 for 2004
A young girl explores surreal, loosely-connected dreamscapes.
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It's hard to even really know where to begin with a game like Yume Nikki. Not only is it as remarkably influential to a particular aesthetic that you can find many indie games taking inspiration from, but the game itself is not only beloved, but also quite unusual and unique. My biggest takeaway with this is that it's yet another game in an ever-increasing list that I've played that represent why it's pointless and reductive to attempt to boil games down to things that are "objectively good" in one way or another, because if this approach was taken, then there's no doubt that this game would just be swept under the rug. After all, when taking a broad look at this, it's really little more than aimless exploration where you just walk around until you hit a dead end or find fun collectible effects, many of which do completely nothing, and yet, this is still a truly incredible experience for so many reasons an a deserved cult classic.

I feel like the biggest way in which Yume Nikki accomplishes to much is thanks to its constant vagueness. Everything about this feels obscured, disconnected, and seemingly meaningless on the surface, many areas are just large, empty spaces, sparsely populated with an object of some sort and maybe a door or two to another large, empty spaces, interactions with the various entities often result in a mere sound effect or maybe a charming little animation, and there's not even any semblance of active threat for the vast majority of the playthrough. I feel like this vagueness really contributes to the game's atmosphere and can quite easily put the player through a variety of emotions while playing, which ties nicely into the surreal nature of dreams, where scattershot events often feel loosely tied together if even that. This total emptiness combined with the short, looping music and the way you've got things like these giant, barely comprehensible beings floating in the background, or random beasts that serve no purpose end up providing the player with this profound sense of paranoia for quite a while, nothing feeling quite right and the constant barrage of this atmosphere ends up piling upon itself and resulting in one of the freakiest experiences I've had in a game.

What I truly feel makes the atmosphere of this game special however, is the way that in time, it becomes exceedingly apparent that the fear and anxiety that the player feels is less due to any imminent threat, and more to the whole idea of the fear of the unknown. Everything about the world constructed in this game feels so alien at first, doors leading to unrelated places, endlessly branching paths, constant music changes or areas dedicated to barebones, abstract imagery, and yet, this doesn't always stay quite so disconcerting. After giving the game a couple of hours, you really start to feel like you've gained some understanding of your surroundings, and those moments of finding something new, or even retreading familiar ground, end up feeling really comfy as you explore this endlessly charming, strange dream, with the seemingly endless possibilities gaining a certain sense of intrigue and excitement as opposed to just feeling daunting. I could definitely see this mostly becoming a comfort game of sorts to me, being able to once again jump in a world that's so devoid of any qualities of reality and getting immersed in the incredibly dense atmosphere all over again, with the sprawling nature of it undoubtedly revealing some new stuff that I never have seen before.

The effect system is pretty cool in the way it directly contributes to this gameplay loop, with very few of the powers actually having much of a tangible use beyond some neat events that give the game some more detail than it could first seem, but also just being able to provide a bit of a fun visual change in a way that ends up making you connect a bit more with Modotsuki. With all this said, for as much as this game might be amazing, it is definitely not without its flaws either. While the exploration is largely truly fascinating and gives some of the strongest vibes in gaming, I feel like at times it becomes more of a massive, cumbersome pain instead. I feel like there are probably a few too many areas that are almost exclusively giant, empty spaces with a couple of things sparingly spread around to the point where some of the interest in exploration gets completely lost because you're just walking across a big, scrolling flat colour for ages, and while a couple of these were really interesting, especially the snow area with it's really pretty atmosphere, the quantity of them ended up being a bit much in the end, with some being far worse than others. There were also a couple of frustrating elements that made me completely dread the possibility of having to go through it again, particularly the one that was a huge maze of islands connected by teleporter squares, without enough visual information to be able to differentiate them from one another to the point where you could be aimlessly and frustratedly wandering around for way too long, just hoping that you'd eventually find the way out.

Even with its shortcomings, Yume Nikki is a truly amazing game but also one that I definitely understand not being for everyone. While I felt that the atmosphere and general vibes carried the game to such a high degree that its intentionally barebones gameplay ended up working almost perfectly fine for me, I also could definitely see the perspective in which it doesn't and it just all feels like aimless wandering without any substance. I really enjoyed my time with Yume Nikki, all the small narratives and goals that I set myself, all the weird and wonderful dreamscapes to explore, and especially the way that the naturally increasing familiarity that a player gets with this game as they play ends up changing the atmosphere and tone in such a dramatic way to the point where what first felt like an uncomfortable foray into unfamiliar territory ended up being a thorough exploration of a surreal, beautiful world that you wanted to discover all the little details of. Really just, fantastic stuff, go play it
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Kempokid 2021-11-08T11:52:52Z
2021-11-08T11:52:52Z
4.5
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I visited every available location and soon got bored. Then I watched some youtube videos, and it turned out that the main point of gameplay is looking for the secret items hidden in the most ridiculous ways: there is a certain probability that a certain character will spawn in a certain place etc, So it's basically unplayable without a guide and it is an "atmospheric exploration" game, which supposed to be all about immersion and unique experience.

The problem, I think, is not in bad game design, but in the fact that this game is simply unfinished (abandoned, actually). Title screen says "Version 0.10" and it really feels like a draft, a prototype of maybe something interesting.
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around 2016-07-14T11:07:33Z
2016-07-14T11:07:33Z
3 /10
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Seconds-long looping background music. Nearly empty maps with the minimum possible amount of interactivity. Primitive (at best) artwork.

