Dreambound (Early Access) BL Demo Review

Fresh off the release of their fantasy BL visual novel, The Divine Speaker, indie developer Two and a Half Studios is back to bless boys love gamers with another new story! Today, the team dropped the demo for their upcoming game, Dreambound. Follow introverted artist Noah, who has long since given up on life. Soon a series of mysterious murders forces him to confront the demons in his past in order to finally move on with his life. Thanks to the awesome folks at Two and a Half Studios Blerdy Otome was able to get an early look at the demo before the official release! So, here are my thoughts on the demo so far!

Game Details

  • Drama | Boys Love | Mystery
  • Price: $24.99 (Full Game)
  • Rating: 15+
  • Where to Play: itch.io | Steam


What’s real, and what’s only a dream?

Alone, confined within his prison, the man sits, his back slouched and his arm raised.

In his hand, a paintbrush. 

A weapon in his eyes, perhaps. A tool that could create something from nothing.

Waves crash onto the white shores. The night sky reflects back on itself, a sea of stars amidst the swirling currents. All is calm, yet not.

But, as it were, that world didn’t exist. Couldn’t exist. It would never exist. It could not be created by this hand.

By this hand, all he could create was loneliness.

Official Synopsis

When introverted artist Noah finds himself deep within a series of murders, he’s forced out of his shell and back into reality—or in his case, back into the dreams of those that wronged him in the past.

Surrounded by grief, will Noah be able to move forward and solve the mystery⁠—or will he give in to the demons of his past?

A tale of loss and love, the past and the future. In the world of dreams, will Noah find a way to face reality?


  • Three Romance Options: Three different routes await you in Dreambound.
  • Captivating Illustrations: With original sprite and CG art by Sinran, you’ll be pulled right into story.
  • Gorgeous Backgrounds: Backgrounds by the fantastic anybangchu bring the world of Dreambound to life.
  • Point and Click Escape Rooms: Dreambound features a handful of escape sections—will Noah be stuck within a dream?


The Protagonist

Main Cast

Dreambound Demo Review

At this point Two and a Half Studios has more than proven they have a flair for telling captivating stories that stay with you long after you’ve finished them. So, when I started the demo for Dreambound I was prepared to throw myself headfirst into yet another immersive story and I was not disappointed. The game follows Noah, an artist who has lost his way in life after experiencing a tragedy in his past. Content with wasting away in his apartment surrounded by his blank canvases he finds solace in his memories of the past, rather than facing his own bleak reality. That is, until he finds himself drawn into a series of mysterious murders and he his forced to decide between staying locked within the safety of his dreams or finally breaking free from his past to face the future. Traverse the line between dreams and reality, explore the events from Noah’s past, and uncover the truth behind the murders.

A Murder mystery, characters with tragic pasts, and gorgeous visuals all wrapped in a tasty boys love story… What more could I ask for?!

From the start it’s very clear that Dreambound isn’t going to be a story overflowing with feel good vibes and easy answers–especially if the opening scene is anything to go off of. Noah isn’t your typical happy-go-lucky protagonist, he’s completely shut off from the rest of the world in a prison of his own making. His apartment is dreary, cluttered with blank canvases and paint, his kitchen filled with unwashed dishes. And after a brief conversation with what seems to be Noah’s only friend, he makes it very apparent that he’s just waiting to die and put an end to his own suffering. It’s a bleak start to the story and I was definitely left wondering how he got to this point.

Of course, we aren’t left wondering for long as the story shifts to Noah’s past and I’ll be honest the difference between the two is like night and day. Through the rose-colored flashbacks we get a sense of the people and events that led to Noah’s current state. Even in the midst of happier memories there’s a sense of unease, because you know that something is going to happen that will change trajectory of Noah’s life. And even though you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, you can’t help but get lost in past along with Noah. His cute friendship with his bestie Kaine. His budding attraction towards the new transfer student, August. Even his love of art and painting. Of course, reality inevitably comes crashing back in and you feel the loss of what could have been.

The game is rated 15+, so don’t expect any explicit scenes. Two and a Half Studios is launching a Kickstarter in August, so there may be some potential for a bit more spicy add-ons later. But, for now this is largely a SFW project and I am totally okay with that! I like smut as much as the next BL fan, however the mystery and promise of deeper character interactions is MORE than enough to carry this game. Lastly, there is an escape room styled point and click portion of the game and I’m going to be honest, it gave me trouble. Some of the puzzles were hard to figure out and if not for the guide, I never would have gotten out of that dungeon. But, I kinda like the challenge and it’s cool to have a more interactive gameplay mechanic thrown in for variety.

The Verdict – Is Dreambound Worth Playing?

Dreambound has a very different vibe from The Divine Speaker. With it’s melancholy tone and dream pop soundtrack it’ll put you in the mind of games like Nitro+Chiral’s Sweet Pool and Kenkou Land’s MAMIYA. A comparison that isn’t too far off seeing as the creator of MAMIYA, Kokoroten actually made the opening video for Dreambound.

This is a demo, so this is just a small taste of the full story and even with it’s short run time, Dreambound definitely leaves an impression. Along with Noah’s personal struggles, there is in fact a murder mystery aspect to the story that is just as compelling. What is the connection to Noah? His past? His dreams? There are hints that something more is going just beneath the surface, but the devs do a fantastic job of revealing just enough to whet the appetite for the full game.

Find Two and a Half Studios

Two and a Half Studios is a small indie development studio based out of Australia with a love for immersive and story-rich visual novels.

Gush about cute otome boys~