Wakey Wakey: The Dream Machine Chapter 5 Next Week

Who lives in a house like this?

The Dream Machine‘s first chapter was so lovely that, in a fit of something or other, I vowed to wait until the whole thing was out before playing any more. Well. Whatever reason I had for that decision, I hope it was worth it. Four years later, the end is drawing near-ish. The fifth chapter of six will arrive on November 14th, developers Cockroach have announced.

“Why’s it taking so long?” seems a silly question to ask about a game made from clay, cardboard, paint, and odds and ends by two people, but Cockroach’s answer is that this one is “bigger than all the previous chapters put together.” Crumbs.

The Dream Machine, if I can remember back that far, is a delightful adventure game about a married couple who move into a new apartment and soon find they’re being surveilled, and someone is tampering with their dreams. My most striking memory is of the dialogue, and how it’d offer conversational choices – being considerate, surly, or romantic – that didn’t directly affect the game (as far as I saw) but let me role-play a little. I have no idea what happens in subsequent chapters. Maybe it’s all a dream.

You can play the first chapter yourself for free in your browser on the official site or download it from Steam. Please do. It’s awfully nice.

I think I’ll start playing The Dream Machine now. Whatever reason I had to wait wasn’t good enough to remember. I’ve grown more accustomed to episodic games, to unfinished tales and to waiting, over the past four years.

Here, watch the creation of a spooky wood for chapter 5:


  1. Monggerel says:

    Huh. Never heard of it. Looks interesting though.

    Aside from that, Alice’s description reminds me how I thought the way Kentucky Route Zero handles conversations is the loveliest thing ever. It feels like theater (which is hardly accidental) and I adore it so.

    I reckon more things should, if not follow suit, then just make use of similar influences. It’s hard to think of a medium that wishes so hard to be cinema and yet only occasionally notices how much different modes of fiction borrow from each other.

  2. epmode says:

    I’ve really enjoyed this game so far. Creepy, unsettling stuff with some of the best art direction in adventure games.

    The dev also went back to update every chapter with higher resolution assets, just cause.

  3. Bassem says:

    Yes! This is great news. I didn’t mind waiting for this long, since I appreciate the amount of work it’s taking them, but the news that Chap. 5 is larger than all the rest put together is still a wonderful surprise.
    I’ll be restarting the story from the beginning once this comes out.

  4. kalirion says:

    Hear good things about the series, but I’m planning to play it once it’s all finished to avoid needing to wait between episodes. I actually got the whole thing in a $5 Steam sale way back when there were only 2 or 3 of the chapters out. Though back then I think only 5 chapters were planned total, but I assume I’ll be getting #6 as well for that pack.

    • Anders Gustafsson says:

      That’s affirmative, kalirion. You get all if you bought the bundle. The extra chapter is because we had to split what was Chapter 4 into two parts. Mainly for technical reasons. It just ended up a bit big for a normal computer to run comfortably. And rather than clunkyly naming them “Chapter 4a” and “Chapter 4b”, we added a Chapter 6.

      Thank you for all you kind words about the game, by the way. That warms a cold heart on a gray day, as they say.

  5. alms says:

    Am I alone in that reading “You can play the first chapter yourself for free in your browser on the official site or download it from Steam.” made me think they were giving away the first chapter on Steam? I felt compelled to go incognito to find out that that does not seem to be the case.

    I guess the word I was expecting there is buy, not download.