- Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child
Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child Developer(s) KatGames Publisher(s) PlayFirst Director(s) Miguel Tartaj Producer(s) Christopher Williams
Designer(s) Miguel Tartaj Programmer(s) David Gonzalez Artist(s) Pablo Vietto
Writer(s) Michelle Woods
Composer(s) Adam Gubman Series Dream Chronicles Engine Playground SDK Version 188.8.131.52 Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X Release date(s) Genre(s) Adventure, puzzle Mode(s) Single player Rating(s)
- ESRB: RP
- Apple: 4+
Media/distribution Digital download System requirements
Windows XP SP1 or later, Pentium IV 1.2 GHz processor or faster. Mac OS X 10.4 or later, G4 800 MHz processor or faster. 256 MB RAM or bigger. 1024×768 minimum screen resolution. 70 MB available hard drive space. DirectX 8.1 or higher. A sound card is recommended. Adobe Flash Player 8 or higher.
Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child (often shortened to Dream Chronicles 3 or The Chosen Child) is a 2009 adventure and puzzle casual game developed by KatGames and published by PlayFirst. It is the third installment in the Dream Chronicles series, the second sequel to 2007's award-winning game Dream Chronicles, also the last part of the first trilogy called Faye's Journey. Follow the events of the first two games, The Chosen Child tells the story of a mortal woman named Faye waking up from a powerful fairy's dream spell with no recollection of her past or who she really is, except that she keeps having dreams that she has a husband and a daughter who's taken by the Fairy Queen of Dreams. Guided by the fairy husband who communicates with her through a crystal ball, Faye sets out to save her child once more.
The Chosen Child was first presented limitedly as a beta version on February 5, 2009. It was officially released as a digital download on April 16, 2009. The Chosen Child immediately became another Dream Chronicles hit, reaching number-one of eleven casual game charts and peaking inside top ten on many other charts. The game received positive receptions from casual game critics, describing it as "another visually stunning Myst-like adventure that transports players into a fantasy world of fairies." In June 2010, it was announced that The Chosen Child was nominated for two awards, "Top Hidden Object Game" and "Best Story", in the second annual GameHouse Great Game Awards. The Chosen Child was preceded by Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze and followed by Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air.
Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child is an adventure-like hidden object game with numerous puzzles and challenging tasks. Its gameplay is structured much like that in Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze, and goes deeper than the prequels. Each area, which consists of half a dozen or more unique locations, has a set of puzzles to solve using items players find strewn about the landscape. Players as Faye has to travel back and forth to find what they are looking for. Carrying items between scenes is an important part of solving the intricate puzzles. There are many puzzle types in game: word unscrambling, potion mixing, looking for constellations with the help of telescope, piecing together a sewing machine, playing Simon and sliding games, locating items in the right place and other logic-type games.
The objects that players find may be used in a scene other than the one they found it in. Objects will stay in inventory until players need to use them. All objects that players are able to pick up will serve a purpose, whether they are used in that scene or not. A lot of times in this game the pieces players pick up may only be used as they get to the next scene. Some items may not become visible in a scene right away, players must perform other tasks first before they become visible. Players can freely move back and forth between the locations exploring places, solving puzzles, completing tasks and getting clues as to what they should do. For the second time in the Dream Chornicles series, players can enjoy the experiences of solving maze puzzles. The Chosen Child contains two underwater labyrinths, one in the nineteenth scene and the other one in the twenty-third scene. However, they are sometimes criticized for their highly difficult level, preventing some players from completing the whole game.
Unlike previous games of the series, Dream Chronicles’ unique element Dream Jewels (and the new one, gold nuggets) are required to open new Nexus gateways, and for the first time Dream Jewels can be forged by the players themselves. There are ten gold nuggets and thirty Dream Pieces molding ten Dream Jewels to complete; other fifty-eight gold nuggets and sixty Dream Pieces work as bonus scores, which are all scattered throughout the game. Like Dream Chronicles 2, players need to replay the game several times to be able to find all of sixteen Dream Jewels.
