Dream Day Wedding.As Groucho Marx once said, marriage is a wonderful institution… but who wants to live in an institution? Anyone who has observed or taken part in a wedding can vouch for the peculiar strain of madness that can take hold of the participants. Men faint like they've received a hefty kick somewhere unmentionable, formerly mild-mannered women turn into mad dictators and family members choose to bring untold agony and embarrassment to both parties. Okay, so some parts of weddings are fairly normal after all.
But nothing matches the madness you'll observe in Dream Day Wedding, the new matrimonially-themed casual game from I-play. Tasked with helping a pal with their wedding preparations, you'll be sent off on a treasure hunt to find a list of items at a number of key locations – the cake shop, the dress shop and the florist among other. These items are scattered around each scene, and include the likes of snails, dominoes, conch horns and pencils. Utterly barking.
How these fit in with the wedding itself remains unclear, but it's basically an excuse to present you with a find-the–hidden-object game. Some are in plain sight, whereas others require the eagle eyes of a nine-time bridesmaid tracking the flight path of a wedding bouquet.
Uncovering said items is a simple matter of manoeuvring a hand icon over the scene with the directional keys and hitting '5' to select the objects. You're allowed two 'clues' (read: "dead give-aways") per stage if you're really stumped, upon which Cupid himself will float in and ping and arrow in the direction of the elusive item.
All the while you're searching for objects a timer ticks down, with penalties incurred if you click on too many irrelevant areas. You have the opportunity to up your time allowance by playing the occasional bonus game that crops up. Double Take is a game of spot-the-difference between two similar scenes, whilst Perfect Match sees you matching pairs of picture cards by memorising their location.
Perfect Match isn't really up to much other than providing a slight change of pace, but Double Take can be fiendishly tough as you try to track down the last few variations. Fortunately, you don't have to find every last discrepancy to proceed, so it's a welcome addition rather then a painful hindrance.
Before loading up Dream Day Wedding we wondered why such a simple game took up such a comparatively large chunk of phone memory. The answer lies in the scenes themselves - they're incredibly detailed, often measuring several screens in width. Each location is also extremely busy, with large quantities of colours and shapes taking over almost every square centimetre of screen space. In any other game this would be a disaster, but this is one mobile game where a cluttered screen and hard-to-distinguish features works in its favour.
And the core mechanic of simply finding stuff is undoubtedly compelling, in the same way that every visual puzzle from Where's Wally? to any number of spot-the-difference pictures is. That said, it's arguable how far beyond those original print-based puzzles this game has really moved the formula.
Dream Day Wedding is hardly going to appeal to a very broad slice of mobile users, as it's obviously been targeted at younger girls (and maybe budding event planners). It may seem like a bit of an oxymoron, but Dream Day Wedding is a casual-niche game. With seemingly every pre-teen girl in the country having a mobile phone nowadays, that's one heck of a niche.