The Sailor’s Dream – Setting Sail On A New Age Of Story Telling

4.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Duration: 4/5

A memorable experience | Silky smooth interaction | Great story | Extends beyond the story

On the short side | No real puzzles to make you think, or even slow you down


It’s time to set sail on a mysterious new adventure from the creative minds behind Year Walk, and Device 6. The Sailor’s Dream is their latest effort, which like their previous works, is best seen from a fresh perspective without any preconceived notions going in. With that in mind, we will try to review the game without any spoilers to let you fully experience all that’s included for the first time. Simogo has continued to blur the definition of a “game”, and The Sailor’s Dream has pushed the boundaries to the furthest extent yet. To that point, The Sailor’s Dream is more of an interactive storybook than anything else. There’s nothing wrong with that, but depending on your expectations going in, it can be a bit of a let down. It need not be, because there’s a whole new app experience to partake in.
You can’t help, but think of Year Walk, and Device 6 when playing The Sailor’s Dream, and both of those offer challenging puzzles that will stump you at times on your way through. The Sailor’s Dream on the other hand, doesn’t have any true puzzles, and instead just gives you a mysterious touch based playground to explore. The main goal is to uncover scattered memories hidden within various island sanctuaries spread across a sprawling sea. The app is about exploration first, and foremost, and simply discovering what each island holds. The islands include story passages as well as interactive scenes that tie visual, audio, and touch cues together into another realm of exploration. It’s all a cloudy enigma at the beginning, but soon clarity pokes through the clouds, and the overarching storyline becomes vivid. The story is brought to life with all of the little things surrounding the passages for a new level of engagement.

What really makes the app is the interface, which is an expected highlight from Simogo. There’s an all new way to interact with an app, as you slide your finger in various directions to move through the world of the The Sailor’s Dream. You slide left, and right to sail between islands, and then swipe up to make land, and start exploring a given island. Once on land, you get to explore different parts of a location by swiping along paths that bridge each spot, and discovering the written passages, or the interactive environments along the way. It’s such a silky smooth interaction method that flows right into the story, and fits with the movement through the structures on the different islands. There’s more than touch though, as time, and date play an integral role in uncovering the mysteries within The Sailor’s Dream.
Traveling to each of the islands, and uncovering all of the written memories takes about an hour if you’re taking your time. With that said, there’s more than just the main storyline to uncover by checking in on certain days, or specific times. It’s a living app beyond just a fixed storyline, and then there’s the AirPrint connection to extend what’s included in the app beyond your device. Each memory passage has an AirPrint button, and you actually get to print out items from the app showing an extremely innovative extension by Simogo. There are a lot of little things to uncover, interact with, and simply experience beyond the main storyline.

There’s also a great deal of polish to all that’s included from the moving sea to the changing nautical directions on each island. The app also includes a seven song soundtrack to uncover on top of the artistic windows that you get to peer into on each island. An hour gives you the heart of the app, but there’s so much more to experience, and appreciate to alleviate the initial disappointment of the first glance seemingly coming to a quick conclusion. It’s such a compelling short story that is given to you out of order in bits, and pieces that takes shape by further exploring all that’s included. The app beckons a new way to tell a story by taking full advantage of iOS devices, and using multiple senses to create such a worthwhile experience that you won’t soon forget. There’s so much that went into crafting all that you will interact with, and yet it’s so seamlessly integrated that it all just blends into the overall compelling nature.

The Sailor’s Dream ($3.99, Universal) is at the forefront of a new age of storytelling that is a must have to experience, and fully appreciate.

$3.99, Universal


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