Melatonin Switch review – chill dreams and even chiller tunes

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Melatonin Switch review – chill dreams and even chiller tunes

When I first heard about Melatonin, a pastel-coloured rhythm game based on dreams, I was immediately hooked. As someone who plays rhythm games religiously, I’m always looking for a new one to test my skills, and Melatonin does just that. This beautiful indie game from Half Asleep Games mixes the gameplay of Rhythm Heaven with the aesthetics of Bee and Puppycat and ties it all to a soundtrack of lo-fi beats to relax and unwind to. 

In Melatonin, you play as a hoodie-wearing guy who keeps falling asleep on his sofa, and you travel into his dreams. Each dream is themed after something, like food and shopping, or more existential topics like the future and time itself. Each dream is a mini-game, teaching you a new audio or visual cue, and at the end of each night, you play a final dream combining the four mechanics you just learned.

Anyone familiar with the Rhythm Heaven series will recognise this level design, but Melatonin’s narrative feels completely different to those games. The final level of each night feels like that chaotic moment just before you wake up where all of your dreams meld into one big, confusing jumble. The game’s consistent pastel colour palette and stunning hand-drawn art make sure that this doesn’t feel too jarring though, while still making it challenging.

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