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Use Touch, Not Sight, to Interpret Clues in Dream Catcher

Can players find a dream among a series of beautifully illustrated cards, using their powers of deduction and their sense of touch?

Published by Magellan, Dream Catcher is a cooperative, clue-giving party game for 2-6 players that plays in roughly 30 minutes.

Gameplay

Each round, the role of lead player shifts. The lead player draws four dream cards and five touching cards. The dream cards show detailed, colorful illustrations. The touching cards have raised lines to create a simple picture. The lead player looks at both sets of cards and picks one of the dream cards. He then spreads out the dream cards, face-up, on the table without telling the other players which card he chose.

The lead player then chooses 2-5 of his touching cards that he feels are good clues for the dream he selected, and hands them face-down to the other players. Each player receives one card. If there are not enough touching cards to go around, players who were not handed a card by the lead player will share a card with one of the other players. Each guesser will always only have one touching card during a round.

Keeping their touching cards face-down so they cannot see the front, players will attempt to feel out the raised lines to deduce what the pictures on the cards are. They will then discuss their cards and try to guess which dream card they believe is the chosen one based on the clues they were given.

If the players guess correctly, they flip one of the nine night tokens face-up. If they guessed incorrectly, they discard one of the face-down night tokens. After there are no more face-down night tokens, the game ends and players determine their final score based on how many face-up night tokens they have.

Review

There are a lot of party games available today where one player tries to clue in the others as to which illustration is the correct one. They all tend to bring a little something different to the table, from the way those clues are given to how teams are divided up. Consequently, Dream Catcher won’t feel particularly new, but it’s a really enjoyable genre of game, and it does feel a little different here. If you are still interested in playing new versions of this concept, this is one to check out.

Trying to feel out what the raised pictures are is quite tricky, and making a connection and figuring out exactly what it is you are feeling, is quite satisfying. There is a range to them, as well, from objects to symbols, and players often have to think about what sort of picture would have a particular shape in it before they can deduce what it is.

It is nice that the role of clue giver and guessers shift every round, as this is one game where guesser definitely feels like the more enjoyable role.

The box is a little flimsy and the insert inside arrived torn, but the gameplay components themselves are well-made. The illustrations are beautiful, and the dream cards are all a treat to look at. The game also has a nice, pleasant theme and the components present it nicely.

Unfortunately, we did notice a rule discrepancy. The rules state that one player can only receive one touching card per round, but they also state that the game can be played with two players and that the clue giver chooses 2-5 clue cards. Can he not give more cards than there are players? And if he must give two cards at least, how can this then be playable with only two people?

This discrepancy is head-scratching and it’s strange that it wasn’t caught when writing up the rulebook, but it’s pretty easy to create a house rule. The game itself is quite enjoyable, well-designed, and the touching cards are unique and fun to play with.

Pros: Beautiful illustrations, unique touching card mechanic, clue giver role shifts each round

Cons: A pretty significant rule discrepancy, there are a lot of similar games, the clue giver role is not as much fun as guesser

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.



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