In addition to give players time to really explore every aspect of the scenes, KatGames add a device called the Nexus gateway (a series of gateways that allow you to travel to different interconnected locations after you figure out how to unlock them) with hoping to make the game non-linear which allows players to move freely throughout the game world. Instead of being confined to a linear path, The Chosen Child opens the door for wider exploration, creating the epic feel the series needed to move to the next level. As a result, now players can travel back and forth all the scenes by pulling levers to rotate a massive set of gears and portals in the Nexus gateway, yet this notable feature only appeared in The Chosen Child.
The game has only one weak spot: hint system. The crystal ball is of little help. It rarely tells the exact solution, but instead gives players slight hints. Like in the two previous games of the series, the screen sparkles at times hinting the place where players are to pick up or apply something, but that rarely happens. If players get stuck, they have to keep looking until finding the right item.
As usual, players earn a high score at the end of the game. The faster how players can complete the game, the more Dream Pieces and gold nuggets they can find, the more Dream Jewels they can forge, the better score they will earn. When players play again under the same name, they will have new Dream Jewel molds to forge, and some of the key items themselves will be in different places the second time around.
There are twenty-fifth main scenes and seven large areas featuring in the game:
- The Treehouse Village: The people of this village believe that strange occurrences will befall them if they don't live high in tree tops. This is also a part of the green belt that runs through the fairy world. It is all part of Aeval’s plant network. Though others may doubt it, Aeval always knew that the trees saw and remembered everything. Over time they have been used to hide treasures and secrets.
- The Nexus Gateway: This is the transportation hub that fairies use to travel quickly from the fairy realm to the mortal realm.
- The Herbalist's House: The herbalist is a mortal who acquired fairy knowledge and experimented with potions from various plants.
- The Observatory: The magic telescope is used to convert constellations into molds. Molds are used in the Forge to create Dream Jewels to open new places in the Nexus Gateway.
- The Village of Wish: This is the tiny town of Wish, where Faye lives with her husband Fidget, her daughter Lyra and Fidget's parents, Tangle and Aeval. It’s an insular place, far from cities and civilization. The town is surrounded by tall walls, not to keep the residents inside, for they have no desire to leave the safety and warmth of their community. The walls are there to keep the outside world outside, and are secured with complex weighted locks first seen in Dream Chronicles. The streets are cobbled, lined with colorful dwellings and stores. Beyond the walls of Wish lie lush forests and winding roads that, eventually, lead to other larger towns. But the folk of Wish have little desire to visit those distant places. Their homes are secure in their beloved village where, they believe, no harm can come to them. Before Faye, no one had left this village in many years.
- The Underwater Retreat: Expectant Fairy Mothers travel to this spa-like retreat to rest and restore their magical powers.
- The Eternal Maze: As a final safeguard so that no mortal could ever enter or leave the Ancients' Place, the fairies created an underground maze with no light and no map. Unfortunately, this made fairy passage almost impossible as well, and so some of the fairies created a map to help them find their way between realms.
First three people listed below are the main characters, while the others play the minor roles.
- Faye / Brenna is a mortal woman who reprises her role as the main protagonist of Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child, and the Faye's Journey trilogy. Waking up from a strange dream, Brenna finds a strange man in a crystal ball strangely as well. The man helps Brenna remember herself as Faye, and recognizes him as Fidget her husband. This time, Faye guided by Fidget embarks on the final quest to rescue her daughter Lyra and is able to save her. Embarking on the dark quest into the magical yet dangerous Fairy Realm, Faye discovers an overwhelming secret about Lyra, which will lead many unforeseen consequences. According to Fidget, Faye is "a strong and smart and persistent woman" who never gives up hopes and always tries hard to get her family back to their old peaceful days. Faye doesn't appear in person because players play as her point of view.
- Fairy Queen of Dreams is the main antagonist of the Faye's Journey trilogy. She is a powerful fairy trying to separate Faye's family, and her ultimate ambition is to marry Fidget and to be even powerful than she is now. After releasing Fidget at the end of Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze, Lilith is the one who captures him into a crystal ball. Lilith finally appears in person in the end to reveal Lyra's fate to Faye, yet she is seemingly hatching other evil plans in the future.
- Lyra is the daughter of Faye and Fidget. In The Chosen Child, she is kidnapped by Lilith and then released. Lyra's unusual destiny is revealed, which leads her to be the main character of the fourth game as well as the second Lyra's Destiny trilogy. Lyra is believed to be the Chosen Child who is phosphecised to replace the missing Fairy Lord because of her unique mix of half-fairy and half-mortal blood.
