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 Talking to the receptionist (Spanish version). All the dialogues in the game are displayed like this
DreamWeb DOS Moving to a new location
DreamWeb DOS In the lobby of Regency hotel
DreamWeb DOS Death awaits you more often than not, too. Here, you are suddenly  killed in an instant while admiring the sci-fi imagery

User Reviews

Blood, sex, and point & click DOS Oleg Roschin (174057)
Am I evil? DOS Stijn Daneels (85)
What went wrong? You really don't know... DOS *Katakis* (38182)
A cyberpunk highlight in the history of adventure games DOS Apogee IV (2332)
Edgy, violent, gritty, confusing, moody... that's Dreamweb for you folks. DOS Zovni (9314)
One of the best atmospheric cyberpunk games ever released DOS Emanuele Ravasi (20)
Everything games are not anymore. DOS Sonic Terminator2 (3)
Ah, the mixed-bag that is edgy software... DOS Vance (98)
100 % pure atmosphere DOS n-n (52)

Critic Reviews

Datormagazin Amiga Jul, 1995 5 out of 5 100
Power Play DOS Oct, 1994 85 out of 100 85
Amiga Joker Amiga Mar, 1994 83 out of 100 83
Przygodoskop DOS Apr 17, 2011 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Joystick (French) Amiga Jan, 1995 79 out of 100 79
Play Time Amiga Dec, 1994 78 out of 100 78
Play Time DOS Oct, 1994 73 out of 100 73
Abandonia Times DOS May, 2009 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Adventure Classic Gaming DOS Dec 11, 2006 2 out of 5 40
Adventure Gamers DOS May 23, 2008 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Let's Play! Dreamweb 1 Silver Spook
Sep 14, 2015
Freeware release 10 Daniel Saner (2740)
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. The floppy version and six different CD versions (UK, US, French, German, Italian, Spanish) are available for download on the ScummVM website.

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

Contributed to by EboMike (3005) and Soulbreather (18)