Despite the impression you may have gotten from my previous review I do believe in the concept of "beauty in simplicity". However, some simple things are, to put it mildly, not beautiful at all. Quality, not simplicity, is paramount to a beautiful game, but what about when a game combines the two of them? Well then you get something extraordinary, although not many simple games make it that far.
But what about Derpy Hooves Sweet Dream? Does it manage to be beautiful in its simplicity, or will it turn out to be yet another boring "catch the falling objects" game? Find out after the break.
Since Derpy is one hungry pegasus she is no doubt thrilled when she discovers that food is inexplicably falling from the sky, and decides to eat it all. Judging from the title screen and the game's title this appears to be another of Derpy's dreams, which actually gives the gameplay a fairly logical explanation (quite rare for this sort of game). The player controls Derpy via the mouse, and must move quickly to eat as many goodies as possible before the timer runs out. If however enough points are gained in under sixty seconds the timer resets and the player moves on to the next level. As the player progresses further through the game food falls faster and becomes scarcer, requiring the player to have almost superhuman reflexes and awareness in order to survive. Also, certain foods give more points than others, and buckets of frogs are occasionally dropped that reduce points and must be avoided at all costs.
Sounds simple, right? That is correct, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You see, unlike some other simple games I have reviewed, this game is fun, and that is ultimately the most important part of a game. If I walk away from a game and I didn't have fun I would consider that game a failure, even if it had the most amazing graphics and music one could ask for. Thankfully, this game also has both, although I have seen better.
You see, Derpy Hooves Sweet Dream has very smooth animation, and contains some of the best animation I have ever seen in a fangame. Derpy's wings flap smoothly, the food looks like it came straight from the show, and the background is a visually appealing image of Cloudsdale, although sadly it suffers from some ugly compression and could use some parallax scrolling (as most other games in this fandom, according to my opinion). But really, there is one thing that really makes this game great. Although fun, it's not the gameplay, nor is it the graphics. It's the music. The soundtrack's single is so wonderful, so relaxing, it actually adds a huge amount of polish to the game. Playing the game with the soundtrack off is a completely different experience. It suddenly becomes just another falling food game, and one with rather floaty controls at that (although with the music on, those same controls somehow feel dreamlike).
Derpy Hooves Sweet Dream is an interesting game, and it owes a lot of it's sheer goodness to the amazing music. With the music on, it's a wonderful, dreamlike experience that could suck up hours of your time, while with the music off you'll quickly grow tired of Derpy Hooves Sweet Dream and go find something else to play. So both for the game's successes and shortcomings I rate this game:
I would have given this game a higher score, but despite it's beauty Derpy Hooves Sweet Dream cannot warrant anything higher then this. Also, sorry for how long I took to get around to writing this review. Hope you found it an interesting read!