The Dream Machine is an award-winning adventure game about dreams and voyeurism. It's built by hand using materials such as clay and cardboard.
User reviews: Very Positive (384 reviews) - 95% of the 384 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 11, 2012

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Buy The Dream Machine (Chapter 1 and 2)

Packages that include this game

Buy The Dream Machine Bundle

This Dream Machine Bundle will give you access to Chapters 1-6 as they are released.


Recommended By Curators

"Chapter 5 is an excellent entry in a really wonderful game series."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (32)

October 13

October Update


I'm sipping on some coffee, looking out over the line-up of odd clay figures sitting on my windowsill. One of the figures (who's supposed to be god) looks like he's smoking a joint. I can't say I blame him. Gods need to get their rocks off as well I suppose. Besides, it's a dull grey day in Sweden. Kinda makes me want to go back to bed.

I'm taking a brief break from Chapter 6 in order to deliver a steaming hot update. It's fairly meaty this time, mostly addressing small niggles in Chapter 5. It might not win any awards, or instigate a revolution, but it's another step towards making this game perfect.

If you want to check out all the nasty, sexy details, you'll find a rundown below:

Update contents:
• Engine: Added 'endDialogue' option to task manager
• Chapter 1: Swapped graphics to high-resolution equivalents
• Chapter 3: Removed bench interaction
• Chapter 4: Tweaked dialogue
• Chapter 5: Removed graphical glitch in Selma's room
• Chapter 5: Tweaked object descriptions
• Chapter 5: Tweaked interaction results
• Chapter 5: Added dialogue options with lynch mob
• Chapter 5: Optimized the laser beam graphic
• Chapter 5: Optimized lake water animation
• Chapter 5: Removed an interaction button once the wall is breached
• Chapter 5: Added object interactions
• Chapter 5: Fixed a walk area bug
• Chapter 5: Enlarged navigation button
• Chapter 5: Fixed armour interaction displaying wrong
• Chapter 5: Added hints (if 'Hint mode' is on)

As always: shout out in the comments below if you encounter anything strange/buggy in the game. Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to report an issue in the game!


- a

0 comments Read more

September 19

September Update


It's Saturday in Sweden and I'm uploading a fresh volley of files for the game. While I wait for them to finish I sip from a glass of Prosecco, absentmindedly gazing out over the horizon. The color on the trees have started to change. Autumn is approaching.

Chapter 6 is still a while away from release, but it's looking really sweet. It keeps surprising me and Erik – which is a good sign. At this point it's obvious that the game has a life of its own and we're just invited along for the ride, making minor course suggestions here and there. I think it's safe to say that it will be the strangest chapter so far...

As for the update, you'll find all the nasty, sexy details below:

Update #1 (2015-09-19):
• Chapter 2: Added hints to statue puzzle (if hint mode is on)
• Chapter 4: Tweaked note book texts
• Chapter 4: Made sure some states saves permanently
• Chapter 5: Tweaked dialogue
• Chapter 5: Tweaked walkable surfaces
• Chapter 5: Fixed inconsistent cube behavior
• Chapter 5: Optimized beam graphics
• Chapter 5: Fixed typos
• Chapter 2, 4 & 5: Tweaked background graphics
• Chapter 2, 4 & 5: Tweaked background sounds

We hope you like it. Shout out in the comments below if you encounter anything strange/buggy in the game. Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to report an issue in the game!


- a

9 comments Read more


"To play something like The Dream Machine, so exquisitely constructed, so smartly designed, and so atmospherically unique, is a singular pleasure." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"It's so confidently strung together, both in terms of narrative and gameplay, that it's easy to forget that it's the work of just two indie developers."
8/10 - Eurogamer

"A series filled with mystery and charm, elevated to lofty heights by its whimsical clay and cardboard design, surreal storyline, and heartfelt attention to detail."
4/5 - Adventure Gamers

"The Dream Machine is the best adventure game that I've played in the last decade – and maybe in my entire life."
9.5/10 - CD-Action

About This Game

The Dream Machine is an award-winning adventure game about dreams and voyeurism. It's built by hand using materials such as clay and cardboard.

In Chapter 1 of the 6 part Dream Machine series, you play as Victor Neff, the husband in a young couple who've just moved into a new apartment. While trying to get settled in you discover that all is not as it seems in the quiet, unassuming apartment building...

In Chapter 2, Victor goes to confront the landlord, Mr. Morton, only to find his apartment empty. Can Victor find the elusive landlord in time and is there more to Mr. Morton than meets the eye?