- Fidget is Faye's husband and Lyra's father, and a fairy raised in the mortal world by his fairy parents Aeval and Tangle. In The Chosen Child, Fidget is captured in a crystal ball, but he can help Faye on her quest by giving some important tips.
- Dream Librarian is the keeper of all knowledge in the Fairy Realm. She is the closet person to Fairy Lord, and to be his loyal adviser too. Lilith tries to convince Faye that Dream Librarian believes that Lyra will be the Chosen Child, and she is actually the one who tries to separate Faye and Fidget. This character doesn't appear in person, and she is only mentioned by Lilith.
A mortal woman named Brenna had a dream in which she had a husband and a daughter who was taken by the Fairy Queen of Dreams. When Brenna woke up, the dream faded which frustrated her day-by-day as well. Waking up from this dream and trying to find a way to write it down, Brenna suddenly finds a crystal ball in which a man who looks just like in her dreams appears to urge her to find a little girl named Lyra. Bewildered and confused, still Brenna listens to that strange man's direction, as she feels that she can believe him. Brenna is led to a strange house whose is herbalist through the Nexus gateway. After concocting a memory recovery potion, Brenna remembers everything: herself as Faye, her husband Fidget, her missing daughter Lyra, and the rival Lilith as the Fairy Queen of Dreams. Faye quickly goes on her way to rescue Lyra, following clues left to her by an anonymous. In order to open new areas in the Fairy Realm, Faye needs to forge more Dream Jewels, leading her to the Forging Area. Now she acknowledges that Lilith is hiding in her underwater retreat. On finding an amulet to unleash the cliffside elevator's power helping Faye reach Lilith's retreat, she returns to her home in the Town of Wish for the first time. This time familiarity is that still no one besides her, and the house is full of dust. As Faye feels more closer to Lyra, she encourages herself to keep going on. After traveling to beneath the sea, through many meditation rooms plus two labyrinths, Faye eventually arrives at Lilith's retreat, and meets her face-to-face. Faye demands to know where Lyra is. Lilith calmly tells Faye that the Dream Librarian has abducted Lyra, believing her to the Chosen Child of prophecy. This prophecy states that a half-fairy, half-mortal child will replace the missing Fairy Lord. Lilith reveals that she is the guardian guiding Faye all along with those clues she left for Faye before, because she refuses to accept Lyra as her new Fairy Lord. Suddenly yet strangely, Lilith asks to help Faye bring Lyra back. Though acknowledging that Lilith already has her own "selfish interests at heart", Faye has no choices to accept Lilith's request. Going back to the Enchanted Tree, where Lilith once captured Fidget in Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze, Faye takes Lyra's favorite teddy bear, and brings Lyra back at home. Faye's family is finally united, and a new life has been opening above them. Faye doesn't care if her dear Lyra will become a new Fairy Lord or not, though one thing she doesn't notice: Lilith is pregnant, and no one knows exactly what Lilith will be up to.
On a PlayFirst's blog post, the founder and lead designer of KatGames, Miguel Tartaj described some new puzzle features in The Chosen Child. When KatGames started designing the puzzles for The Chosen Child, they wanted to focus on having the player experiment and interact with the scenes a lot more than in the previous Dream Chronicles games. There were a few puzzles in Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze where all the player was required to do was collect a lot of items from the scene and put them back where they belonged. While this is still fun, it can get repetitive. To address this, they invented some elaborate and magical devices for The Chosen Child where the player has to focus more carefully on figuring out the right items to collect and the proper combination in which to use them.
On the next day, Miguel Tartaj returned to shed some light on the work that went on behind the scenes. Start from The Chosen Child, the game is presented at a higher resolution 1024×768 instead of the original 800×600 resolution to make sure delivering even richer, more detailed, and beautiful scenes to players. In addition, the size and quantity of the animations in the scenes have also been increased to bring more life to the game. Every scene in the game has moving elements to make them more immersive and compelling. For example, when players activate the mechanism to shift the magical portals in the Nexus gateway, massive gears turn to show them how the doors are shifting to give them access to new areas of the game. Players may also notice more subtle atmospheric effects like drifting clouds, blowing sand, or fish swimming by the windows in the underwater areas.
