Fair Trade has become immersed in many parts of our lives, whether we know it or not. It can start from that first cup of coffee you sip in the morning that you got from Starbucks. Or it might appear in the yarn and fabric that the clothes on your back is made from. But Fair Trade does more than provide items for consumption, it also helps with providing income to help people and communities “fulfill basic household needs”, it “…empowers people to make choices that are good for themselves and their communities,” it assists with an “individuals or communities well-being,” and it creates a “long-term impact on the livelihood of producers, communities, and the planet.”[Read more about Fair Trade here] And Crazy Dreamz considers itself a sub-branch of fair trade called “Fair Game.” Crazy Dreamz has a unique model where the community takes part in developing and publishes levels. Crazy Dreamz then takes and packages the levels on Steam. When someone purchases the game 50% of the revenue is kept by Crazy Dreamz to help fund future games and development and 50% goes to the level developers.
In Crazy Dreamz you take on the role of a MagiCat that is on a quest to save the MagiCat Kingdom from the evil schemes of the Rats’ Army. The Rats’ Army raided the lands and have stolen magic which has been heavily guarded by the MagiCat Kingdom. With these new magical powers, the Rats’ Army has ravaged the land and there is not a fish left to be found. You must embark on a quest to stop the Rats with your trusted mentor Caramel to recover the magic and discover what power is behind the Rats that has made them so bold after so long.
Crazy Dreamz is your standard platformer game. You run and shoot through levels while collecting your magic fairies. The interesting part of the game, is that you never know what additional small mechanic will be added. The nature of community created levels, is that each person has their own ideas and execution of levels and this leads to a lot of zany and whacky levels to figure out and play through. The Best Of packaging of the game includes one hundred (100) levels and seven (7) generals of the Rats’ Army.
The developers did a wonderful job with the art of the game. It is bright and colorful and very cartoony which works perfectly with the MagiCat Kingdom and your magic shooting cat character. Crazy Dreamz is not burdened by complex game mechanics and controls which makes sense when they are trying to allow the community to create levels for the game. You can move, jump and shoot straight horizontally in the game and that is it. The music is very cute and catchy and definitely provides a light feel to the game, unlike the usual gloom and doom that is found in todays dark zombie games. Many of the levels were short and that made it nice so that you could see a lot of variety of ideas from the community generated levels. Once of the nice features that the developers included is a tip system. If you liked a specific level you could click the tip button and send a tip to the developer of the level directly. The developers did a great thing by allowing for controller usage for the game.
The game doesn’t come with some problems. I didn’t find a level that was a challenge and breezed right through them. For a “Best Of” it felt like some of the levels should have been tutorial levels or training levels instead of full blown levels. The boss levels were an even bigger joke. I could stand out of range and completely ignore any mechanics I needed to kill a boss and casually lob shots until the boss was dead. But, this criticism should be taken with a grain of salt. I think this game would be a wonderful game for younger kids because the difficulty and length of the levels would fit perfectly for their eager minds. The game also had little gold fairies to collect, but I had no idea if they did anything or had any value. I was hoping at the end of each stage I would get a 100% complete or a three star rating to help me figure out if I completed the level. Yet, all of that was lacking and I kept thinking in the back of my head that I missed one of those little buggers and perhaps if I collected 100% of them I would the MagicCat PewPew CatStaff of Destruction. The final issue I had with this game is that the level creator is not included with it. I was so excited to see a game made by the community and even contribute to it, but alas this version was only the game.
As a kids game Crazy Dreamz is a wonderful game. It’s story is simple and it’s art style is bright and whimsical which is perfect for the young child. As an adult game this suddenly becomes too simplistic and maybe someone who is looking for a quick fix like Angry Birds will pick this up. I really love the premise of opening up the level development to the community and then giving back part of the revenue to the people who help make the game successful. You build a great following and a love for the game with that type of environment. Crazy Dreamz has a secret two fold value to it, it is a wonderful game for children with the bright environments, whimsical music, simple mechanics, and short reasonable levels. But secondly and less thought about, Crazy Dreamz provides an opportunity for adults and even kids to take a stab at being a level designer for a video game. This can become a great teaching tool for families where parents help their kids create games and then see people play them and give them feedback to make the levels better. Taking what the game has to offer and what it can do Redonkulous Gaming gives this game a 10 out of 10 because it the potential to teach and mold the minds of our future game developers.