Added to the lair: 2/12/18 / Updated 4/9/19

Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 3rd person

Developer: Creative Reality

Year: 1994

Platform: DOS

Emulator: DOSBox Daum / Retroarch

Wikipedia: Dreamweb

Dreamweb

The web of dreams is slowly unwinding

Dreamweb is a unique game - it has a story that's equal parts simple and impenetrably opaque, an unusual aesthetic, great music, and one hell of an atmosphere.

 

In a basic sense it's similar to other item-based point-and-click adventure titles in that you find objects in the world and combine them with others to solve puzzles, but it was unusual in that you could pick up nearly anything in the game world, often with little indication of which ones might be important (though in some cases multiple items could be used for the same task). Obviously this can make things more complicated when you're dealing with a game designed around taking X and combining it with Y, but it also makes it more realistic in the sense that, in the real world, there wouldn't be a big glowing indicator that "Hey you need this thing!" and you're just as capable of picking up a coffee cup as that illudium q-36 explosive space modulator.

 

It has some extremely violent sequences as well as a very small amount of nudity in all its tiny pixel-art glory (which was later censored in the CD version), both of which were fairly unusual and controversial for the time. Something that stuck out to me at the time was just how vastly different the tone of the game was from many other point-and-clicks I'd played before - I was used to things like Lucasarts and some of Sierra's work like the Space Quest series which were very funny and light-hearted and this was like the polar-opposite of that; and it pre-dates things like Harvester, Phantasmagoria, and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. It has this consistently crushing sense of dread... it's wonderful.

 

It's not a perfect game by any stretch, and it's quite short, but there's really not much else quite like it - it's one I still come back to relatively frequently just to get absorbed in the atmosphere again.