Dreaming Sarah is an adventure platformer where you play as Sarah, a girl who is in a coma. Explore the world around her and help her wake up!
User reviews: Very Positive (126 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 12, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"Using a comatose dream as setting is an interesting idea... it opens up the world to go to whatever dark or funny place the developers want to take it."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (13)

March 18

v1.1

Hi everyone!

v1.1 is out, here's a short changelog:

- Fixed music overlap bug
- Fixed bug where bus stop wouldn't show
- Fixed -0- bug
- Fixed french language bug (wouldn't load)
- Fixed bug where Sarah would reset the animation while being a fish if she changed screens

- Changed the way the save works (read more about it below)
- Added different saves for different steam accounts (read more below)
- Fixed OSX and Linux versions
- Updated language files and compiled them together with the game

----------

About the save:

Unfortunately the bug the game was having where it couldn't load the language files properly was related to the save. After much testing I had to find another way to save the game, so now instead of using the "save.json" file the save goes to a totally different directory. The directory varies from OS to OS:

Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%/nw/LocalStorage
Linux: ~/.config/nw/LocalStorage
OSX: ~/Library/Application Support/nw/LocalStorage

Because of this, old version saves will not work with this new version. I really hate that it had to be like this, but I had no other choice... at least the game works properly now. And about the Cloud support - I'm looking into it. The change of folder's should not affect the cloud support. I'm trying to get Linux running right now so I can set up all the 3 OSes Cloud saves together.

Keep in mind that there are still a few non-game-breaking bugs around that I will still look into (like a chinese character missing, the settings file not properly saving and the statistics sometimes showing wrong info), so if you find anything else other than these ones, please let me know! The dreaded -0- bug should be fixed now so if you're still having it, also please let me know (but be sure to be on version 1.1 first, just look at the window's title and you can check if it is).

Once again, sorry about your saves and thanks for the support!

2 comments Read more

March 14

About the OSX and Linux versions

Hi everyone!

I'm making this announcement to make something clear - currently the OSX and Linux versions are not working properly. This is due to some problems I'm having with Node-Webkit.

Rest assured I'm trying my best to fix them right now, and hopefully I will be able to soon enough. In the meantime, I've turned off showing that the game works on OSX/Linux in the store to avoid people buying it and not being able to play right away. I will turn them on again when I'm able to fix these bugs.

Once again, I'm truly sorry about this. After I fix this then I'll proceed to update some language files and fix more bugs (like the music one).

Thanks once again for your patience and support!

3 comments Read more

About This Game

Inspired by the horror game Yume Nikki, Dreaming Sarah is a surreal adventure platformer game with puzzle elements, an engaging environment, an incredibly diverse cast of characters, and of course, a young girl named Sarah.

Sarah has been on an accident and is in a coma. It's up to you help her wake up by exploring her dream world while collecting items, talking to weird characters and exploring the world around her!

Key Features:
  • Explore different areas, like a forest, a haunted mansion and even the moon.
  • Collect gameplay-changing items, like an umbrella that helps Sarah glide around, a manifying glass that changes her size and a necklace that turns her into a fish.
  • Solve puzzles by paying attention to the scenery, taking notes and exploring the world around you.
  • Get up to two different endings depending on what you have found or done.
  • Visit old areas to find new things that appear as you progress in the game.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 8
    • Processor: Intel Core i5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 210 or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mountain Lion 10.6
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia or AMD graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Intel HD graphic cards are not supported!
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia or AMD graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Intel HD graphic cards are not supported!
Helpful customer reviews
21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
So after 100%ing this game and finding absolutely everything that you can do in 2 hours (would be under that if I didn't have issues with bugs, as the game just came out yesterday) I'm going to go ahead and recommend it but tell you a bunch of reasons why you shouldn't buy it if you're on the fence. Hang on while I explain.

I personally think this game is well made. I had a prepaid mastercard with 5 dollars left on it, and I looked at "recently released adventure games" and saw this. Being a fan of Yume Nikki and other games like it (because honestly, it's become a subgenre at this point) I decided to take the plunge. Usually I wouldn't put money down on a Yume Nikki fangame type thing because they're usually uninspired and involve a lot of bad game design, but this looked well made based on the screenshots and sold me with the trailer music. It was 3 dollars on sale, so I figured at the worst I could sell the trading cards and make back ~50% of what I spent on it.

