The Dream Machine is an award-winning adventure game about dreams and voyeurism. It's built by hand using materials such as clay, cardboard and broccoli.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (498 reviews) - 93% of the 498 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 11, 2012

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Buy The Dream Machine (Chapter 1 and 2)

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Buy The Dream Machine Bundle

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

 

Recent updates View all (43)

September 1

September Update

Citizen,

Aside from Chapter 6, I've been working quite a lot on sound recently. I recently acquired a sweet pair of headphones and discovered that the sound needed some TLC. So expect a lot of sound tweaking in the coming updates. Everybody loves sound tweaks!

On the Chapter 6 front, progress has been solid and we've just finished building a very difficult portion of the game. Over the next week Erik will start building the last two sections of the game and I'll be trying to keep up implementing everything.

Short version: Still quite a lot to do. Not yet ready to set a date.

Check out the full update details below:

• Game: Fixed issues introduced with walking speed increase
• Game: Tweaked intro title graphic
• Game: Changed roll over sound on menus
• Game: Tweaked sound levels
• Chapter 1: Tweaked interactions
• Chapter 1: Tweaked inventory item graphics
• Chapter 2, 4 & 5: Tweaked bluerprint graphics
• Chapter 2, 4 & 5: Lowered volume on Morton's jazz track
• Chapter 5: Fixed spawn issue in Willard's dream
• Chapter 5: Changed the footstep sound in Willard's dream

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!

Cheers,

- a

13 comments Read more

August 1

August Update

Dear dreamers,

This has been another month were we pretty single-minded worked on Chapter 6. It's shaping up nicely, but it is still too early to set a release date. Time estimations isn't our forte, and we'd rather be fashionably coy than annoyingly wrong. We hope you understand.

The contents of this patch is mostly aimed at fixing a few issues that the walking speed increase introduced. There might still be some in the game, but they shouldn't be showstopping.

Check out the full update details below:

• Engine: Fixed task manager bug
• Demo: Updated demo
• Game: Tweaked UI
• Game: Increased sound ducking while on menus
• Chapter 3: Tweaked bartender behavior
• Chapter 3: Added porthole interactions
• Chapter 5: Fixed fail-safe mechanism in Mr Willard's dream
• Chapter 5: Increased size of right exit button by the wall
• Chapter 2, 4 & 5: Fixed issues introduced with walking speed

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!

Cheers,

- a

16 comments Read more

Reviews

"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, cardboard and broccoli. Five out of six chapters have been released so far.

In Chapter 1 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 neighbors 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

Windows
Mac OS X
    OS: Windows XP or later
    Processor: 1.8 GHz processor
    Memory: 1 GB RAM
    Hard Drive: 800 MB HD space
    Additional Notes: Mouse recommended
    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: 800 MB HD space
    Additional Notes: Mouse recommended
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (498 reviews)
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410 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Recently Posted
*BioG*Beersnwine
48.6 hrs
Posted: September 22
Hmm...I could reiterate most of what the reviews say but the machine wouldn't like that. It's creepy, inventive, challenging and some how dream like, or is it really a nightmare? Play it and find out for yourself!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AmyAldridge4
2.4 hrs
Posted: September 19
is v nice
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Detective
33.4 hrs
Posted: September 4
One of the most brilliantly designed puzzle games that I have played! Just engenious!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
delphinemusic
23.6 hrs
Posted: August 24
This is a great traditional-style point-and-click game with lovely (although a little odd) characters and background rendered in paper and clay. I found the story enthralling and the gameplay challenging, but not impossible - most of it is based in logic (as well as a little old-school point-and-click logic!).

The atmosphere and storytelling was atmosphetic, the characters stood out, and the fact it looks great and the interface is easy to use (and mistakes cannot be easily made, unlike with some games) made is so easy and fluid to play. The story is based around an interesting combination of ideas on dreams, philosophy and a little danger from basic-level AI thrown in for good measure. The puzzles are excellent and logical, and I found that with enough thought, pretty much all of them can be solved without too much stress.

I certainly found it quite addictive, and although stuck on a couple of puzzles, I got through it relatively unscathed - and it was a lot of fun to work the puzzles out; they gave quite the sense of achievement!

This is highly recommended (in fact, it was actually a very enthusiastic recommendation to me) to point-and-click enthusiasts, puzzlers, and anyone who wants to try something with deep atmostphere, great characters, and an intresting, entertaining story. It also helps that it looks pretty great too!

After playing Ch. 1 + 2, I'll certainly be getting Chapters 3-6 now for certain!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Voided Image
5.4 hrs
Posted: August 23
I have been a fan of the point and click genre of games since the early 90s when I played them as a child. This has brought back some very nostalgic feelings and memories and I must say I love it. It makes me have to think again and actually use my brain for a video game instead of just mindless hack and slash or shoot my way through an environment. I recommend this for everyone who wants a different style of play and something to make you think I cannot wait to play the rest of the chapters.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Falcon
7.8 hrs
Posted: August 22
So a must buy. Love the art style and the game plays pulls you in instanly.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
63.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
STEAM COMMUNITY IS AN ABSOLUTE MENTAL CASE!!! Cockroach Inc. accidentally develops the best game ever, and the community haven't even realized! Somebody stop them before they miss out on that once-in-a-lifetime experience!!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Wonderful game with great atmosphere. The story is excellent and engaging. I haven't really found many PnC games I liked since the Sam & Max day. This game combined with my partners interest has made me seek out others. This game was a wonderful surprise and I encourage everyone to cuddle up, turn the lights off and play it on the big screen.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
Amazing game! The atmosphere is unique and the puzzles are hard enough but not impossible, instantly making this one of my favorite games ever.

