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The Dream Machine (demo)

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Rating: 4.8/5 (160 votes)
Comments (93) | Views (11,514)
The Dream MachineArtbegottiFor those who might have been wondering what Anders Gustafsson, the creator of the Gateway series from our first two Casual Gameplay Design Competitions, has been up to lately, rest assured knowing that he has been stuck on a deserted island for quite some time now.

Or has he? Gustafsson sent us word of his latest project, The Dream Machine. This point-and-click adventure, with similar play mechanics to his Gateway series, is still only in the demo stages, but is well worth checking out now. You may complete the demo within just a few minutes, but it's a very compelling teaser for the beautiful new world of adventure that Gustafsson has in store for us coming in an April-ish timeframe. Who knows what lies beyond this island of mystery?

As requested by Gustafsson, please leave your kind constructive criticism and feedback in the comments, as he bug tests his latest creation and readies it for the big release.

Play The Dream Machine demo


The only bug I found was switching from the map back to the island my guy disappeared. Looking back at the map then back to the island put him back on the screen.


April-ish? That's in a month and a half! Can we wait that long?!


Wow people post walkthroughs fast
@soniclover: since its such a good seeming game
i say we can wait that long


Minor glitch: I dug two holes right next to each other before examining either. The first hole I clicked on had a worm in it. After that, hovering on that hole showed "examine hole" at the bottom screen, but hovering on the other (partially overlapping) hole showed "examine undefined" and didn't print the "already picked up a worm" message when clicked.


This looks like it will be fun, enjoyed the piece so far. The first game i know of that has an option for gray scale puzzles for players with color problems ..

notthatbright nowIguess February 27, 2009 12:34 PM

when I pick up my items they fly off into the upper lefthand corner never to be seen again, I don't know how to view my inventory. It's probably really simple I just can't figure it out, help please? Cuz I like the way the game looks and it would be cool to actually play it


I can't get my guy to do anything and clicking on the objects only makes him turn to face them.

Man with a problem February 27, 2009 1:10 PM

For some reason I can't make the character move at all. If I click any of the items he just looks into the direction of the object. Am I doing something wrong? Or is this the bug we are testing?


wow, i hope he's planing on marketing this game because it's just as beautiful as classic adventure games like Syberia! the shear production value sets this game apart from the plethora of room escape games out there. Its so amazing that I feel cheap playing this game for free (even though it's just a demo).
I can't wait to see the final version Anders! I'm on pins and needles!


Tried opening the game twice, there is no guy on the island, just footprints walking about, and I'm not able to pick anything up.

Am I being extremely dense?

Suggestions please.


If you find yourself unable to move, it might help if you update your flash player. Do so here:



Old woman,

If you're on a slow connection, you might want to wait a minute or two on the island screen. The loading of the character hasn't finished yet. (Yes, that's a bug.)

Vogonviking February 27, 2009 2:02 PM

I love the look of this game and I can't wait for the complete version. After examining a hole (no worm) I waited for about 10 minutes for the man to come back! He never did!


Anders, I've made sure my flashplayer is up to date, and have again reloaded the game. Ten minutes waiting and no guy appears. Guess he just drowned, before I could get to him. Will check back later as I do enjoy point and click puzzles.

Vogonviking February 27, 2009 2:23 PM

Just a small thing, I think the spelling of "lable" should be "label". I realise spellings differ from country to country though.


I found a bug when I first left the hole and the island wouldn't reappear-- the screen just stayed black. Then I restarted the game and everything worked.

It looks promising though. I look forward to the full release.

cocacolatam February 27, 2009 2:54 PM

I guess I will have to wait for the full version to come about. I can't do anything on this one. The guy only moves to face the object I click on.


I really like it. I'm looking forward to the full version


Same thing happened two times. I dug the hole, and then later, after I opened the map, my guy disappeared. I fiddled around and he eventually showed up again, but that's probably not good that he disappeared. Altogether, fun! Thanks!


It doesn't work.

You can click on things. The person just turns to face them, but nothing else happens.


For those having problems, it would help Anders a great deal to know these 3 things:

  1. What Flash Player version you have installed.

  2. What browser you're using, and what version it is.

  3. What OS you're using, and what version it is.

Thanks! :)


Just a simple typo: he says "I've place" as opposed to "placed" after

placing the rod on the fork without bait.


I've been wondering where Gustafsson went. I really enjoyed the depth of the story in the Gateway games, glad to see new work from him! Good stuff too, can't wait to play the finished product.