First off: If you've played a Yume Nikki game before, this follows the formula to an almost funny extent.
Dreams? ☑
Looping levels? ☑
Weird Alien things? ☑
Drug references?
Hospital Level?
Creepy Eye Motif? ☑
Viscera Level?
Themes of questioning self and regret?

However, if you haven't or the above doesn't bother you by being sort of done before (and I was ok with it, because it was done fairly well) then prepare for a weird platformer with great music and colourful graphics.

Going to get the thing that might change out of the way: The game is horribly buggy. This is semi-excusable because I'm guessing this is this developer's first major release, and I'm making this review a day after it came out. The developer is in the discussion boards taking bug requests and trying to fix them, so this might change in the short future- but if you're buying this game at this very moment... Be aware!

Dreaming Sarah is about a girl in a coma (which should be the game's only spoiler, but isn't considering it's both in the banner ad AND the description for the game) who is exploring her dreaming state. You walk around areas and find powerups to either help you, interact with other characters, or just to have for completionist's sake. The graphics are very pretty, the controls are fluent and simple (but not really instructed in game- I had to just guess what keys did what which only took a few seconds) and the music is relaxing and at times a bit haunting. As shown by my 2 hour play time and 100% achievement completion, the game is really short. Is it worth the money? Well, for almost 4 dollars you can't go wrong, but for 6? Ehhhhhh...

Most games like this are free downloadable titles or flash games you can play, and if Dreaming Sarah was free, I'd be ridiculously impressed and recommend people to play it a bit more. But for more than 3 dollars? It's a fun experience, and if this is the developer's first game released, it's pretty great for what it is. But my main complaint with Dreaming Sarah is that it takes away the essence of exploration usually found in games like this by making it a platformer and not adding enough content. There's nothing to find, no quirky secrets or easter eggs that have a 1/64 chance of happening (there are secrets in the game, but all of them are so close to the path you have to follow that I'd put money on you finding at least 80% of them without trying), and no real "wow I can't believe how crazy this was!" moments that is usually what makes playing exploration based walking simulators like this interesting. It plays it very very safe, and while it's enjoyable to sit down and relax with, it's not worth 6 dollars to play a game through to 100% for an hour and never touch it again.

Take Journey for example. It's 15 dollars on PSN, but it's an hour long. But many people claim it to be a great game for the price. Why? Because there's so much to explore and discover, and even when you're done with that you can meet people and have new experiences every time. With Yume Nikki, the gimmick is that while playing you always feel like there's something new that's happening- something weird that just randomly decided to show up. This game feels like an on-rails shooter in comparison, and while the atmosphere is very good, there's just nothing bringing me back.

So all this being said, why am I recommending Dreaming Sarah? Well, on sale it's definitely worth it just for the experience, and I think the developer has a lot of potential in the future. The graphics are very eye pleasing (no pun intended) and the OST is pretty dang good (and you get it for free with purchase of the game) and if worst comes to worst you can sell the steam trading cards or keep them for a cool looking emoticon or background (most of them being well made, I'm wearing one on my profile at time of writing).

Overall: 6.8/10
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Note: video review embedded below.

Dreams are a rare occurance for me. Going to sleep usually causes me to fall into complete emptiness, or hover just between alert and unconscious as I struggle not to wake myself up. When I do dream though, it’s because something is wrong. When I’m feeling scared, or guilty, or anxious, these feelings manifest themselves in vividly internalized strangeness that often cause me to wake suddenly in a sweat, and then just as quickly slip away as I attempt to recall what happened.

Dreams are not fun excursions into my imagination the way they seem to be for many, but torturous self examinations without the constraints of logic and reality. I become my own worst enemy, helpless to suppress the ideas twisting themselves into things I can’t begin to describe even to myself as I wait and hope it will soon be over. My dreams have been this way for as long as I can remember, at some points during my childhood becoming so bad my religious family began to think I was possessed and mentally unstable.

It has been a long time since I’ve had anything quite so graphic as when I was a child, but that didn’t stop me revisiting these moments I had thought I’d forgotten as I journeyed through Dreaming Sarah and its protagonist’s equally bizarre and terrifying visions. Dreams are common fodder for media, but Dreaming Sarah is one of the first I’ve experienced that so perfectly illustrates the merging of reality and the surreal, and the petrifying helplessness within it that has been haunting me all these years. It exists at the point just between a dream and consciousness, where you can’t be sure of what is real and what isn’t; where your experiences and trauma come to life in ways you can’t control or understand, but are forced to make sense of or else allow them to swallow you whole.

