Solomon's Key for the NES was released in Japan on this day in 1986.

DreamWeb (DOS)

69
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Description

Ryan, a bartender from a dystopian future can't sleep peacefully for months. His nights are sequences of nightmares and strange dreams, days with frequent black-outs with strange visions, until one night a figure in monk attire appears to him, and tells him the story of the seven evil ones, uniting to destroy to Dreamweb, the only barrier between the world and darkness. The monk makes a proposition: Ryan becomes the "deliverer": the one who would keep the Dreamweb safe by killing those who try to destroy it.

Descending into paranoia and just wanting dreams to stop, Ryan accepts the mission, then wakes up in a puddle of cold sweat, next to his beloved girlfriend in her house, and late for work. Again.

DreamWeb is a top-down adventure game set in a gritty futuristic dystopian city. Each location takes only a small portion of the screen without panning (except an optional small zoom window in the corner that follows the cursor), with the player interacting with objects and people by simply clicking them. Ryan has a limited inventory space, and as a lot of objects can be picked up (many without any use), the player must rationalize what might be useful and what just serves as filler.

Dialogue is straightforward, with no options, but still required to advance in the game (to find new locations, for instance). In situations where many adventure games usually feature an indirect approach to solve a problem, Ryan often faces himself with situations where it's "killed or be killed", which result in deaths (sometimes of innocents). The game also contains a few scenes with graphically explicit sexual situations.

The original release of the game included Diary Of a (Mad?) Man, a 40-page diary telling the descent of Ryan into madness, or his destiny, written by Stephen Marley, providing a complete background to the events leading to the start of the game.

Screenshots

DreamWeb DOS Your girlfriend's bedroom
DreamWeb DOS In front of Sparky's bar
DreamWeb DOS Some of the missions will require you to infiltrate corporate buildings. You enter Studio TV on your way to assassination...
DreamWeb DOS Exploring subterranean tombs. The playing area is indeed very small in this game. It seems very annoying at first, but you'll feel how it contributes to the oppressive atmosphere

User Reviews

Blood, sex, and point & click אולג 小奥 (168604) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
What went wrong? You really don't know... *Katakis* (37795) 4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars
A cyberpunk highlight in the history of adventure games Apogee IV (2336) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Edgy, violent, gritty, confusing, moody... that's Dreamweb for you folks. Zovni (9366) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
One of the best atmospheric cyberpunk games ever released Emanuele Ravasi (20) unrated
Everything games are not anymore. Sonic Terminator2 (3) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Ah, the mixed-bag that is edgy software... Vance (98) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
100 % pure atmosphere n-n (52) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

The Press Says

Retrogaming History Jun 22, 2010 8.5 out of 10 85
Adventure's Planet Jan 18, 2012 85 out of 100 85
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Dec, 1994 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 83
Joystick (French) Oct, 1994 80 out of 100 80
PC Games (Germany) Dec, 1994 78 out of 100 78
Jeuxvideo.com Feb 16, 2010 15 out of 20 75
The DOS Spirit Nov 11, 2005 4 out of 6 67
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Dec, 1994 7 out of 12 58
Adventure Classic Gaming Dec 11, 2006 2 out of 5 40
Adventure Gamers May 23, 2008 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Freeware release 10 Daniel Saner (2472)
Mar 11, 2013

Trivia

Censored version

In some countries, a "censored" CD version was released. One of the slight changes made was the assassination of David Crane. In the floppy and uncensored CD versions of the game, he is naked and having sex with a woman. In the censored CD version, however, he is wearing shorts.

Controversy

Make no mistake, this game is violent. It also became the focus of attention in '94 because it contained a single sex scene. It was banned for supposed 'sexualised violence' in Australia.

Freeware release

On October 21, 2012 the game was released as freeware download on ScummVM. There are the floppy version and five different CD versions (UK, US, French, German, Spanish) available for download.

Manual

Dreamweb came with a manual called Diary of a Mad? Man including a diary with the thoughts and rantings of Ryan, the character you play. The diary also plays an important role in completion of the game since there are vital hints in it.

References

  • The second person you have to kill is called Sterling. Bruce Sterling is one of the most famous cyberpunk novel writers.
  • The number of Louis' apartment is 42, taken from Douglas Adams' classic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Eden's personal notepad is made by a company called "HAL", an obvious nod to Kubrick and Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Soundtrack

An audio CD with the soundtrack was released in 95. It contains ten tracks, remixes, based on MODs, which were used in game.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#12 Worst Back Story of All Time
Information also contributed by Apogee IV, Banjo, Emanuele Ravasi, Jaromir Krol, Jeanne and Virgil

Related Web Sites

Soulbreather (18) added DreamWeb (DOS) on Jul 10, 2000
Other platforms contributed by EboMike (3009)