Klonoa: Empire of Dreams was the first handheld game in the Klonoa franchise to be released in the North American and European markets. Klonoa: Empire of Dreams was released for the Game Boy Advance on July 19, 2001 in Japan, September 11, 2001 in North America, and on March 29, 2009 in PAL regions. The game was published and developed by Namco. Taking place between the two PlayStation games (Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil), Klonoa: Empire of Dreams is a 2D side-scrolling platforming game.
The game opens with Klonoa waking up from a dream in the Kingdom of Jilius. He is dragged in front of the emperor, who has banned dreams from the kingdom due to the fact that he suffers from insomnia and cannot experience dreams for himself (although he claims that dreams are a complete waste of time). Klonoa, instead of being punished, is challenged to defeat four monsters who are attacking the kingdom. Klonoa's friend, Huepow, decides to help him on this adventure to defeat the four monsters.
The gameplay in Klonoa: Empire of Dreams is similar to most other 2D side-scrolling platformers, although it does differ on many aspects. The largest is the fact that Klonoa can use a ring that he has to "pick up" some enemies and items, and then either throw them or use them to "double jump." This gives levels a puzzle aspect to them as well.
Instead of trying to reach the end of the level, as with most side-scrolling games, in Klonoa the goal is to collect three stars hidden in the level. Upon collecting all three stars, the exit of the level opens and Klonoa is free to leave. Other treasure is scattered through the level, including crystals, extra lives, and hearts.