Dreaming Sarah is excels at taking something conventional and warping it just enough to feel unusual yet still recognizable. Its artwork and soundtrack becomes continually more twisted as you travel deeper into Sarah’s subconscious, but always with a tinge of the familiar that only serves to put you more on edge. Gathering and using items feels traditional and expected, yet for what actual purpose I was collecting them I couldn’t say. Everything is so very ordinary but also alien, like you’ve been here before only now it’s changed and you aren’t sure how. Something is so clearly wrong, but you’re the only one that seems to notice.

I wouldn’t describe Dreaming Sarah as terrifying so much as it is haunting and unsettling. There is never any real danger and I knew this the whole time, but as is always the case in dreams what I knew became irrelevant. This was a world of my character’s own creation but which plays by its own rules, leaving me in a state of disarray as I attempt to rationalize the impossible. I wanted to get out, but the only way to do so was to find a way to understand this dream and trace it back to where it came from.

Looking at the dreams of someone else, whether they be but the creation of an artist or drawn from actual experiences, I was able to more easily see how they reflected some portion of reality. As I was helping to piece together Sarah’s psyche, it felt as if I was also in some way beginning to reconcile some of the inexplicable terrors I had conjured up over the years. It was clear that Sarah wasn’t insane, but that she had suffered and was hurting, and these dreams were the only way left for her to compartmentalize and begin to move past her trouble. Perhaps then my nightmares can similarly teach me something about myself, and help heal the subconscious wounds still eating away at me at night.

It seems likely to me that there will be people who don’t “get” Dreaming Sarah, who perhaps enjoy it on a mechanical and artistic level, but who see any deeper meaning as being fabricated or pretentious. Perhaps that is true to a point, but it also seems to say something about how we often view dreams as only that, rather than an extension of our real life experiences and potentially even a coping mechanism. I want to believe the horrors I’m inflicting upon myself are there for a reason, and that there is an ending in which I’m no longer tearing myself apart from deepest corners of my mind. At the very least, it would seem I’m not the only one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4QoleIN5ZE
You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 19
Early Access Review
pretty neat surrealistic kind-of-metroidvania game. the game is unfinished, but shows a lot of promise as the atmosphere is suitably discomforting already
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
I didn't know what to expect from Dreaming Sarah. It looked strange and intriguing all at the same time. I am happy to say, that I was right in both regards.
There are times that Dreaming Sarah makes your skin crawl, makes you laugh, or stop and smell the roses. With It's breath taking art and equally astounding music. The fun in this Adventure/Puzzle game is the journey in itself. Discovering an array of strange dream tools that you use to find out more about the dream world and delve deeper into the rabbit hole.
With little to no narrative you will guide Sarah as she seeks answers and experiences many strange things. The only true gripe one could have with Dreaming Sarah is its rather short but sweet game length. I started the game and felt compelled to complete it. Which I did in two hours. However that isn't a bad thing. Rarely does a game draw so much curiosity and attention from me. Dreaming Sarah commanded my attention and rewarded me with fun puzzles, beautiful art and stunning music. Sadly as abruptly as it begins, it ends. Leaving you perhaps slightly wondering if there was more. Perhaps that is just simply the charm of Dreaming Sarah.

I made a video review to show off some of the features and gameplay of this game!
https://youtu.be/TwhbpyUQfUw
I hope you enjoy!
Martyr
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
I played this offline in early access, so my playtime should be closer to 2.5 hours or so, but this still is a fairly short game all the same. Typically I don't really like such short games. A few hours can't possibly be enough time to really get a satisfying experience, right? This is more or less the only gripe I have with the game, though. I just wish there was more. It's a charming platformer with creative worlds to explore and nice atmospheric music to really suck you into this strange little land. (Oh, and a copy of the OST comes free with the game!)
There are some bugs here and there, but I personally didn't run into anything gamebreaking, so I can't say I was too put-off on that front. Even then, the dev has been in the forums working to fix things as people report them, so with any luck that point will be resolved with time.
As an inexpensive game that clearly has so much love put into it, I'd say despite the short hours it lasted, it was 100% worth the money I spent on it.
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