Are you a fan of touching pet stories? Do you like classic platform games with trial and error gameplay? If yes, then you might like Balthazar’s Dream.
It was created by Psilocybe Games, a two-person (husband and wife) studio based on Cracow, Poland. The idea for this game came from the couple’s dog (and honorary third member of the studio, in charge of the Fun Department), Balthazar, where he usually twitches in his sleep. Peter and Sawa tried to imagine what dreams did he have, and the result was this game.
The story is fairly simple. Balthazar and his boy are playing in the park with a ball. Suddenly, disaster happens and the boy is hit by a truck. They rush him to a hospital, with Balthazar always near him. During his sleep he starts dreaming, meets the boy’s soul and tries to save him.
Gameplay-wise, Balthazar’s Dream is a fairly simplistic platform game with a couple of fresh mechanics here and there. The one that is the most worth noting is the bone bar on top, that starts to empty when afraid of something (some enemies) or wanting something really bad (the ball). When it empties there is a rush of action that is necessary to jump great heights or move really quickly.
Other than that there is a grab/toss mechanic where you bite certain items and can toss them in the distance, like a ball, or a stick that can “stick” in walls etc and can provide a way to jump upwards.
Balthazar’s Dream is a really easy and small game. It can be finished in around two hours. However, if you want to earn every achievement available, it would take you more than that. For the current asking price of 5 EUR though, it is really worth it. Oh, and the soundtrack is really good. And that is high praise considering I stuck in certain points and kept hearing it on repeat.