Can't wait for Chapter 6!!!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
This review is up to Chapter 5.

I enjoyed this game. The story is quite interesting with a dark theme, and I found myself wanting to learn more about what was happening. The art is great, a very interesting idea which fits well in a point-and-click game. Some of the puzzles were a bit tricky but were all in all logical for the most part, as long as you take care to remember things that might be important later.

I would recommend this game if you like point and click adventures.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
261 of 316 people (83%) found this review helpful
108 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
public class TheDreamMachineReviewGenerator {
public Review generate() {
Review r = new Review();
r.setStyle(Style.UNIQUE);
r.setLastMinuteBundlePurchase(true);
r.setStartedPlayingFor(Steam.TRADING_CARDS);
r.setKeptPlayingFor(Game.CAPTIVATING_STORY);
r.setPuzzleDifficulty(Difficulty.REALLY_CLEVER);
r.addComment(Source.WIFE, "wtf are you playing");
r.addComment(Source.WIFE, "this game freaks me out");
r.addComment(Source.WIFE, "can you just play that with zombies");
r.setCreepierThanZombies(true);
r.setCanWaitTillNextChapter(false);
r.setOverallRating("Underrated, highly recommended");
return r;
}
}
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
54 of 58 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2015
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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55 of 62 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2015
The Dream Machine is a twisted, dreamlike, sometimes disturbingly nightmarish point-and-click game done in clay animation style.
Gameplay 7.5 out of 10
The puzzles are mostly point and click some are quite easy to solve and some are a bit tricky and even a bit absurd.
Graphics 9/10
Pure honest hard work done by the hands of “sexy Swedish guys”.9 Points for the unique, morbid style. I really really like the clay graphic style. Two Thumbs up for the game devs for putting such a heck load of work into this game.
Music 8/10
Dreamlike, ominous sounds, which nicely add to the atmosphere
Story 9/10
The story is intriguing and sometimes even a bit disturbing and grim. To make it short, without spoiling anything, you travel through the dreams of various people with the help of the Dream Machine.
I'd say definitely a must buy for all point-and-click gamers and casual gamers. Although a bit grim and disturbing sometimes
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 47 people (94%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 24, 2015
I'd never heard of this game when I got it in a bundle. I now think it's the most underrated game in my library, and perhaps the most underrated point-and-click I know of. The story is incredible. It's very imaginative and becomes darker and more intriguing the deeper you go. It reminded me of the early films of Jeunet and Caro (Delicatessen, City of Lost Children) which is no small accolade. The puzzles are decent and never illogical; the few times I cheated I kicked myself when I read the solution. I would recommend The Dream Machine over many other, more renowned point-and-click games. Very glad I stumbled upon this one.
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40 of 41 people (98%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
This game is ridiculously good - so much so that I'm actually writing a review. Please PLEASE do yourself a favor and buy it - even full price! It's more than worth it.

I won't go in detail into game mechanics and whatnot (other reviews do the mechanics justice) but suffice it to say the claymation is well-done, the puzzles are interesting and often challenging, and the plot is very engaging. It's a great story! And while it's not a "scary" game, it is a deliciously disturbing one (I mean, it's based on dreams, of course it's gonna be disturbing, especially in the later chapters. I guess I'd say it's a similar feeling as watching one of Tim Burton's films, but with more blood, and a slightly more mature rating.) The only downside to this game is having to wait for the 6th chapter to come out. Rambling aside, 2 thumbs way waaaay up.
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24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2015
I'll start this review by saying that I've only played the first four chapters of this game thus far...that's four outta six, and the sixth isn't even done yet, but having completed two-thirds surely earns me my two cents. Secondly, and simply, I'll just say that this is absolutely, positively, hands-down one of the best point-and-click games that will ever be made, probably in the annals of human history, and unless the devs drop dead in the meantime you can rest at least 99% assured that they WILL finish the darned thing, even if they're taking a bit longer than they initially intended to.

But hey, which would you prefer...a really, really good point-and-click game a year ago, or a truly classic point-and-click game in, say, a couple of years from now? Cockroach Inc ain't dumb...they're in this one for the history books and the betterment of mankind, nuthin' less. And you'd better BELIEVE it, buddy-boy.

Point-and-click games and myself, we don't exactly have a history of getting along that well, but this may well emerge as my all-time personal favourite of the genre. Sure, I've required a few walkthrough consultations to date, but such is be expected with a semi-vegetative brain such as mine. Whatever you do, don't go holding my confirmed stoopidity against the game, a'ight? I'm the idiot, it's the savant. Clever mother-♥♥♥♥ers, them Cockroaches...

Verdict: 9.5/10.

(PS How many games reference - whether deliberately or inadvertently - the sheer brilliance that is David Cronenberg's VIDEODROME? Maybe a bit of EXistenZ thrown in for good measure?! Talk about taste!! Gorgeous ♥♥♥♥ing claymation, too, I might add...)
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