Independent game designer Derek Yu enjoyed the game, comparing its visual theme to EarthBound and stating "The lack of dialogue or any 'action' fills me with this strange sense of dread". Gamertell's Jenni Lada scored the game 85 out of 100. She praised the unique premise, distinct art style and abstract gameplay which evokes a "dream world experience". Lada noted the geometry of the dream areas, which allows for loops and exitless rooms, and found that it could be "winding and confusing". Whilst she warned that it won't be to everyone's tastes due to "dark or graphic imagery" and found the ending to be disappointing, she concluded that Yume Nikki was worth experiencing. Kotaku's John Jackson praised the game for its ethereal dream-like setting and its non-linear gameplay mechanic, stating, "Out of every games [sic] about dreams, this is the one that probably comes closest to actually resembling one". He goes on to argue the game's limitations and vast, undefinable architecture forces the player to question their surroundings and the significance of the smallest actions and events that confront them.
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