Dreams of Tomorrow
Can you shape the Dreams of Tomorrow?
Dream Engineers weave together powerful dreams from the past in order to change the present. Catch and combine Dream fragments, gaining special abilities from each one. Can you shape the Dreams of Tomorrow?
Dreams of Tomorrow is published by Weird Giraffe Games and designed by Chaos Storm Games. James Masino did the gorgeous illustrations. It is a set-collection game that uses a rondel for action selection. If that means nothing to do you, don’t worry, we’ll explain how to play. The photos below are from a prototype version of the game.
Set up the main board with four Collective Consciousness cards. Put them in numerical order, front sides up. Shuffle the dream cards and reveal a certain number of dreams in a row (depending on the number of players); this is the Dreamscape.
Each player receives a player board. You’ll use this to track “Experience”, “Creativity”, “Hope”, and whether you’re moving clockwise or anti-clockwise around the Collective Consciousness. Each player starts with 6 experience, then pays some to select a Dream card from the Dreamscape before the game begins.
How to Play
On your turn, move your player marker 1-3 spaces around the Collective Consciousness, then complete the action indicated on that space. (You may spend resources to move 4-6 spaces.)
Gain Resources: Move the indicated counter (Experience, Creativity, Hope) on your player board. All other players will gain a smaller amount of that resource.
Catch a Dream: Pay the listed Experience cost on a card in the Dreamscape. Then add it to your pool (“Dream Catcher”). All other players will gain a little Experience.
Weave a Dream Sequence: Select a Dream card from your pool and pay the listed cost in Hope and Creativity. Then add it to either the beginning or end of your Dream Sequence. All other players will gain Hope.
Activate a Dream Ability: Use an ability from one of your currently visible Dream cards (all the cards in your pool, plus the end card of your Dream Sequence). Many abilities affect the order of the Collective Consciousness, allowing you to reorder or flip cards, then move your pawn; but some change your movement direction, swap places with another player, gain resources, reorder your Dream Sequence, or even catch Dreams from the discard pile.
Note that most abilities will also cause you to move your pawn a certain number of spaces. You then complete the action at your pawn’s final destination.
A player triggers the end of the game when they complete their Dream Sequence (five Dreams at most player counts). Players may finish the round, so that all players have taken an equal number of turns.
Players sum the points for each Dream in their Dream Sequence, then also add a Resonance score. Each set of two or more adjacent Dreams with identical symbols across the top and/or bottom of their Dream Sequence adds more points. Only Dreams in the Dream Sequence count towards a final score. The player with the most points, wins.
Dreams of Tomorrow got a mixed reception in our family.
I greatly enjoyed it. The ever-shifting rondel (Collective Consciousness) gave an interesting twist to my planning, and I liked that most of the available actions affected all players, not just the current player. It felt a bit chaotic at times, but the overall goal always seemed clear to me: make a complete Dream Sequence with best points & Resonance that you can.
I raced a robot player in the solo mode, trying to complete my Dream Sequence before it reached 29 “turns”. The rules allow you to add a robot player (or the modified “Night Mare” robot) at any number of players. Playing with a robot player increases both the challenge and the urgency, moving Dreams out of circulation more quickly while causing chaos in the rondel.
Not Always Pleasant Dreams
Andrew and our kids were less engaged by Dreams of Tomorrow than I was. The sheer amount of iconography meant we spent a lot of time looking up references for the first several plays, and our kids lost interest about halfway through the games they played.
We all loved the art, but Andrew found it too abstract to give meaning to the gameplay.
“The premise of the game is that you’re telling a story through your dreams – But the art is too abstract to carry a plot forward.”Andrew
We were playing with a prototype of the game. In the retail copy, each Dream card is unique. Cards that match both top & bottom now depict clear pieces of a sequence (e.g. comets hitting a city skyline) and should improve the story-telling aspect of Dreams of Tomorrow. Some of the iconography has also been improved, and the starting levels for each resource on the player cards have been nicely highlighted.
Dreams of Tomorrow is a gorgeous game with mechanics that are not too difficult, but our family’s experience clearly shows that it’s not a great game for everyone. And that’s OK! We hope this review can help you make a decision whether Dreams of Tomorrow would be a good choice for your family.
If Dreams of Tomorrow sounds interesting to you, pick it up on Amazon or ask for it at your local game store.
The Family Gamers received a prototype copy of Dreams of Tomorrow from Weird Giraffe Games for this review. Pictures marked (prototype version) do not reflect the quality of the finished game, available now.
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Dreams of Tomorrow
Number of Players: 1-6
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 45+ minutes