Everything and the Kitchen Sink Monster is in Side-Scrolling Shmup, Daydreamer

[Editor’s note: we have no idea whether there is a Kitchen Sink Monster in Daydreamer.]

Daydreamer is a side-scrolling shoot-’em-up that’s being developed by indie developer, Roland Womack, under his label, Roland Studios.

Before you read any further, I suggest you watch the story trailer above, first.

Daydreamer is basically an excuse to throw as many crazy things together as Womack could think of into a side-scrolling shooter. In order to accomplish this, he needed a narrative framework that would make it all work, and the one he has (a tweaked version of the third act of Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence) seems to do that well enough.

Womack is the only one who really knows anything about his game at this point, so we’ll let him explain himself:

Daydreamer is the story about a transcendental, metaphysical, clairvoyant, spiritually-evolved crystal child, who awakens from a hyperbaric chamber on her home planet that was taken over by evil aliens thousands of years ago. The world is a dangerous place with radioactive warfare, genetically mutated aliens, and giant bugs. In her sleep, Olivia is confronted by one of the aliens, who tells her that she must seek out and save her brother. Soon after she awakens, the game begins.

The game plays like a conventional side-scrolling shooter, greatly inspired by Megaman and older Treasure games, i.e. Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldiers, from the 16-bit era. Aside from platforming and shooting, the game also has “Spirit Animals”, support character mercenaries that give the player a tactical edge amongst all the chaos. The game is very Boss focused, and plays like a classic arcade shoot ’em up with off-road checkpoints similar to Metroid.

The look of the game is primarily pre-rendered CGI sprites. Since the dawn of the N64, the law of the land has always been “everything 3D”. […] I have always admired the graphical fidelity of titles like Donkey Kong Country and Final Fantasy VII. Admittedly, they look dated in hindsight, but the details are what make it work. When thinking about a graphical style for the game, I always wondered what games would have looked like had developers continued this route.


Niche Gamer will have the opportunity to talk to Womack about the game at GDC. In the meantime, watch the gameplay video above, which features “dolphin-assisted therapy”. And if you want to see even more of the eclectic and eccentric stuff that will be in the side-scroller, you can click through to Womack’s Vimeo channel. [Ed: there’s even a giant Rabies Rabbit that shoots lasers out of its eyes.]

Daydreamer is currently in production for PCs. It has no release date yet, but we’ll keep you updated.

Dimi Gronnings


With over ten years' experience as an editor, Dimi is Niche Gamer's Managing Editor. He has indefinitely put a legal career on hold in favor of a life of video games: priorities.