While you'll control the children at various points in the game, the demo focused entirely on Nights, who flies along preset paths. It's a score-based game, and you rack up the points by directing Nights through rings positioned throughout the levels. Some rings induce a change of direction, so other flight paths can be investigated, and by hitting successive rings with smooth, quick movements it's possible to link them together to form combos.
Enemies will try to block the way, but performing a loop around them will turn them into jewels that add to the overall score. All levels are played against a strict time limit, including the boss stage - a vertically scrolling fight against a bulbous baddie who had to be battered into submission while avoiding obstacles.
If there's anything radically different from the Saturn version in here, Sega certainly wasn't prepared to show it. But people have been yearning for a Nights follow-up for more than 10 years now, and if Journey of Dreams can replicate the atmosphere, playability and imagination of the original then it's going to be very well received. Perhaps a Virtual Console outing could be in order, too.