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Game Maker Games - Painajainen
 Painajainen by Virtanen
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Review by Jabberwock
Painajainen is a surreal and relaxing platform game in the vein of the ever-popular Seiklus; however, despite many uncanny and, according to the author, purposeful similarities between the games, Painajainen manages to have an atmosphere and style distinctly its own.

In Painajainen, you play as a kid who has gotten trapped in his own nightmare- not a particularly original concept, especially among GM games. However, the presentation is more than original and interesting enough to make up for this, plus it's a short game.

To start with, the game engine is fairly solid, though with a few shortcomings. Generally speaking, the gameplay consists of walking, swimming, and flying, all of which follow a similar pattern of motion. The system works very well, other than a notable lack of friction and the fact that the character bounces off of walls while flying, which makes navigating tight spaces difficult. Also, I noticed that it is possible to sometimes get stuck in the ceiling between rooms.

Like Seiklus, the goal of the game is to collect a bunch of orbs in order to open a door; also like Seiklus, these orbs come in a variety of colors generally corresponding to the area in which they're found. Besides this, in order to finish the game the player must also collect several magical fireflies (or at least that's what they looked like to me) in order to gain different abilities, such as the power to push or destroy different types of blocks, the ability to swim, etc. Once again, these come in a wide variety of colors. Overall, I found the game very relaxing to play and not very difficult, which is not, in this case, a bad thing.

The graphics in the game are great, with only a few slip-ups. Generally, the game follows a graphical scheme of gentle, pastel color- not usually something I like, but here it's used well. It adds to the relaxing dreaminess of the game- as an aside, I didn't think the game felt nightmarish at all. Particles are used liberally and to great effect, and there's the occasional lighting effect thrown in also. I thought the screen border was an interesting touch as well- a simple, yet effective visual, and not something you see often. The animations are all nicely done, and have a bit of a rough, hand-drawn feel to them. The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that the bubbles in the water area occasionally rise above the surface of the water and into the air.

The sound in the game is, for the most part, excellent- any novice game makers wondering how to implement sound well into your games, this is a great example. The music was very fitting (with one or two notable exceptions- specifically I didn't care much for the intro music) and actually a little bit catchy. Sound effects are also well used- one thing that I found oddly effective was the addition of jungle and seashore ambient sounds in certain areas; a strange choice, since no place in the game bears any resemblence to a jungle or the sea, but one that ended up adding a touch of surreality that is perfect.The most frequently used sound effect, however- that of collecting an orb- I felt was poorly chosen, though it managed to be discreet enough not to ruin the atmosphere.

And that's really the greatest feature of this game, after all- atmosphere. It's not something every game has in great quantity, so it's refreshing to find a game that does, even if in other aspects it's nothing special.

Author's description:
A dream-like story of a boy,
who gets trapped in his own nightmare.

Game was heavily inspired by two great GM games Seiklus and Velella, so lots of thanks to them.

Download Painajainen (EXE, ~5.5 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Recommendations: The 15 people who like Painajainen also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2007.10.31 Xitilon
Rating: 8

"Also, I noticed that it is possible to sometimes get stuck in the ceiling between rooms."

I'm not sure about ceilings, but I got stuck in a floor two times. And that did throw me back to the beginning of the game, as I was playing the first time (yet collected almost 50% of the orbs) and didn't know how to save the game at all.

Overall, this is a well-made game, and I also like the soundtrack.
2007.10.13 DeathMasterGames
Rating: 8

Very nice. Loved the music from the starry area. Beautiful graphics. I really did feel like I was in a dream. Hated bouncing into the walls though. Part of that was necessary, part was annoying. Still, amazing game. Breathtaking, really. 8/10
2006.12.16 Ultima Games
Rating: 9

You must have very typical dreams because that is essence of dreaming, i like hoe you get more abilities from the firefly thingies, and love the soundtrack! (p.s. what is that font called?, im a fontaholic.)
2006.09.10 Jabberwock
Rating: --

It's still a work in progress. If it were out people would be all over it.
2006.08.25 ForceDevice
Rating: 10

This game is what all GM games should look like.It really makes you feel like you're dreaming.It's the kind of game you'll never get sick of playing,no matter how many times you beat it.It's almost as good as Seiklus...oh,and where can I find Vellela?Is it on the monster archive?
2006.07.27 Max
Rating: 8

