Dreamscaper To The Rescue

As part of its E3 presentation, publisher Freedom Games showed various upcoming Switch releases, including roguelite action game Dreamscaper — which was featured in the Nintendo Indie World Showcase way back in December 2019 — and To The Rescue, a dog shelter simulator announced for Switch just a few months ago.

You can check out clips of both games below. We also caught up with the developers of both games — Afterburner Studios (Dreamscaper) and Little Rock Games (To The Rescue) — and asked them a couple of questions each about these promising upcoming Switch titles.

Let's go alphabetically, shall we?

Dreamscaper - Switch release date: 12th August 2021

Described as "a very personal project" for developers Ian Cofino, Robert Taylor and Paul Svoboda of Afterburner Studios, they describe the game as follows:

Dreamscaper is a surreal, action RPG roguelite - players battle the nightmares that live in a young woman’s subconscious. Tackle the permadeath of the dreamscapes by night, but keep the friendships you make by day in order to face the next dream stronger than before.

Did your own dreams during the development end up influencing the game?

The three of us have had dreams of starting our own game studio and building our own independent game for many years. So in a way, the development of Dreamscaper has always centered around our dreams, but maybe not in such a literal way. That said, there are certain elements found in the game that were born from real dreams we’ve experienced in our lives. For example, the art style was inspired by how Paul’s dreams appear in his own mind. In particular, the way the edges of our world fade into the background.

Your boss battles look extremely hard — what tips would you give to players?

Experience! As Dreamscaper is a roguelike, we expect players to take on Cassidy’s nightmares over and over again. We’ve designed the bosses in Dreamscaper to give players a fair challenge, ensuring that these fights stay exciting and strategic, even after hundreds of runs. So if you get knocked down, get right back up again, or in this case, get back into bed to try again.

To The Rescue - Switch release date: Q4 2021

To The Rescue is the first digital project of Little Rock Games, "a community-based tabletop game development studio". We've covered it in a news article back in March, but here's a bite-sized summary of what the game entails:

Build a shelter and help stray pups find good new homes with loving families. Construct an ideal environment to meet the needs of man’s best friend and maximize their chances to be adopted. Caring for dozens of doggos is rewarding, but the mission has its share of challenges as well.

Have any of you put your own dogs into the game?

Yes! There are several homages to the team’s pets sprinkled throughout the game. The game opens with the player finding a lost puppy outside their home. This pup was inspired by Olivia and Tanner’s dog Ziggy who similarly appeared on their doorstep during a snow storm earlier this year. The game’s bandana-donned mascot Cooper is a reference to the lead artist’s childhood dog, and the large mastiff design is based on Olivia and Tanner’s other dog Keanu. Additionally there will be some unique “Super Dogs” that can arrive at the shelter designed by some of the game’s Kickstarter backers.

What message would you give to players who feel inspired by your game to adopt a dog?

Please visit your local shelter, especially if it’s an open admission shelter. Consider adoption strongly, and appreciate some of the laid-back mannerisms of some of the older dogs. These dogs often spend more time in the shelter, are harder to find homes for (as people are generally wanting younger dogs like puppies), and can make an amazing addition to a family. They are loyal friends and allies. We're thankful and appreciative of anyone who helps our canine companions. If adoption ultimately isn’t an option, consider donating to or volunteering at your local shelter!

Two very different games — each enticing in its own way. Do you like the sound of them? Let us know in the comments below.