And on the later day, Miguel Tartaj described some new feature highlights in the game: the Nexus gateway, the crystal ball, and the underwater labyrinths. In Dream Chronicles 2, players would move through areas of the game and never see them again. KatGames felt like this diminished the believability of the game world and didn’t give players time to really explore every aspect of the scenes. This was the motivation behind adding the Nexus gateway. Meanwhile, a crystal ball is also added in game to make sure that players have the necessary hints and help they needed to keep moving forward through the story. Finally, two underwater labyrinths featured in game are actual three dimensional spaces that players can move around in. This means they can watch the fluid and beautiful graphics flow by them just like players are actually walking around in a maze.
On April 10, 2009, art director with the development studio KatGames, Pablo Vietto, explained for the first time ever the inspirations behind the artwork development of the Dream Chronicles series. From the start, the goal with the Dream Chronicles series is to bring the story and adventure to life in a world inspired by a unique art style. The work of Antonio Gaudi – a famous Spanish architect known for his fantastic modern designs – was at the heart of this inspiration. The Art Nouveau movement that he represented provided the perfect combination of fantasy and reality with his designs being based on very appealing and organic shapes.
When starting the design of a scene for one of the Dream Chronicles games, KatGames do extensive research to gather reference and ideas for the architecture, devices, and graphical elements that could be used. Based on these materials, they create sketches to consolidate the ideas and see how all the elements fit together. Since the game is presented from a first-person point of view, a principal sketch is created with particular attention given to how the scene is framed and composed – as if someone was actually standing in the space. To develop the more complex objects, additional sketches are often created to communicate an extra level of detail to the modelers.
Release and post-release
Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child was first presented limitedly as a beta version on February 5, 2009 for the publisher PlayFirst's players. The game's first preview was posted on Gamezebo on February 12. The teaser trailer made its first appearance on PlayFirst's blog on April 3, 2009. It was officially released on April 16, 2009 by PlayFirst and was promoted: "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child brings the Dream Chronicles series to a new level [...] With a backdrop of amazingly intricate artwork and advanced technical detail as well as the new multi area puzzles allowing for more player mobility, established fans and new players will be challenged and delighted." The Chosen Child was another instant Dream Chronicles hit, reached number-one of elevent casual game charts: PlayFirst, Shockwave, RealArcade, Oberon Games, SpinTop Games, MSN Games, Logler Global, iWin.com, GameFiesta, Mac Game Store and Yahoo! Games; number-two on GameHouse, Reflexive Arcade, Pogo.com and Amazon.com; number-three on Big Fish Games and peaking inside top twenty on other casual game charts.
Like two previous Dream Chronicles games, The Chosen Child earned positive reviews from casual game critics.
Reception Review scores Publication Score Gamezebo  Jay Is Games  Awem Studio Positive Adventure Gamers 
Gamezebo's Erin Bell commented on The Chosen Child's highly qualified production value: "The Dream Chronicles series has earned a reputation for having beautiful visuals and music. [...] Each of the game's environments has been lovingly crafted with a soft, distinctive art style bursting with detail, and the soundtrack is equally evocative. In short, The Chosen Child boasts production values that put many of the recent hidden object game releases to shame." However, she noted that length of the game is "disappointing" and "on the short side", and eventually rating it 4.0/5.0 stars.
Meanwhile, comparing the game with the epic Myst series, John Bardinelli from Jay Is Games expressed: "[The Chosen Child]'s as breathtakingly brilliant as everyone would expect. A little bit of hidden object finding, a little bit of puzzle solving, and a whole lot of adventuring can be found in this superb sequel, along with some of the most gorgeous scenery you've seen since looking out your own window. [...] It's an excellent follow-up to the previous Dream Chronicles games and a fantastic game in its own right." Later, John continued giving compliments to The Chosen Child: "These [Dream Chronicles] titles just keep getting better and better. [...] The puzzles are constructed so cleverly you might even giggle when you think of the solution. And I swear you'll melt from the combination of the gorgeous visuals and enchanting music."
And Awem Studio declared that The Chosen Child is "a fantastic game" and "a must have for all fans of the genre", saying: "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child fulfills the series' best traditions and looks elegant. The smooth and vibrant dreamy world presents gorgeous scenes and magically changes locations before your eyes. Enchanting music adds to the atmosphere. There is little new in the interface, but it’s what fans expect and love in Dream Chronicles."
