Game Reviews

Sweet Drmzzz

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| Sweet Drmzzz
Sweet Drmzzz
| Sweet Drmzzz

We've all been there. Lying in bed, anxious about waking up in time for an important event.

Finally drifting off to sleep… only to have a tiny version of yourself emerge from your head, step into your alarm clock and launch into outer space to complete increasingly tricky challenges. Right?

No? Well, good thing I'm not alone, as Bart Bonte has gone and made a game simulating this bizarre condition in order to better educate us all. And what a game it is.

Sweet dreams are made of cheese

Merging and expanding upon some of Bonte's earlier browser-based releases, Sweet Drmzzz is a delightfully dippy game, balancing a wonderful simplistic elegance with some ingenious puzzles.

Each short level showcases one of several gameplay types, always taking place on a single screen, trusting the player to work out how to progress.

Some stages take the form of a Snake variant. Here, tapping the screen rotates a space worm 90 degrees as you try to collect stars, with later versions adding several space worms all controlled simultaneously.

Who am I to diss a brie

Other stages will be familiar to fans of Bonte's earlier game sugar, sugar, as slopes you draw on the screen redirect space dust towards small moons occupied by, you guessed it, more space worms.

Multiple revisits to this game type sees the introduction of upside down moons, requiring judicious use of a switch to reverse gravity.

Later you'll encounter coloured filters that the dust must pass through before redirection to the corresponding space worm's humble abode.

And while those two stage types are how you'll spend most of your time with Sweet Drmzzz, there are a few others which I won't spoil here, all controlled with simple, intuitive taps and occasional swipes.

I cheddar the world and the feta cheese

Where the game excels is in its welcoming nature. Initially working out how a puzzle is interacted with, let alone how it is completed, is a genuine joy.

Similarly, there's no pressure to succeed - no score system, no star ratings, no timer - and you're afforded infinite retries, which become essential as the space dust puzzles ramp up their challenge.

All in all it makes for a somewhat meditative experience, punctuated by gleeful silliness that's easy to like and even easier to recommend.

Everybody's looking for Stilton

Of course, Sweet Drmzzz won't be to everyone's taste.

If you're the sort to bang on about replayability being essential in games then you should know that there's little reason to return to Sweet Drmzzz after completion.

This isn't a sprawling, state-of-the-art epic. It has no narrative component to speak of, and its series of single-screen challenges could, at a push, be likened to a mini-game compendium.

But unless you're allergic to strong, simple game design, free of any unnecessary clutter, and all accompanied by an adaptive ongoing toe-tapping tune, you might just find yourself as the newest fan of Bart Bonte and his minimalist design ethos. I know I am.

Sweet Drmzzz

Elegant, charming, challenging. Sweet Drmzzz is a masterclass in simple and intuitive game design, though won't be everyone's cup of tea
Giles Armstrong
Giles Armstrong
Having worked in the games industry since 2007, Giles knows a thing or two about how good video games are made, why bad games happen, and that great games matter. A Game & Narrative Designer by day, story-based games are quite literally his bread and butter.