Wow. Just wow. I love artsy point and click games that encorporate music, story, dialogue and visual art to create an entire atmosphere. Luckily for me, these games seem to be getting more popular (Machinarium, the Dream Machine, Botanicula, Stacking, and although it is more of an adventure game, Limbo). The Dream Machine, made by two "Swedish Nerds", has a unique twist to it: sculpture and stop-action style figurines.
Ever since I watched Gumbi as a child, I have been in love with this art form. There is something palpable about three dimensional art that makes me feel like I am falling into a different world entirely; it draws me in, it claims my attention and mind. So, naturally, when I saw The Dream Machine available on Steam, I felt drawn to it and purchased it immediately. All I had to see was clay figurines and I was opening my pocketbook.
When I actually played it, I was even more impressed than I thought I would be. All parts of the game are constructed by hand out of clay, cardboard and paint. The scenery is so incredibly detailed, that it feels like walking into an alternate universe where everything is made of clay. Each scene and character has been painstakingly created to perfection.
The story is something outlandishly fantastic on its own. Your character (Victor) starts his day out in a perfectly normal fashion, living his normal life with his normal pregnant wife after just moving into a new apartment that seems normal. If you've seen Rosemary's Baby, then you know where I'm going with this. In the building lurks a great mystery which you will uncover, and a great evil which you will have to defeat. Victor goes from his normal life to a discovery which leads him through the dreams of others, solving puzzles and problems in order to get to the center of each dream, the lair of great evil that holds dreamers captive.
If you would like to try the game out, you can play it for free online, but I would strongly suggest purchasing it (on steam or at their website) because it is much better quality. Also, of course, by purchasing it you would be supporting this wonderful art form.
You can try the game out here: