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For the last six months, Cero, a painter, had suffered terrible insomnia. Six months ago, he had painted a beautiful portrait of someone he had met in his dream. This person was his muse, inspiring him to paint like he had never painted before. After he completed his painting, he found himself unable to sleep, even though he was desperate to meet his dream muse again. One day, during a freak cooking accident, Cero burned his painting. It was the only thing that burned inside Cero's house. After this incident, Cero had forgotten what his muse looked like and lost his passion for painting.
Cero became a depressed insomniac after this incident. He was sure his insomnia and depression were incurable. One day, walking down Starry Beach Boardwalk, Cero met Madame Reverie, a flashy gypsy in a purple robe.
"You have suffered, my child," she said with a raspy voice. She flared her nostrils and widened her cerulean eyes. "I have a cure for you." She snapped her fingers and like magic, a vile of liquid appeared on her wrinkly palm.
"Take this and you will sleep well. Sleep very well." Madame Reverie smiled like Cheshire Cat and cackled like a witch. When Cero turned around, he found himself standing before an empty stand. The gypsy had disappeared.
"Woah." Sleep-deprived, Cero gave this incident no other thought and walked away to enjoy the sound of waves. In the past, he had accidentally eaten a strange mushroom, and it made him hallucinate. He assumed he had imagined meeting the gypsy, even though the vile of liquid was very real.
That night, Cero felt brave. He drank the tonic, a cherry-tasting liquid, in one gulp. Within seconds, he passed out on his kitchen floor, convulsing.
When he woke up, he found himself engulfed in darkness. He was sure he was no longer in his own apartment. Head spinning, he stumbled around and whispered, "Where am I?"
His voice echoed. Before his eyes, the room brightened. He studied his strange surroundings, surprised to see he wasn't in a room, but in the middle of a strange, new world.
"Welcome to the Dream World," a melodious, female voice sang in his head. The voice sounded like it belonged to the gypsy he had met earlier, only prettier.
"You are now dreaming. You have thirty dream cycles from now on. Soon, you will find doors where you can enter different Dream Realms. Within these Realms, are Dream Souls. One of these Souls can become your Soulmate. Your Soulmate can help you leave the Dream World. If you fail in finding a Soulmate, you shall become a Dream Soul as well, forever to roam lost in this World.
Cero shook his head. "What a dream," he said. As he recalled, never in his life had he been able to remember his dreams. He looked around him, mesmerized by the beauty of his surroundings. A billion stars danced in the dark blue skies. Walking through the Dream City, Cero encountered nary a soul. Though the City was beautiful, it felt cold and lonely. The beauty of the place felt too eerie. "Perhaps I can get used to a place like this," Cero muttered.
He thought otherwise a few minutes later. He decided this dream was really a nightmare. Walking through the empty city, Cero found himself standing in front of the same building over and over again, even though he was sure he had walked down at least five different blocks. The building was made of prism glass. Starlight bounced off the dark glass as shimmering rainbow rays.
Cero decided to enter the building. The moment he walked through the front door, he felt himself pulled into the building. The door behind him flashed before melting away into nothing.
He walked to the middle of the building's lobby. Before him, were six doors and a single vial of potion atop a cedar stand…
Each door was made of wood that had a golden sheen. Carved on the wooden doors were glowing flowers. Peonies, roses… Cero looked around the room some more before he decided to enter one of the doors. He knocked on a door and pushed it open.
First and foremost I'd love to build a statue of you, Mayuiki, and create a religion where you are worshiped for creating a save button! This is more than just handy and convenient, it's a life saver! Especially if you reach a point in the game where, say you just want to work on your currency, save, then focus on a character, end the game, and load from a previous session with all the money you earned.
Moving on, I can't help but shake a sort of Alice in Wonderland feeling when I played this game. Cero falling into a deep sleep and "waking up" in a strange new world, but with doors to different realms of the Dream World. The music was very fitting, and in my opinion worked out in a continuous loop throughout the whole game versus trying to come up with a new theme for each character. In a way it's relaxing and I could probably drift off to sleep to it if I tried.
As for the game play I liked how it was straight forward and not as complicated as some dating sims can be. What really caught my eye was the date. Some of the dating sims I've played only allow you to talk once, give a gift once, do some other action (if available) and then kiss. You created it so that if the player wanted the characters to kiss, they had to give a valuable gift (not some cheap thing like the gems), talk to them, buy them a drink (the right drink too) and THEN they could do the kiss. I also liked how if things were "unsuccessful" on the date, such as no talking, no gift giving, and not buying the right drink, the date would be upset. Very nice! Again, other dating sims I've played the character will usually say "Thanks for taking me out" blah blah blah, or they say nothing at all.
NOW! Let's talk about art! (Yeah I know long review on the game right? Well I'm not one to give minimum feedback! XD) I knew instantly when the game started up you had done the art work and was very impressed by the color schemes and character designs you had created for each character. I think it fits them all well, as well as their design and personalities, Xam is a narcissist/superficial, Angel likes to seek pity - in my opinion - Rylee is bubbly, and Riri is cold at first. These are fantastic character designs and each character is easily distinguished because of their personalities, so it's nothing like having four characters saying similar things all the time when you have Cero talk to them. On a side note; I also liked how the expressions changed from when they were happy, pleased, angry and disappointed. Again, nice job!
All in all, it's nice to see that with each new dating sim Nummyz cranks out, the quality of the story, art and over all work improve instead of taking a nose dive.
Keep up the good work!