In Yume Nikki (or “Dream Diary”), you play a young girl who can delve into a bizarre, and sometimes extremely frightening, dreamworld in order to collect “effects” that can alter her appearance in the dream. Some of the effects also have abilities that can be used there. At (almost) any time, our heroine can wake herself up and return to her small, spartan apartment, where she can write in her diary (save), or play a simple minigame on the television.
I really like this game. The lack of dialogue or any “action” fills me with this strange sense of dread. I also like the contrast between the tiny apartment and the enormous dreamworld. And visually, the game really reminds me very much of Earthbound (especially Moonside!) and cactus, which is a pretty awesome and terrifying mix.
Download the English version of the game here (42 Mb), via Rapidshare. The download includes the RPGMaker runtime, as well as instructions on how to configure your computer’s language support to play the game. It’s a fairly painless process.