We are always on the lookout for board games with interesting themes. The one we are about to show you definitely checks that box. In Dreamweavers, you show Morpheus, the orchestrator of nightmares and paradises, your skill in creating dreams. You will get several test subjects who are asleep and if you can deliver the best dreams with your team, you might get recruited. Let’s see what twisted world we can create.
Note that this is still a prototype and the rules or looks of the game might change.
How to play.
For the setup, place the game board on the table. Place the tracker token on the mundane space on the scale and shuffle Morpheus’s objectives. Reveal three objectives near Morpheus. Shuffle the subject cards and reveal one face up on the board. Place the other test subjects face down nearby. Create teams as evenly as possible. If you have an uneven player count, refer to the rulebook for some possible steps to undertake. Also make sure you sit around the table evenly divided. Once a player from the blue group has taken a turn, a player from the amber group should follow, followed by a blue player after that, and so on. Then give each first half of the starting players two essence and the second half three. Also place a blue and amber essence on the top space of both tracks on the scoreboard. The wake tokens and lucid token are place on the scoreboard as well. Place the area card near the board and shuffle the dream cards. Give each player five cards (unless you are with an uneven player amount) and remove the ten cards on top of the deck. Shuffle the sun cards in the dream deck according to the player count and place the remaining ten dream cards back on top when you are done shuffling.
On your turn, you can play a dream card from your hand in the dream pool. You can only do this if you can place it in the dream pool on the board without the card touching the lines. You can use the area card to measure if there is still space. If there is no more room, you are forced to claim a dream. There are two kinds of dream cards you can place in the dream pool. There are whimsical cards, these can provide certain abilities, extra resources and icons you need to resolve Morpheus objectives. They also influence the tracker above the subject card. Each subject has there own preferences for dreams. If you place dreams they like, you can move the tracker towards paradise. If you place cards they don’t like, it will go towards nightmare. Whimsical cards also have a cost of essence you need to pay before you can place them. There are also Astral cards. While Whimsical cards need to be placed freely in the dream pool, Astral cards always need to be connected with a whimsical card and are therefore placed on a whimsical card. Astral cards have no cost of essence to pay but can still have powerful abilities. You can place cards in any way you want, as long as they fit between the lines and are placed face up.
If you don’t have enough essence or cards, you can choose to recharge. You can do any combination up to four times of the recharge actions. You can take an essence token in the color of your team, draw a card from the dream deck of discard a card from your hand to the discard pile. If you draw a sun card, place them on the dawn location on the scoreboard. A sun card does not count as an action, so also draw another card. If you have drawn eight sun cards, the game ends. A sun card also activates lucid dreaming on the current dream subject. Place the lucid token on the subject and follow the rules for lucid dreaming on the card. This could be discarding a Morpheus objective card for example.
If on the start of your turn, there is no more space left for a whimsical card in the dream pool and you have one essence, you have to claim a dream. To claim a dream Place one essence on the wishing well on the board. You also have to have four essence of your color in the dream pool in order to claim a dream. When you claim a dream, see how many stars your team gains according to the tracker. Some subjects might give more stars for a paradise dream while others can score more for nightmares. Return all objective cards from Morpheus as well as all the cards and essence of the dream pool. Give the team with most essence on Morpheus one star of their choice and place a wake token to the sleep cycle under the sleep subject. Return the lucid token to the scoreboard if it’s placed on the sleep subject and reset the tracker token to a mundane dream. Lastly, draw a new sleep subject to start a new dream. You can also claim a dream as an action instead of waiting until the dream pool if full.
If a subjects gains to many wake tokens, the subject might wake up. Once a subject gains three wake tokens, they will awake (unless a card says otherwise). When this happens, the player who woke up the subject adds one essence of their team from the wishing well onto Morpheus. Also discard the current subject and draw a new one. Leave the dream pool as it is and don’t discard any essence of cards already placed. You will have to make the best of the already existing dream with the new subject.
Once eight sun cards are placed on the scoreboard, the game ends and final scoring begins. Each team has two essence in their color on the scoreboard. One on the nightmare side and one on the paradise side. Your end score will be the lowest total between paradise and nightmare. Meaning if team Amber has a total score of five on nightmares and a total score of nine on paradise, their final score will be five. Make sure you balance your scoring right to win the game. The team with the highest end score, wins the game and gets recruited by Morpheus.
Playthrough of the game.
We quickly decided I was going to be team amber and Tomasz would be blue. Our first subject was a dog called Meat. He scored us the most points for nightmares or for having a dream in the state wonderland, just before paradise. We both didn’t want to give this good boy a nightmare, so we started placing our cards to try and give him a wonderful dream. We didn’t really now how to play the dream pool at first. We both started by placing cards along the edges, trying to maximize the space for more cards. But when I realized Tomasz would try to claim a dream in his next turn, I chose to woke up our sweet Meat with an action on one of my cards. We then moved on to chef Julia who scored four points for nightmares, but the tracker was near paradise. Since the dream pool was now full because of my card, Tomasz was forced to claim the dream and gain only one point instead of three. This is only one of the examples of the constant war and balance we had in this game.
We have played this game several times and managed to also invite some friends over to play this game. We noticed Dreamweavers is much more fun with four people, but also the game is not balanced enough for two players. A lot of cards work better in larger teams, like a card that gives essence to all of your team members for example. You often also don’t have enough time to even go for objectives with two people. If you don’t focus on the dream itself, your opponent will claim the dream and win the game. With four or more people however, you are able to use more cards, go for objectives and there is just more interaction between players. After speaking with the designers, we know they are looking into balancing a two player game better. We hope they will add more cards that will work for two players only or that they will even create a separate deck for example.
The art the game really fits the theme and we like the subjects that are chosen a lot. We didn’t really know what to expect, but starting with a dog subject called meat, was very fun and unique. The art on the board is also twisted and cute and you have a dedicated space for almost everything on the board which makes the game a lot less chaotic. This is definitely necessary since the dream pool can make things already chaotic enough. We love how the dream pool works. It gives players a lot of freedom since you can place your cards almost anywhere and can still strategically block players. We think the dream pool is the most unique part of the game.
Dreamweavers is a fantasy themed game where you play in teams to create the best dreams possible for the chosen subjects. You can play this game up to six players in teams of three versus three and we find this game is at it’s best with as many players as possible. Note that this is still a prototype, rules and looks of this game might change. But right now, we do not recommend this game if you don’t have at least four people to play with. We noticed a lot of cards just work better in teams and you miss out on the most interaction if you play with two players only. That being said, with four players or more, this game is a lot of fun. It’s a constant battle between teams to gain the most points and you have to work together well to win the game. The art of the game is also very fitting and most components have dedicated spaces on the board. Dreamweavers also has it’s own unique dream pool to create the dreams in. Players get all the freedom they want to place cards here which is a unique aspect we have not yet seen in board games before. Long story short, if you have an awesome board game group, this game is a must have in the collection.