Key Features

  • World: Explore a creepy apartment complex and uncover the mysteries within. Get to know your neighbours and discover their secrets.
  • Story: Delve into the minds of strangers and loved ones as you’re trying to save them from The Dream Machine.
  • Graphics: Wander around beautifully detailed environments built using physical clay models and hand-crafted sets.
  • Puzzles: In order to progress you have to solve puzzles ranging from simple pushovers to fiendish brainteasers.
  • Music: A haunting original soundtrack weaves through the narrative, emphasizing the surreal atmosphere of the game.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    OS: Windows XP or later
    Processor: 1.8 GHz processor
    Memory: 1 GB RAM
    Hard Drive: 600 MB HD space
    OS: OSX Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later
    Processor: Intel Mac 1.8 GHz processor
    Memory: 1 GB RAM
    Hard Drive: 600 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
26 of 27 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
Another drop in the vast ocean of point-and-click adventure games, The Dream Machine stands like a beacon signaling a reinvention of the worn genre. With landscapes and characters created entirely out of clay and cardboard, Erik Zaring and Andes Gustafsson helm this unexpected foray into our subconscious.
The Dream Machine tells the story of Victor Neff, a man who has just moved into a brand new apartment with his pregnant girlfriend Alicia. However, after their first night here, they begin to realize there's something incredibly "off" about this place. They both have strange dreams, the landlord is kind of creepy, and the previous tenant has left a mysterious note of warning. Though the dreams could just be a result of the stress of moving day and the note could have easily been a prank, things just keep getting weirder, prompting Victor to investigate.
The very first thing players will notice about the Dream Machine is its unique art style. In fact, the game was nominated for an award in "Excellence in Visual Arts" at the 14th Annual Independent Games Festival. That's because Cockroach Inc. has taken a different approach to game design: they decided to make all the set pieces and characters out of cardboard and clay. No polygons invited. This coats the whole affair in a layer of imperfection; it's flawed and raw, but in a way that gives it a deeper level of humanity. In fact, the guys at Cockroach have even admitted to intentionally leaving fingerprints on some of the objects in the game to accomplish this very thing.
The story is an admittedly adult tale of new beginnings, represented by both the move to a new apartment and the new life Victor's girlfriend carries in her womb. The Dream Machine's plot draws on basic human fears, but not in a Silent Hill sort of way. Instead, the game plays on real-life day-to-day fears that most people will encounter at some point in their time on this planet. Moving to a new place can be scary. Having a child on the way can be scary. And finding out that your landlord has a video camera in your bedroom is extremely scary.
There is a little bit of music in the game, and it's appropriately dark. Some of it is plain ominous, and other bits of it seem to accentuate certain aspects of the story. Mr. Morton's discordant jazz music fits his personality quite well, for example. Sound effects are minimal, but that sort of goes with the point-and-click territory.
The gameplay here is simple; The Dream Machine adheres to the age-old point-and-click adventure game formula, leading players through a series of puzzles before showing them each piece of the story. Thankfully, puzzles in the Dream Machine are incredibly clever. Too many point-and-click games are full of incomprehensible puzzles with completely nonsensical answers. The Dream Machine, however, has some incredibly well-thought-out solutions that will ultimately make sense. That's not to say they're easy; quite the contrary. Some of these solutions won't present themselves until you've spent a good deal of time just pondering over the things you've seen so far. But when you finally do stumble upon a solution, it's immensely satisfying.
If you have any interest at all in point-and-click games, or need a powerful defense in the "games as art" debate, you should definitely check out The Dream Machine.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
This game has been in development for about 5 years now, so far 5 out of the planned 6 chapters have been finished. The reason it has taken so long is that the entire game is being built -by hand- with real materials like cardboard, clay and wood. It is absolutely beautiful, as you can probably imagine. Not only that, but the story AND the writing are both terrific! I'd say that almost all the puzzles hold some sense of logic to them, but as this is a game about entering people's dreams, it somewhat fittingly DOES start to lose some of it's sanity with it's puzzles (as is the case with all adventure games unfortunately). I had to use a walkthrough a few times to complete it, but that's the case with pretty much any adventure game I've ever played...

I absolutely recommend playing this! It's not finished yet, and based on how long it's taken to get the first 5 chapters out, it seems like we'll be waiting a while yet for the ending, but it's a wait very much worth enduring!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I highly recommend checking out this game. I tis fun & unique and will draw you in for hours throughout many sessions, a VERY worth while adventure'-' 9/10 IndieAdventure,point&click style but I would not label it into that genre necessarily..
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Beautiful! This game is totally worth the 20 hours of gameplay! Not as well known as it should be!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
I'm not usually someone who gets into point-and-clicks - I usually get stuck or bored talking to people and I'm too guilty to use walkthroughs but I made it through the first 3 chapters with only one less-than-ovious head-scratching moment.

It's weird to look at, weird to play and so probably not for everyone but I love it - it's has a great balance of creepy and mysterious and it's quite original in places too.

Puzzles are tricky sometimes but there are no red herrings (tho I've no idea about the bench in Chapter 3!) and everything you need is reasonably easy to find if you look in the right places. There are oo tiny changes in the cursor or 2-pixel-wide items - movement is quick - no convoluted dialogues to dig through - you mostly just play the game instead of walking, talking and so on.

Update: since writing that I've tried Chapter 4 and - unfortunately - I keep running into a crash bug which leaves me unable to continue. This isn't ideal but hopefully the developer will address it/I'll figure out a different way around the problem - and the puzzles do seem a LOT harder in this episode too! :(
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