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Yume Nikki

The RPG Maker seems to be used a lot these days to make retro horror games, with names such as IB, Hidden in the Shadows 2 or Ao Oni getting a lot of attention from gamers. Yume Nikki is another free horror game and one that is completely weird, even psychedelic, without a single word uttered. But behind the oddity of the delusions of the little girl you control, there are several theories for her adventures.

The game has an open world feel of some sort, with a hub with 12 doors leading to different worlds. There are no clues as to what we should be doing or where were going, but it’s a case of finding the first objects and things will probably snowball from there. It’s a game for a very particular crowd, one that a lot of players will hate but that another group of players will absolutely love. It requires a lot of patience to take Madotsuki, the little girl, through the different dream worlds. By the way, Madotsuki means ‘window’, possibly as in window to the dream world.

One of the characters we’ll meet is KyuuKyuu-kun, who has a phallic shape and leads players to believe in the theory that Madotsuki was raped, something that could be backed up by many other hints and is backed up by her denial when we try to leave the house. Suggestions of an abortion, possibly related to the rape, are also common, as shown by some fetus-like imagery. Other character is Monoko (‘monochromatic girl’), a weird, deformed girl that all things indicate was a victim of a traffic accident. This girl also supports the theory that Madotsuki sees herself as an ugly girl.

Yume Nikki’s psychedelic imagery is supported by some compelling and creepy music that adds to the sense of dread of the game.

Yume Nikki is very original, no doubt about it, but it’s more of an experience than a real game. It’s twisted, strange, uncomfortable, dizzying and yet there’s so much to take from it, to interpret that it’s almost mandatory that fans of different horror games play it. It’s psychological horror that will leave you thinking about it for days.

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