Childhood friendship is invaluable and something you’ll want to last forever. Unfortunately, that’s not how it turns out for Haruka and Shiina, a breakdown causing Haruka to retreat into herself, abandoning her best friend in the process. Five years of depression and despair later, the two reunite at the old abandoned theme park, Dreamy Planet, for a trip down memory lane. Has too much time passed or have the two been given a second chance at figuring out how to move forward… together?
Even without having played Dreamy Planet, meaning I’m basing this entirely on the description provided by the developer, Haruka’s struggles are almost too relatable. Work-related genuine exhaustion – whether mentally, physically, or both – is not an uncommon problem in this day and age, and more and more end up facing some level of depression as a result. Hopefully, the loss of one’s best and/or childhood friend is a much less common occurrence, although the two can definitely go hand-in-hand, no matter how strong the relationship is.
Haruka and Shiina used to be inseparable. They grew up together, went to school together, and ardently believed that they would always be best friends.
Could Haruka and Shiina still have been best friends if Haruka had made one or more different choices along the way? Hard to say, but at least the two are given a second chance, courtesy of Shiina reaching out about “an impromptu trip to a favourite haunt of theirs from their youth”. Much like their friendship, Dreamy Planet has fallen into disrepair and is in a miserable state. But the broken rollercoasters, fractured spinning teacups, and other worn-down rides matter little to Haruka and Shiina. They’re not revisiting their old haunt for the amusement park contents so much as to help them look back on better times.
With a little bit of luck and a lot of effort, there just might be hope yet for them – even more so if Haruka can find the courage to tell Shiina how she really feels, finally setting that long-kept secret free. It was after all Shiina who reached out half a decade after Haruka called it quits on the two of them, so returning the favor with a dose of emotional up-frontness wouldn’t be the worst thing ever in this yuri visual novel. Oh, and it’s a kinetic (no choices/branches) story, meaning there’s only one way for it all to end, bad or good. Fingers crossed for the latter, in spite of the odds being stacked ever so heavily against Haruka and Shiina.
Dreamy Planet is available on Steam and itch.io with a $6.99 price tag.