This is the first chapter in a five-game adventure series designed entirely with the claymotion technique, previously featured in games such as The Neverhood and Platypus. The game stars the couple Victor and Alicia Neff on the day they move into a new apartment. It largely serves as a prologue to the series, as the dream machine from the title is not yet featured in this chapter. As they familiarize themselves with the environment, start unpacking and talk to the new neighbours, they quickly do a startling discovery.
The game uses a classic point-and-click interface where every action is performed through the mouse. Players control Victor as he moves about the new apartment. No different actions are available, the correct action is immediately chosen by interacting with objects in the environment (examining, picking up, manipulating items). Objects are stored in an inventory near the top of the screen and they can be combined with each other. Parts of the interface are also borrowed from an earlier title, Gateway. During dialogues different conversation trees are available. All conversations are shown in text, there is no voice acting.
This first chapter was made available for free, unlike the other installments in the series.