Adventure Gamers gave the game 2.5 out of 5, summarizing that "It’s not the worst game of the series in its own right, but Dream Chronicles 3 is all the more disappointing for still failing to resolve the easily-avoidable problems plaguing the series three games running".
In early 2010, The Chosen Child was awarded for the "1st Runner-Up Best Puzzle Adventure Game of 2009" as well as being picked into the 2009 Customer Favorites list by Big Fish Games. This is the second time a game from Dream Chronicles series entered the Big Fish Games' most popular games annual list. The game itself was also ranked twenty-second by GameHouse in its list of "30 Top Games of 2009". In June 2010, GameHouse (merged with RealArcade) announced that The Chosen Child was nominated for two awards, "Top Hidden Object Game of 2009" and "Best Story", in their second annual GameHouse Great Game Awards but it didn't win any eventually.
- ^ a b c d CasualCharts.com (2009-04-16). "Dream Chronicles - The Chosen Child Detail". CasualCharts.com. http://www.casualcharts.com/games/detail/dreamchronicleschosenchild.html. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- ^ CasualCharts.com (2010-09-03). "Dream Chronicles Trilogy 1 Bundle Detail". CasualCharts.com. http://www.casualcharts.com/games/detail/dreamchroniclestrilogy1bundle.html. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gamezebo (2009-04-17). "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child Review". Gamezebo. http://www.gamezebo.com/download-games/dream-chronicles-chosen-child/review. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- ^ a b c d GameHouse (2010-06-18). "Nominees Announced for Second Annual GameHouse Great Game Awards". GameHouse. http://www.realnetworks.com/pressroom/releases/2010/gamehouse-great-game-awards.aspx. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- ^ a b c d e f g Awem.com (2009-05-29). "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child. Back to Dreams". Awem.com. http://www.awem.com/reviews/dream-chronicles:-the-chosen-child.-back-to-dreams.html. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
- ^ a b c d e f JayIsGames.com (2009-04-16). "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child". JayIsGames.com. http://jayisgames.com/archives/2009/04/dream_chronicles_3_the_chosen_child.php. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- ^ a b c d PlayFirst (2009-04-15). "New Feature Highlights for The Chosen Child!". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2009/04/new-feature-highlights-for-the-chosen-child/. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- ^ PlayFirst (2009-04-13). "A New Twist on Puzzles in Dream Chronicles!". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2009/04/a-new-twist-on-puzzles-in-dream-chronicles/. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- ^ a b c PlayFirst (2009-04-10). "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child – The Artistic Inspiration". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2009/04/dream-chronicles-the-chosen-child-the-artistic-inspiration/. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- ^ PlayFirst (2009-04-14). "New Technical Detail for The Chosen Child". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2009/04/new-technical-detail-for-the-chosen-child/. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- ^ Gamezebo (2009-02-12). "Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child Preview". Gamezebo. http://www.gamezebo.com/download-games/dream-chronicles-chosen-child/preview. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- ^ PlayFirst (2009-04-03). "Revealing New Dream Chronicles Trailer Debuts Today!". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2009/04/revealing-new-dream-chronicles-trailer-debuts-today/. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- ^ PlayFirst (2009-04-10). "New Features Announced for Upcoming Dream Chronicles Adventure Game". PlayFirst. http://www.playfirst.com/about/news/dream-chronicles-chosenchild.html. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
- ^ a b Allin, Jack (2010-01-18). "Adventure Gamers: Dream Chronicles review". Adventure Gamers. http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,1098/p,3. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- ^ a b Big Fish Games (2010-01-06). "2009 Customer Favorites Awards". Big Fish Games. http://www.bigfishgames.com/blog/2009-customer-favorites-awards/. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- ^ Big Fish Games (2010-01-06). "Big Fish Games' 2009 Customer Favorites for PC". Big Fish Games. http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/genres/140/2009-customer-favorites.html. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
- ^ GameHouse (2009-12-20). "GameHouse's 30 Top Games of 2009". GameHouse. http://www.gamehouse.com/top-games-2009. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
- Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child on PlayFirst
- Dream Chronicles Home on PlayFirst
- Dream Chronicles Page on Facebook
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