The Dream Machine is a serial point-and-click adventure game which follows the story of young, expecting couple, Victor and Alicia Neff, shortly after their arrival in their new apartment. As they settle in, however, things soon turn very unsettling.The games themes focus on dreams, particularly Freudian and Jungian theories of dream symbols. As such, surreal elements show up early and increase as the story unfolds.Visually, the game is made from clay and cardboard, giving it a very unique feel.Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 are currently available on Steam. The first is also available to play for free at the game's official website. Originally, the developers planned to release 5 chapters, but the story grew during development and currently the story consists of 6 chapters.Since the story line of this still has not been fully released, please cover your spoilers.
This show provides examples of:
Abusive Granddad: Morton's grandfather was this, as we learn in the second game.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The titular dream machine. It starts out much less intelligent than most examples of this trope, but seems to get progressively smarter as the story goes on.
And I Must Scream: When the Machine took over Alicia in chapter 3, Alicia was still fully concious and aware of what's going on.
Anxiety Dreams: Referenced. Alicia suggests that Victor's dream is this.
Crusty Caretaker: Morton is pretty scary even when you don't know anything about him yet. Then, you find out that he have been spying on you through multiple videocameras, invaded your wife's dreams and disposed of the previous tenant of your flat.
Demonic Possession: Or, rather, Mechanic Possession. In chapter 3, the Machine takes over Alicia.
Moon Logic Puzzle: In chapter 3, you have to make an umbrella drink. To do this, you need to pick up a life-sized umbrella on the deck by the coach, that somehow fits in a little glass.
Plenty of puzzles run on the sort of surreal logic that only works in dreams and adventure games. For instance, you can make a deaf statue able to hear by stuffing a hammer, anvil, and stirrup into its ear.
Mysterious Note: The one Victor finds is the first tangible clue something isn't quite right.
Another one makes an appearance in Chapter 3. In this case, the sender and intention is clear, the mystery is in who it is addressed to.
Obsessive Compulsive Barkeeping: The barkeeper in chapter 3 is always drying a glass. Justified both in- and out-universe: he's been stated to be a manipulative Jerkass who takes credit for others' work, and the game is made in claymation, which demands so much effort that even a single Idle Animation for a secondary character takes a long time to make.
The Only One: In the second chapter, Victor discovers that he is the only one capable of fighting the machine since Mr. Morton never got the chance to enter his dreams.
Recurring Dreams: After reading Morton's dreamjournals, Victor notices that "his dreams are oddly repetitive".
Redemption Equals Death: Arguably, the case with Mr. Morton. S/he may have been a nasty piece of work, but when the machine demanded to kill Victor, he refused to do it and was mortally injured by the machine, living just long enough to tell Victor what to do.
Released to Elsewhere: In chapter 3, "promoted to Command" and "sent to coal room duty" have this meaning.