And yet there's no game that feels quite so eldritch, so otherworldly and ceaselessly enigmatic. It captures the awe-inspiring and endless world of dreams more faithfully than any other game in memory. Something about the aesthetic and the vague tugs and hints at a narrative just... resonates with me.
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RNG 2016-05-08T23:54:37Z
2016-05-08T23:54:37Z
4.5
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Yume Nikki is one of the most memorable indie adventure titles. On the surface, it's a bizarre and surreal dreamscape. The more you look into the game, the more it becomes a pessimistic refraction of reality. While limited by the overused and outdated RPG Maker engine, the game compensates for poor gameplay, graphic, and audio capability for incredibly original designs, beautiful atmosphere levels, and simple adventure gameplay. It set a large example for many more unconventional horror games using the engine. While some of them may have more cohesive, serialized, or terrifying themes, Yume Nikki maintains unique atmosphere such other games can't touch. You'll like it if you're looking for an interesting execution of the RPG Maker engine, a game akin to LSD: Dream Emulator, or a more light horror game.
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HUnewm 2016-04-08T07:21:56Z
2016-04-08T07:21:56Z
★ Loved ★
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Yume Nikki remains one of the most unique games I've ever played. Even though it's pretty much a walking sim, you see so much weird shit it keeps you intrigued and curious. It sucks that it's technically unfinished, but Yume 2kki [ゆめ2っき] kind of fills in that void for you. Great game! Would recommend.
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juvenilemoogs 2023-11-30T12:52:52Z
2023-11-30T12:52:52Z
4.0
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To start this off, I do want to say that I didn't hate this game and I believe it is very experimental and influential. And even though the concept, visuals, and soundtrack are great, I still can't really recommended this game to most people.

This game is a glorified walking simulator where you walk around many areas in search for effects. There are 24 effects needed to unlock the ending, but where this game falls flat is how to get these effects. Due to the emphasis of exploration, you are given no real direction of where to find these effects. All of the effect are obtain by inspecting an npc, which is more often then not, found hidden in a specific area in the map. To add on top of this, almost all areas are infinite and repeat endlessly making it easy to get completely lost. So if you don't have a guide, then you will have to walk around aimlessly until you find the effect. Other than that the game good if you know what you signed up for.
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RobotGetsTerminated 2023-11-25T02:12:37Z
2023-11-25T02:12:37Z
4.5
1
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Catalog

PizzapastaButcooler ゆめにっき 2024-05-30T13:32:01Z
2024-05-30T13:32:01Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
classicdg ゆめにっき 2024-05-29T20:27:53Z
2024-05-29T20:27:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JmoZ ゆめにっき 2024-05-29T09:47:19Z
2024-05-29T09:47:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MordoGoodIGuess ゆめにっき 2024-05-28T05:26:31Z
2024-05-28T05:26:31Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Cognizant_Koala ゆめにっき 2024-05-27T13:23:25Z
2024-05-27T13:23:25Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gh0stsarereal Yume Nikki 2024-05-27T05:08:38Z
Windows
2024-05-27T05:08:38Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
craal ゆめにっき 2024-05-27T03:30:41Z
2024-05-27T03:30:41Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sarn ゆめにっき 2024-05-26T21:54:07Z
2024-05-26T21:54:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bobek ゆめにっき 2024-05-25T18:35:56Z
2024-05-25T18:35:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ernumpo Yume Nikki 2024-05-25T11:28:57Z
Windows
2024-05-25T11:28:57Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lol1slayer ゆめにっき 2024-05-23T00:44:22Z
2024-05-23T00:44:22Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BurgurBurgur Yume Nikki 2024-05-22T16:08:51Z
Windows
2024-05-22T16:08:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Yume Nikki
  • Dream Diary
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  • Previous comments (75) Loading...
  • HardBloodNelza 2024-01-15 06:47:10.91267+00
    Oh my fucking god 🤦‍♂️ how long has this been free to play???
    reply
    • juvenilemoogs 2024-01-16 08:50:37.073972+00
      It's been always freeware
    • omo_ree 2024-03-10 03:41:03.665219+00
      since 2004
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • LouisTheLuis 2024-02-04 06:50:01.058576+00
    people don't like this game because they expect the same gamified/"rewarding" experience that they are usually accustomed to (i.e. approaching games more like toys with a story than as art).

    i have to say, in response, that this game is the *best* example i can think of for videogame as an art. if something else (MGS, TLOU, Ocarina, etc.) is the "Citizen Kane" of videogames, then this is probably the "Meshes of the Afternoon" of videogames.
    reply
    • Previous replies (1) Loading...
    • renegadexavier06 2024-03-12 14:04:04.06307+00
      lol
    • judeinooz 2024-03-27 17:43:13.675729+00
      lol i like this comparison!!
    • MasterOfShaft 2024-04-11 08:05:35.229517+00
      glad im not the only one that compared this to meshes of the afternoon lol
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • NibiruShiranui 2024-03-11 11:30:14.071209+00
    This was an experience like no other
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • tooliot 2024-04-01 17:01:34.293518+00
    Woah dude, that girl yumenikki must have fell into the backrooms am i right fellas
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • INoLuv 2024-04-04 04:39:44.686378+00
    Exceptional atmosphere, desolated and very lonely yet carrying solace
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
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