Harvester of Dreams has been a long time coming. Starting out as German indie Christian Waadt's personal project a decade ago, it has been in active development since 2012. Episode 1, now on Steam Early Access, introduces the point-and-click steampunk adventure promising puzzles, some action sequences, and a mix of dream and reality.
You start out in the cockpit of a luxurious airship called The Tuna, floating serenely along, high above the clouds. Could you be the pilot? No, that can't be right; you wanted to be one once, but you didn't have the stomach for it and the results were... messy. It's all very confusing, and you don't remember much, but you do know you've been here before, many times. Every time you go to sleep, in fact. Some kind of recurring dream, then? Maybe, but let's hope there's more to it than that, given that the airship is seemingly abandoned, on fire, and liable to crash at any moment...
The Tuna is sumptuously if somewhat kitschily furnished, presented in first-person 3D. There's wood, brass and richly-patterned wallpaper everywhere, together with contraptions, dials and levers. There are even brass goggles. (Of course, you may find things look rather different beneath the surface.) The sound effects bring the ship to creaking, hissing life, but (at least for now) there's only a smattering of incidental music here and there. The English voice work is also still a work in progress, with only the main character currently implemented.
Puzzles range from finding combinations to redirecting light beams and messing around with recalcitrant engines. Although called “Episode 1”, Waadt claims the game tells a complete story in its own right in an experience that should take about two hours, with events becoming "even more confusing and disturbing" until an "unpleasant truth" is revealed. And no, he's not talking about the first-person shooting sequences (which, judging by the demo, don't look too challenging).
It’s not quite finished, but Harvester of Dreams: Episode 1 is boarding now for Windows, Mac and Linux via Steam Early Access and itch.io, where you also can download the playable demo to test out for yourself, as well as on the Xbox One as part of the Creators Collection.