I really enjoyed this game. The graphics were cute(somewhat), and his puzzels were good but I can see this game is going to be great when it is completed.


Excellent. I love the aesthetic of this. Absolutely, positively looking forward to the full release. Shows great promise.


I really like the animation, unique and creative. The game play seems smooth, logical, and interesting. Waking up from a desert-island dream is a great hook for the narrative. I'm looking forward to the full release. I only had one small problem: after digging several holes, I looked into one (perhaps overlapping with another), picked up the worm, and tried to go back to the main screen, but everything went black. I reloaded and didn't have any more trouble.

OS: OS X 10.6
Browser: Firefox 3.0
Flash: 10.0


i put the rod with worm on it then used the rod on the forked branch but it won;t stay and bounces back up to inventory. what am i doing wrong?


Anyone who's getting poor Victor disappearing after the hole and you're using Firefox, opening the game in another tab using the first link, rather than in a window, rectified the situation for me at least. Just thought it might be of help to some...

(Oh, that's Firefox 3.0.6 with Flash Player 10, running XP.)


Jay, I have adobe flashplayer Windows Vista, and Internet Explorer 7. Is that the info you/Anders are needing.

can move the guy round bedroom after using the keyboard


I absolutely love the art style of this game. Reminds me of 'The Neverhood'


Really fun, and lovely graphics. The puzzles are really simple in this demo though. I'm certainly looking forward to the full game.

queen-of-diamonds February 27, 2009 7:49 PM

Ok, first of all, this looks just great! Can't wait for the finished version!

About the bugs, I've only encountered the disappearing guy bug, but I've seen some people have already mentioned it too.

He would reappear after performing an action though, preferably interacting with something on the island, like the fishing rod.

As for my specs I'm running the game on

Windows XP SP2
Firefox 3.0.6
Flash player 10

Again, great game!

darlingdestruction February 27, 2009 7:59 PM

Well, I didn't encounter any bugs while playing, so that's good, I suppose. I can't wait for the full version of this game. The graphics are great and I love the smooth movement of everything.


With XP Pro and Firefox 3.0.6 (and I think the latest version of Flash) - I...

dug a hole and picked up the worm

and when it switched back to the island view, my poor little guy was gone. The footprints still show up, but I can't use anything with anything else, since he can't walk over to it if he's not there, apparently.

Other than that, the game is enchanting.


I didn't have any bugs, and I enjoyed the game. The only thing I didn't like was the way the inventory items were manipulated. It's minor, but having to drag and hold them (using a trackpad) was annoying. I'd like to be able to click on them once to use them.


My logic says build fire first as any good camper would, get fish, eat fish. I guess I just don't like these linear, tunnel vision games. If I want to dig a hole first, why not let me? If that makes too simple a game then the game just isn't justified. Not all flash games are like that. Can this sort be tagged so they can be avoided?

zbeeblebrox February 27, 2009 10:48 PM

There's some glitchy trouble with item and character interaction if you start the game before absolutely everything has loaded behind the scenes. He may want to look into that.

But after closing and then reopening the game, I've gotta say it plays great, it's intuitive, the visuals are beautiful. and I'm curious about the potential story here. All and all, it looks like it'll be quite the game, once it's ready.


Awesome game. I love the minimalistic claymation. The only bug I noticed was that when I started in a new area, the guy would not show up until I clicked on something to interact with it or clicked on the floor to make the guy walk around. Then he would just pop right up. I'm using Firefox 3.06 on a Mac OSX, version 10.4.11.


Claytastic! I think that one word just about sums it up.

The only bug I experienced was a very slight delay in loading the character (Victor?) when starting the game and switching between the hole/map and the island. There was a longer delay after loading the bedroom, but it resolved itself.

I definitely can't wait until the full version! It looks awesome. And come on, it's all made with clay! Automatic A right there.



Not sure what you mean. You can dig a hole anytime you want, provided you've picked up the shovel. Just make sure the action parser at the bottom says "Use shovel with ground" and not something else.


It seems like if you

try to dig a hole where the alarm clock is before you have the map, the game doesn't let you dig on that spot... but you can dig anywhere else without trouble.

This seems like weird behavior.



It's deliberate. The player can't find the clock until finding the map. Otherwise the player might skip the entire island section by accident, just by digging in the wrong spot.


I've had some bugs, but they went away after I upgraded my Flash player. I think the game should check the Flash version before starting to avoid weirdnesses and confusion.