This game is great it feels really like a dream. The little movie bits were pretty bad but i liked having to figure everything out on my own like what some of the fairy things did or though sometimes it kind of tells you by having a block in the room which you can blow up or something... I dont think its as good as seklius but its easier which i think isn't necessarily a bad thing anyways great game but BTW theres a small glitch sometimes when you go into another room your leg or something gets stuck on the corner of a wall or something and you stuck GAME OVER and you have to quit and becuase theres only one save point the last you saved could be ages ago sooo you know next time fix that. Great game nonetheless tho.
2006.07.26 Dr_baconman
Rating: 9

What a game this was! I can probably sum up everything into one word: Beautiful. The music, the graphics, the gameplay... All of it, smooth and sweet. Relaxing, too. I've never felt so at ease in one game, as many others incorporate frantic actionate elements.
Another good thing about the game was its free gameplay, allowing to explore as you pleased (an element not unlike Seiklus.)
While I thought the overall 'story' was weak, the rest more than makes up for it. It may not be epic, but it's a nice way to spend a free evening.
I recommend it.
2006.07.25 deathzero02
Rating: 8

This games pretty good. I liked the exploration. Although the game was very short. And the graphics didnt change that much. The only problems was the bug where i kept getting stuck in the floor. And the star puzzle. It was so stupid. Easy though besides the one with the the platforms in the way. I kept falling out of the room. Anyway. It was pretty good. And fun. And the soundtrack was great... But it was to short.
2006.07.24 drdemention
Rating: 8

I looked at the screen shot(white dude, door with multicolor locking mechanism), and thought to myself, 'what the..? a seiklus clone! I expected original stuff from Virtanen!' Reading on about orbs, this opinion reinforced itself. But I played the game, and that opinion shattered. This game is far more well-done and complex than the screenshot would dictate, and while similarities are apparent throughout the game, THIS IS NO CLONE. Albeit short, this could very well be my favorite virtanen game. It uses very little text, instead employing good graphics and wonderful sound to create an intuitive, explorative feel. This complies with the gameplay. But I won't be as thorough as I usually am--this game's already been reviewed.

Score: 8- great!
2006.07.24 drdemention
Rating: --

PS. I did get one glitch... I ran into one room and was deflected back, and I got sttuck in the floor. Get the teleport ability early on, folks!
2006.07.23 tomatoeworm
Rating: 8

This kinda reminds me of seiklus, since the character resembles a stick figure. The only reason i could not beat it was because of the stars, they disapeared to fast. Great game though, i give it a 8
2006.07.23 Zaron
Rating: 9

Way too short and easy, but aside from that, I would love to see more. Thus me thinking it's too short, I'd imagine. I may just have to check out your other projects...
2006.07.21 MOG 10
Rating: 7

I really don't know how to comment on this game. I would prefer if the whole thing was one room. The real thing I like about this game is that of adventure. There's tons of it. Ive found a few of the things and love exploring. Actually I take back what I said. The way you've based it around small rooms is great! You dont know if another orb is there and the suspence is killing!!! The music can grate a bit.
In conclusion: Ill play this for a long time (not forever) get it soon or now
2006.07.21 evilguy12
Rating: 5

It was ok. I didn't like the music. Also this is no way as good as seiklus.
2006.07.21 Cocoanuthead
Rating: 8

I liked the game. Its good and its not to close to seiklus. I loved how you could fly and the star puzzel was my favorite part of the game. Good work.
2006.07.21 jmanjman47
Rating: 7

Very good Game. It reminded me of Seiklus alot. The title did too, I always forget how to spell seiklus.

Good job on the game, the gameplay was very smooth.
2006.07.20 cactus
Rating: 8

Lovely game! I pretty much agree with everything Jabberwock said, except that the outro animation was pretty bad. The monster was ugly, and so was the door and well... Pretty much everything. The second outro was better, though. Yet, not very good.

I would've given you a better rating though. The star puzzles were pretty original, and I enjoyed the game a great deal. You keep up the high quality level in your games, and that's very nice and inspiring to see.
2006.07.03 >ZED<
Rating: --

Great game! I love the soundtrack. Could use some tactical challange. Took me a while to beat.
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