Every Wednesday (even though I had to delay this week’s Itching For More by a day, sorry !), Itching For More appears in front of your eyes, as if you are living in some waking nightmare, where small alt games are discussed weekly. This week, Dream Diary: Awkward Dimensions Redux
Awkward Dimensions Redux, by Steven Harmon, is about dreams. Steve Harmon’s dreams, to be specific. Awkward Dimensions Redux feels like a nonstop flow of Harmon’s thoughts, his aspirations, his stupid jokes, his shortcomings and flaws, his worries, his goals, his dreams. In order to communicate all of this, Harmon pushes and pulls on the definition of a dream, stretching it, whilst enjoying the broad strokes it allows him.
Because a dream can be anything.
It can be anywhere, be any length and look like anything.
A dream can be a strange vision of the night, or an aspiration, tucked deep inside of you.
Awkward Dimensions Redux manages to portray all of these and more, throughout its 18 dreams. Constantly barraged by information, the dreams slowly transition from Jazzpunk-esque surrealness, into rambles and personal vignettes, evocative of scenes from The Beginner’s Guide.
Whilst I cover alt-games every week on Itching For More, it’s rare to find one quite as raw and intensely personal as this. Because despite the silly jokes, there are scenes within Awkward Dimensions that are quite affecting. These scenes are less grandiose statements about life, and more small emotional bubbles— relaxing on a beach, arguing passionately about a subject, desperately trying to get over an ex.
The theme that connects all the dreams together is one of escape. One that dreams should be somewhere to escape from real world anxieties. Yet, the fears follow into the dreams, pursuing and forcing a confrontation with the thoughts — whether they be good or bad. Perhaps this is why the purpose of each level is to find the exit — so that you can continue to run away from your thoughts.
Yet the further you run, the more they pursue. There is one particular scene, called “Sabotage”, set in the ruins of a Cathedral, thoughts enveloping you, that feels like it directly shows just what Awkward Dimensions is about — the never ending thoughts, worries, nerves, anxieties, fears, that run constantly through your head. The thoughts slowly fade in and out of focus, until you stop them from working.
Awkward Dimensions is an exploration on what makes us tick. What we push ourselves towards, what we dream about, what we fear and worry about. It’s about how we sabotage ourselves, about how we run away from what we need to confront and how we trap ourselves in loops, falling over and over and over.
If Awkward Dimensions is about understanding someone, through their dreams, who am I to interpret them? Who gave me the right to peer into someone else’s head, and judge them, pointing out their flaws, their needs and then walking away? But what it does give us is a good picture of who this person is and how they work. Because nothing is more personal, than sharing your dreams.
Awkward Dimensions is free, available here