The game looks great and feels very much like old-school point-and-clickers. I think it needs some more polish - for instance I don't like that I can use some items on some stuff on the scene without being able to examine the stuff before (like the fireplace for example). OK, in the demo it was all rather obvious, but in busier scenes it wouldn't really be user friendly to force the user to pixelhunt WHILE clicking and dragging.

All in all, eagerly awaiting the full game.



I wish there was a way comments like yours could be tagged so they can be avoided. You CAN build a fire before getting the fish, or dig a hole first. The "tunnel vision" you see is all in your head. Why are you making up stuff?

Annoyed gamer February 28, 2009 10:15 AM

when I pick up my items they fly off into the upper lefthand corner never to be seen again, I don't know how to view my inventory. It's probably really simple I just can't figure it out, help please? Cuz I like the way the game looks and it would be cool to actually play it

Posted by: notthatbright nowIguess | February 27, 2009 12:34 PM

I have the same problem. The game is unplayable.

Space Monkey February 28, 2009 10:34 AM

Found a bug

I put the fishing pole on the stick before getting a worm from a hole, and when I zoomed back out my character was gone.


Annoyed gamer,

What resolution are you playing the game at? It has to be 1024x768 or higher.


Thank you. Very nice. I guess I have the flu or something the last few days. This helped me forget how icky I feel right now. That is on top of the knowledge that I have extra game credits with BigFish that I didn't know were there. Too bad my internet connection is intermittent at best but I was able to down load a new game this morning. :) Life is good.



Maybe it is intentional... okay, it obviously is. But it's weird. Maybe if they dig at that spot before the map "The ground's a little too hard to dig right here." and after the map "If I dig around this hard spot..."

Or possibly just let them skip the busywork of the island segment if they want to.



I agree that the ground suddenly softening up is a bit weird. It's not a perfect solution.

I'll provide an option in the full game to skip the island entirely for the players who've already played the demo.


that was so boring i finished it in like 2 mins


Huh. Once I pick up the map, I can't dig with the shovel. I drag the shovel icon around, but a "use shovel with ground" option doesn't pop up. I could use the shovel on myself, or the ocean, or whatever-- but it's not like that's helpful!


A Alaalas, did you just read the walkthrough and not play the game? Because you can indeed build the fire first. It's what I did first, before using the shovel at all.


FYI: this game does not load at all on Safari 4 on mac 10.5.6.

When you click on the link on jayisgames.com...it pops open a new window with the word "clicke" in ornage in the center of a white page. when clicked...it brings you to clicke web hosting.

works fine in firefox though.

iceebear March 1, 2009 1:46 AM

HEy all

Well so it has a few bugs. Buy putting the demo out there we find out what they are and he can fix them. I did not have any problems until I went from the game to the main menu options then back. The whole page blanked out. I could not get it to come back. but it seemed like it will be a good game. I am looking forward to it soon.

not an annoyed gamer March 1, 2009 12:35 PM

@ Anders

Yea was playing it at 1024x768 but it was using internet explorer and in a new tab which in turn made the screen smaller.

To play it the game needs to open on a window on its own.



What part of "demo" do you not understand? Did you even read the review? Artbegotti very explicitly says, "You may complete the demo within just a few minutes, but it's a very compelling teaser..."



If you released this tidbit as a teaser, then consider me teased. I look forward to the full version.

nihongowasha March 1, 2009 6:44 PM

It's pretty and the movement is so smooth. I can hardly wait for the full game.

I had the same bug some others mentioned: After viewing the map and 'leaving' the map, the man was invisible. When I clicked a spot on the island, he appeared and walked there.

Otherwise no problems.
Firefox 3.0.6
Windows XP 2002 SP3

mgmdrums March 1, 2009 9:49 PM

Windows XP 5.1.2600
Internet Explorer 7

I have the same problem as many of the others: my character doesn't move, just turns to face whatever I click on, which makes me sad. I love point-and-click games, and can't wait until all the bugs are worked out and I can play this. It looks fantastic!


This is for Anders,

I can't get the game to play either. My OS is Vista, I have internet explorer 7 and I downloaded the flash update that was posted in this forum.

I can't get him to walk or pick up the shovel. Nothing. Jill

soeperik March 2, 2009 2:27 AM

No bugs and nothing strange.
Just a nice game in a new style. Easy to play and looks great. Looking forward to the complete game!

Played it on Vista in Firefox, w/ latest flash update.


I really enjoyed this little sneak-peak. I was a big fan of gateway, so it is good to see the creator continuing to work!

