I honestly tried to play it. Don't get me wrong, I like myself a good challenge, I've got RPG on Isaac: Afterbirth and just finished NG+6 on Dark Souls: PtDE. This, however, isn't hard. It's frustrating.
As far as I've seen it, gameplay is garbage. There would be absolutely no challenge in escaping this Dream Eater guy save for one thing: his spawning script makes no bloody sense. I tried walking, I tried sprinting, I tried crawling a few steps a minute, I tried standing still. It won't matter. This guy spawns anyway, at random intervals. And he doesn't just spawn behind you or ahead of you, he spawnes wherever he wants. Seriously, I've died a few times just because this cunt spawned up my fucking nostrils!
Speaking of "ahead of you", this "loop with the shadow", as you call it, is shit. Wardrobes are too far to reach because when you move inbetween the rooms, this guy spawns not behind you like any sensible monster, but ahead of you, so you have to go back and forth inbetween the rooms until this "shadow" decides that it has better things to do with it's life(?). I don't blame the chap. I think the same of the whole game myself.
Then, there's death. Every time you die, you get back to the real world, have to munch on some pills and go back to sleep. A neat little thing, but there's a catch. You wake up at your bed, and your pills are in the kitchen on the other side of the bloody house, the process of taking pills is excruciatingly slow, and your character runs at a snail's pace. Not to mention there's nothing else to do, or look at in the house but collect notes.
Oh yeah, notes! Not only those ooze with clichés, every time you die, those reset, and you have to collect them all over again. Some notes appear at places you can't return to, but they reset anyway, so I presume that if you die, those are lost forever. I stopped caring about those altogether the third time I died, because picking them up means waiting for a second or two before you can move on with your game. A second or two doesn't sound that much, but they add up, because there's a shitload of those notes, and, again, they all reset upon death.
Let's talk about death mechanics, shall we? Death in a videogame should be a punishment. You have to get better to avoid death, and if you die, you should be sent back indeed. The difference between a good death mechanic and a bad one is this: sending the character to the beginning of the challenging place is good. Sending them to an absolutely pointless time consuming fragment before the challenging place is bad. The player should be able to retry the challenge right away, not go to shove some drugs down his throat for the 27th goddamn time the same fucking night.
But here's the weirdest thing. Despite the game sending you back to have a walk of shame in your house and resetting all the useless notes, the ACTUAL challenging part - the clock "puzzle" - doesn't reset upon death. I'm sorry, what? You did it the other fucking way around, how do you even do that?
There's nothing even to give credit for, too. The atmosphere settles in for the first 5 minutes, then gets thrown out the window by shit gameplay. The soundtrack is unimpressive, the pixel-art is stale (it's 2017 outside, for fuck's sake think of something new already!) and jumpscares got too old about 20 years ago.
This game is really, really poorly planned. From the main character that's too dumb to realize that if you can't sleep without pills you could place them at your bed, not on the other side of your fucking house just so you can stumble upon furniture in darkness (because apparently our character likes it with no electricity at all - none of the lights switch on and he doesn't mind), to numb, unfair and repetitive gameplay to boring setting, this game leaves impression that creators made a home project to learn programming - a project that should've never seen the light of day.
Excuse me, what? IT WAS FRONTPAGED!?