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The horrifying Yume Nikki looks mundane — until it’s absolutely not (update)

Only in dreams, we see what it means

The upcoming Yume Nikki: Dream Diary reimagines the cult-favorite, terrifying RPG Maker game, according to publisher Playism. But for those who haven’t played the PC original — which is free to play on Steam — a sneak peek at the updated version’s opening should give you a sense of what to expect ... and it’s very creepy.

Out Feb. 23, Dream Diary stars a teenage hikkikomori, a Japanese word for young people who prefer the safety of their own rooms to the unknowns of the outside world. In dreams, however, she adventures to a variety of places — including, at the game’s beginning, the streets of Japan. Based on this teaser, it sure looks like there’s nothing to be afraid of. She’s just on a pleasant jog through town, it seems.

And then she reaches a pool of blood at the end of her path, with no explanation or remains.

Good things it’s all a dream, and one she immediately wakes up from. Playism says that these kinds of inexplicable, creepy occurrences are what players can expect to experience throughout Dream Diary, just as they did in the original Yume Nikki. It’s admittedly not as ... bizarre as the opening of the original game, however. Feel free to compare ahead of Dream Diary’s Feb. 23 launch.

What we’ve seen so far suggests this will be a fascinating and surreal adventure, one that we may be better off not trying to understand. There’s a gallery of nearly 30 images to peruse below, however, if you’d like to see more of these dream worlds.

Update: Playism also announced that the game will include two new pieces of in-game content that fans of the original Yume Nikki and RPG Maker classics as a whole will appreciate. The first is an upgraded version of Nasu called Super Nasu, a minigame within the free-to-play Yume Nikki that let players calm down from their nightmares by shooting some inanimate objects for points.

The second is a collaboration with Ao Oni, another freeware survival horror game about teens hoping to leave a haunted mansion without a little demon killing them first. The game spawned a series of novels, live-action film and an anime. You could argue that 2008’s Ao Oni is an even bigger success than Yume Nikki — although it certainly looks just as creepy. Expect content inspired by the demon adventure within Dream Diary.

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