The only bug I found was the disappearing man. But he re-appeared as soon as I tried to do anything, so that is fine. Looking forward to the full game!


Hopefully the bug that caused the character to spin in one spot should be solved now. Try it out and give me a holler should the problem remain.

Czaerana March 2, 2009 4:04 PM

Where is the inventory? Like another poster, when my guy picks up stuff, it flies away to the left and disappears.



What screen resolution are you playing at? If it's 1024x768 then you probably only need to enter Fullscreen mode (F11 works for Explorer) to get some extra screen space.

If you're at 800x600 then you won't be able to play the game right now. I'll make a resolution detector that scales the game down eventually, but it's not on the top of my list.

Czaerana March 2, 2009 6:38 PM

Thanks for the info, Anders. I'll try changing the rez.


I managed to get to the point were the fish was cooking, but then my guy froze. He just kept turning to face were I clicked but never actually moved.


Beatiful. I like the gritty feel of the animations/models.

When i tried to reel in the fish the guy disapperad and I couldn't do anything after that. Reloaded the game and then everything worked smothly.

Looking forward to the finnished game!

OSX 10.5.6
browser safari 3.2.1
flash 10.0

peace49 March 3, 2009 9:31 PM

I had no problems with the man disappearing. Found the wood, shovel and lighter & fishing pole. Set up pole on forked stick but fish wouldn't bite.
PROBLEM - No matter where I tried to dig, nothing happened. I finally read the walkthrough but there was nothing about a special place to dig. What did I do wrong?


peace49 - after you dug a hole did you:

...click on that hole? I don't think there's anything special about the place you dig, but you need to click on the hole to act on it. Try it.

old woman March 4, 2009 6:32 AM

The guy now appears, (vista,internet explorer7, flash10) and everything is working as it should. Looks like it will be a great game.

mgmdrums March 5, 2009 3:40 PM

I used a different computer and got to play it...it looks great! I really enjoyed it. Beautiful.

Skull Face72 March 12, 2009 3:54 PM

I've found a bug where if you stand near the foot of the bed after waking up and examine the ventilation grate at the top right corner of the room, you can;t move anymore. It may work in other places, but I don't know.


I absolutely can't wait for the full game to come out. This looks wonderful!

benjabby April 15, 2009 4:25 AM

its april now how long will it take

Anonymous April 15, 2009 4:01 PM

I thoroughly enjoyed this demo, no glitches or probs. The graphics are wicked, very easy to use. Can't wait for full release :D


Wow! I can't wait!

Shadowkiller May 29, 2009 2:28 PM

Wasn't it supposed to be released in april? why are we still waiting?


Yeah, sorry about that. A large commissioned game assignment showed up, so I had to put The Dream Machine on hold for a while. I'm still working on it when I can find the time, and look forward to releasing something for you to play as soon as I can.


- a

Shadowkiller June 1, 2009 9:10 PM

okay, i was just curious, I'm sure everyone can wait a bit longer.

GatewayFanatic June 16, 2009 11:06 PM

LOVED Gateway I and II!!!
Can't wait for this to come out, and the demo version for me had no issues..


so how long of a wait now?


i know it's not a reasonable question to ask, who knows what you'll come acrost that will alter the time frame.

this game looks amazing.
the claymay universe is where i was born, so i'm happy to see an awesome game like this.


Crab Nicholson March 26, 2010 10:36 PM

Any word from Anders yet? It's been almost a year! :(


Hello Crab & Lucifer,

We're almost at a point where we can release Chapters 1 and 2. It'll happen during the summer for sure. If you want to play Chapter 1 right now, just go to www.thedreammachine.se and sign up to be a BETA tester. You can play it right away after that.

I hope you like it!


- a


I don't know what everyone's talking about nothing went wrong at all for me everything runs great no glitches bugs.

P.S. I am using chrome (latest) and vista and flash player 10.1

nikikinz July 25, 2010 3:15 PM

can't wait for the next chapter. great level of complexity without being illogical or impossible.

lovely game - great work

nikikinz July 25, 2010 3:17 PM

just a little glitch with some dialogue being displaced from it's usual location


I'm playing the first level, Ive looked everywhere but where is the

phone jack? I cant seem to move anything and it wont let me try what looks like a jack behind the boxes near the bed.

also when you play on a netbook the game chops off the top and bottom of the screen. latest flash. google chrome, windows 7


Good game and nice design :)


I like this game, but I like this battleground game even more.


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