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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
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3.99 / 5.0
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1,100 Ratings / 8 Reviews
#134 All-time
#12 for 2004
A young girl explores surreal, loosely-connected dreamscapes.
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Title
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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Running around an almost empty map looking for artifcats that "might" make sense just for the sake of collecting them? No thank you.

This is that kind of game which is marketed as "interpretational", "misterious". You now what I call these games? Lazy. Why to make a story if you can just make a bunch of stuff and leave for the players to figure out what hapenned? It's like Game Theory and FNAF.

Undertale is another game which has been victim of many theorys, but when it's a game that can be played DESPITE of the theorys. Yume Nikki is a game that is made simply FOR the theorys, the game part of the game is lame.

If it's better to watch someone else play, or make theorys about it, then it shouldn't have been a game. It should have been a movie.
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this is peak horror. there are no jumpscares or anything like that. instead it purely works on filling you with dread and making you feel disturbed. there is no other game like it

for a character who never speaks, madotsuki is one of the most interesting characters ive seen in a horror game. the deranged creatures and settings in her dreams paint a detailed picture of possible events that may have occurred in her life. fans theorize that many of the game's events allude to sexual abuse or bullying, but the only thing that's surely known about madotsuki is that she's a recluse - she never once leaves her apartment throughout the game - and she kills herself at the end. not only does the sheer strangeness of the game's world creep you out, but the fact that it's the product of a tortured, extremely lonely soul makes it all the more depressing

i think this is a perfect game, and one of the finest examples of storytelling without the use of a single word. nothing about madotsuki is directly confirmed nor denied - you are given the opportunity to walk around in her mind and jump to your own conclusions. it gradually becomes less a game about exploring a weird dream and more about exploring the subconscious of a suicidal recluse
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phonograph 2021-01-19T01:23:54Z
2021-01-19T01:23:54Z
5.0
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Catalog

ChimiGuy04 ゆめにっき 2022-12-05T17:44:02Z
2022-12-05T17:44:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
OrangeLights ゆめにっき 2022-12-05T06:32:39Z
2022-12-05T06:32:39Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bocik55 ゆめにっき 2022-12-03T07:46:21Z
2022-12-03T07:46:21Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
IWishYaIWishYa ゆめにっき 2022-12-02T06:00:03Z
2022-12-02T06:00:03Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
333ellie ゆめにっき 2022-12-01T05:32:20Z
2022-12-01T05:32:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pc
Diaphora ゆめにっき 2022-12-01T03:21:52Z
2022-12-01T03:21:52Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
meadowforever Yume Nikki 2022-11-30T17:17:17Z
Windows
2022-11-30T17:17:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Falltop ゆめにっき 2022-11-29T23:11:57Z
2022-11-29T23:11:57Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lhama32 ゆめにっき 2022-11-29T22:59:35Z
2022-11-29T22:59:35Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DJSuleiman ゆめにっき 2022-11-29T04:16:13Z
2022-11-29T04:16:13Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kafeis ゆめにっき 2022-11-28T16:03:29Z
2022-11-28T16:03:29Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1068396 ゆめにっき 2022-11-28T15:55:25Z
Windows
2022-11-28T15:55:25Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Yume Nikki
  • Dream Diary
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  • Previous comments (52) Loading...
  • LofLofLof 2022-07-01 05:40:56.257916+00
    wow
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  • Zenosyne_ 2022-08-01 18:39:29.59318+00
    One of the few works of art that actually unsettles me. Don't know what it is, but even the fan games like .flow don't really scare me like this does
    reply
    • TheDavidLol 2022-08-14 10:12:53.7202+00
      I think it's because .flow is a lot more in-you-face with its creepiness, whereas the horror aspects of Yume Nikki are much more subdued.
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  • Guitar_Lamb 2022-08-28 04:38:22.751566+00
    i always underestimate how much i love this or it's fangames in my head until i play them again
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  • Omar_Little 2022-09-11 16:07:56.560287+00
    Perhaps a philistine thing to ask, but is this ok on mobile? Lol
    reply
    • ruth1120 2022-10-01 12:00:56.57962+00
      this definitely is a phillistine thing to ask, and no i wouldnt recommend it. You do something to the atmosphere holding the screen in your hands and blocking it partly with a virtual controller + your 2 thumbs.
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  • sacchi 2022-09-13 18:45:10.387647+00
    Best meaningless game in history
    reply
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  • Rijkert 2022-10-12 00:34:41.207746+00
    Downloaded this and played for a while. The atmosphere is cool, the art is nice and the dreams are decent too, but other than that I don't really care. It may be just a work of personal expression, but I just wandered a bit through every dream to see how it is, thought "cool", then exited to the next dream. Then I closed the game. It's alright, but... that's it
    reply
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  • MildredCubicle 2022-11-28 16:14:25.778076+00
    Other than finding out what to do once all the effects are found, in order to unlock the ending, I completed this game without a guide just fine. Just get lost in it. Get hypnotized. Go where your intuition tells you to go. It's an experience, really.

    Masterpiece.
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