Sweet Dreams Alex – Review
Follow Genre: Tower defense game
Developer: Clarity Games
Publisher: Kasedo Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Sweet Dreams Alex – Review

Site Score
Good: Strikes the right balance between difficulty and accessibility
Bad: Can get very repetitive after a while
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Once again, we take a deep dive into our backlog, all the way back to October of last year. This time, we’re taking a look at Sweet Dreams Alex, a tower defense game about a young girl, her teddy bear, and a whole bunch of living nightmares, brought to us by indie developer Clarity Games and IXION publisher Kasedo Games. We quite liked IXION, but Sweet Dreams Alex looks like something completely different -although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Is Sweet Dreams Alex a dream come true or an outright snoozefest?


The titular Alex is a very young girl whose life is shaken up as her family is in the process of moving houses. This is a scary prospect for Alex, and to ease her anxiousness, her parents have given her a diary. It’s through scattered entries from this diary that most of Sweet Dreams Alex’ story is told, though we should note that Alex’s parents are actually the ones doing the writing for her, as the girl is too young to write in it herself. These snippets of narrative don’t really tie into the overarching premise, and you need to go out of your way to actually find them, as they are hidden throughout the levels. They add insight into Alex’s mindset and help contextualize why the girl is prone to having nightmares. All of this forms the background for our “true” story: as Alex gets settled into her new life, the young girl needs to process her busy days as she sleeps. Alex’s various daytime activities result in the girl visiting all sorts of different dream worlds, like outer space or the bottom of the ocean, and these all bring different adventures. This is where Alex’s nighttime companion comes in: her trusty teddy bear Theo. At night, while Alex sleeps, Theo keeps an eye out to keep the girl safe from things that go bump in the night, and he needs your help.


Despite Sweet Dreams Alex being a game that is about literal nightmares, Clarity Games opted for an adorable pixel aesthetic. The color palette mainly uses dark colors, which is fitting for the nighttime setting and dream-like atmosphere, and you’re even able to customize certain things, like Alex’s appearance and how her room is decorated. The campaign takes you to different environments too, and these are all lovingly rendered. As you’d expect from a pixel art game, performance is very smooth. The only real issue we had with Sweet Dreams Alex’s visuals is that the game can get cluttered. It was sometimes difficult to distinguish individual objects, but that’s a very minor niggle in the grand scheme of things.


The soundscape follows the same philosophy as the visuals, and instead of creepy and unsettling audio, you’re presented with a cheerful and lighthearted soundtrack. It does what it needs to do, but isn’t exactly memorable either. There is no voice acting here, and sound effects are used sparingly, resulting in audio that handles the bare minimum well enough, but doesn’t do a whole lot more.


Contrary to what the title may have led you to think, you don’t actually get to play as Alex herself in Sweet Dreams Alex. Instead, you are a so-called Dream Builder, an invisible entity with the power to manipulate the dream world. Theo tasks you with making sure Alex gets a good night’s sleep by making sure nightmares can’t reach her before the young girl’s alarm goes off. This concept manifests itself as a tower defense game with construction elements, where you need to build a defensive maze to ward away nightmarish creatures that try to reach young Alex. You need to make it as difficult as possible but the caveat is that you cannot outright block the nightmare creatures from reaching Alex, as this will cause them to become angry, forcing you to restart maze construction. It’s a simple enough concept to understand, but with over 250 levels to take on you’ve got your work cut out for you if you’re going to complete Sweet Dreams Alex’s main campaign.

The sheer length of that main campaign allows Sweet Dreams Alex to really experiment with its core mechanics. Things start out simple enough as the first few levels have you simply placing cardboard boxes to create a long path, but it doesn’t take long for new elements to amp up the challenge. Different nightmare variants make an appearance, as do obstacles like unmovable boxes, or street lights shining in through the window. That’s without even mentioning the ‘good’ dreams that you actually want to get to Alex. Sweet Dreams Alex’s individual levels can get surprisingly complicated and challenging, but this is by design and the overall experience is actually very forgiving and accessible. Despite a level ending when Alex wakes up, there is no actual timer to worry about, as this part of the game is built around a step counter instead. The construction mechanics are a breeze, and if you do fail a level, then you can simply try again without any penalties. Should you still get stuck, then there is a limited hint system in place, as well as the option to skip levels. As you can imagine, the levels don’t take very long to complete either, so Sweet Dreams Alex is perfectly suited for short gaming sessions, where you crank out a handful of levels over the course of half an hour or so.

The biggest weakness here is that despite the game introducing different mechanics and environments throughout the campaign, the core formula is never really diverted from. Sweet Dreams Alex’s gameplay is fun but it isn’t nearly deep or engaging enough to keep playing it over longer periods of time, as things do get repetitive after a while. As such, we recommend taking your time with it instead, tackling Sweet Dreams Alex as a palette cleanser in between playing ‘bigger’ games instead of as a main course. If you do complete the main campaign but still want to continue protecting Alex from nightmares, then know that the game comes with a full-fledged level creator and the option to share your creations with the community. It all adds up to a sizable package, especially keeping the $14.99/€14.79 RRP in mind.


If you’re looking for a cozy and casual game to play in between marathon sessions of AAA titles, then you shouldn’t sleep on Sweet Dreams Alex. While the game isn’t particularly suited for playing for extended periods of time, it’s perfect for short and sweet bursts. Sweet Dreams Alex finds a perfect balance between being forgiving and challenging at the same time. The story may not be the deepest, and the soundscape doesn’t stand out, but the gameplay and cutesy visuals more than make up for this. That’s without even mentioning how much bang you’re getting for your buck.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Sweet Dreams Alex - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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