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The first chapter of The Dream Machine came out way back in, wow, December 2010, but the sixth and final episode of this claymation/cardboard/built-from-real-sets adventure game finally has a release date: May 11. May 11 2017. That's next week, or around two-and-a-half years since the last chapter released.
Not that I'm annoyed at the increasingly long gaps, because a) I've only played the first chapter, and b) just look at how much effort goes into each and every scene.
I'm not entirely sure what The Dream Machine is all about, other than it stars a man named Victor, who moves into a distinctly creepy apartment in the first chapter, before travelling to far more fanciful, dreamlike worlds made from real-world materials including cardboard, broccoli and, er, condoms. "In the concluding chapter," the Steam page for Chapter 6 explains, "Victor must journey to the heart of dreams in order to rescue his loved ones from the dream machine". That sounds suitably climactic.
From what I've heard, each chapter has been gradually getting bigger and more ambitious, with a slight increase to the price tags to match. If you're looking to get onboard, know that a sale is planned for the previous chapters on Steam, presumably at the same time that Chapter 6 releases.
Even by episodic adventure game standards, The Dream Machine's fifth chapter has been a long time coming. Not quite as long as the wait between chapters 3 and 4 (that took 21 months), but at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, turns out making a game out of beautifully detailed, stop-motion characters and environments takes a really, really, really long time. Really. As with Kentucky Route Zero, however, I suspect it will be worth the wait, and I'd much rather the developers deliver a belated, quality episode than dial down their ambitions to adhere to a schedule.
Chapter 5 of the surreal adventure game will arrive on the 14th of November, and there's a sneak peek of it above in the accompanying trailer. Blimey—look at the effort that goes into making a single scene. I'm reminded of this brilliant sketch from The Fast Show:
The Dream Machine's first four chapters (along with the bundle of all six) is currently going for 50% off on Steam for the next day or so.