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File Details
  • executable: DREAMWEB.EXE
  • talkie demo, needs SoundBlaster @ IRQ5

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Game description

Dreamweb certainly stands out from the other adventure games of its time. Behind the ascetic top-down presentation lies an intense, gripping dark story that blends cyberpunk-esque futuristic themes with magical mysticism and film noir vibes. The main character, Ryan, is a troubled misfit that finds himself embroiled in a dark conspiracy involving outworldly powers, becoming a pawn in a sinister scheme of cosmic proportions.

The game, although presented in a visually simple way, features a good degree of realistic interactivity. The story takes place in a city in not-so-far future, and you will visit various locations like bars, hotels and private lodgings, all furnished with items that you'd normally expect to find in such places. For example, you can explore a hotel room and pick a bar of soap in the bathroom. However, many of the items are just decorations that serve no other purpose than to create the impression of a realistic world.

Some interactions are animated, but text descriptions often complement the visuals, and you can click on Ryan's face for the usual "look" command that provides a brief description of your surroundings. The interface is on the whole quite original and takes some getting used to. For example, when you approach a character, a description will be given along with a simple picture of that character in the top right corner. You need to click on that picture to talk, which is not really obvious for first-time players.

The game actually forfeits some of the usual features of the genre, such as non-linear dialogue with various reply options available to the player. Instead, most characters will either provide some world-building information, or the interaction will be completely scripted with no player input. The main focus is more on action, giving the story a cinematographic feel. There are no zany puzzles to be solved, as everything in the world of Dreamweb more or less follows realistic logic. Nevertheless, expect the usual pixel hunting routine, which in this case is aided by the "magnifying glass" option that gives you a closer look of any selected area of the screen.

The soundtrack deserves special mention, as it contributes immensely to the oppressing atmosphere of the game, and works its magic to turn the simple visuals into a believable world that is mostly hostile to the player.

Dreamweb was originally sold commercially, released on floppies and on CD, with the latter version containing digitized speech and CD Audio soundtrack. The game became freeware on 21 October 2012 and can be downloaded from the ScummVM website, being compatible with that engine.

Description by MrFlibble

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Game screenshots

Game video by Ancient DOS Games