The Dreamhold

by Andrew Plotkin profile

Fantasy
2004

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(41)
4 star:
(81)
3 star:
(40)
2 star:
(3)
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Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 166
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- xochie, November 7, 2017

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A great intro for a newbie (Me!), October 17, 2017

This is only the second IF game I have ever played, after Lost Pig and the first that really required mapping. I really loved it, the story is slight unless you're really paying attention but the tutorial aspect of it works perfectly. I only used the hints to get one of the masks, and then only because I was getting too hasty, and would have figured it out myself if I would have just been willing to spend more time thinking about it.

All in all, a great fun time to play, it definitely whet my appetite to play more IF games!


- Zed (Berkeley, CA), August 7, 2017

- E.K., August 5, 2017

- CMG (NYC), February 15, 2017

- TheAncientOne, January 28, 2017

- Azul, November 25, 2016

- alexvicegrab, October 28, 2016

- Amaral, April 26, 2016

- Dhary, March 10, 2016

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
An introductory fantasy game with a haunting atmosphere that doesn't quite gel, February 3, 2016

I played Dreamhold years ago, one of the first games I've played, and it's never been quite my favorite. It is intended as being accessible for beginners but still fun for older players. It is a mid-length fantasy game, where you play as a wizard trying to reconstruct his memories in a tower.

The puzzles are of course top-notch, especially with the berries and the stars. However, the plot was never really compelling to me. The protagonist is not an underdog, and everyone likes to root for the under dog.

Actually, I know exactly how to describe this game. This is Citizen Kane for interactive fiction. Reviewing the life of an old, powerful man and seeing how he got there. If you liked Citizen Kane, you will like Dreamhold. If you don't really go for those kinds of characters, you still might like the puzzles quite a bit. For me, it's the kind of game that I love while playing, then forget when I'm done.


- Sobol (Russia), December 16, 2015

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- paulmr, November 11, 2015

- Sophie Grimaud (France), August 2, 2015

- leanbh, July 30, 2015

- Lanternpaw, May 16, 2015

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
On Waking from the Dream, May 8, 2015
by scottmbruner (alameda, california)

I was completely enthralled by the fantastic world and implied history of Dreamhold. Like Spider & Web, the world of Dreamhold grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Plotkin's ability to masterfully craft such intertwined riddles within a believable (and compelling) magical reality is singular.

That being said, I don't know if this is the best way to introduce a new player/interactor/guinea pig into interactive fiction. While none of the puzzles are excruciating, the final puzzle, and many of the alternate endings are going to remain beyond the limits of the introductory player. To my eternal shame, I even got stuck on the final puzzle and had to hit the hint system (and still didn't understand!)

My other minor complaint is that Zarf obviously has created a fascinating world but the narrative clues are so obtuse and difficult that a player expecting for all the pieces to fall together in the end is going to be disappointed. As an introductory IF piece, having the prose be more James Joyce then Stephen King to me is a curious choice. One of the endings was fairly incomprehensible to me.

As a standard IF piece, though (and I do think the puzzles will provide challenge even to the most experienced adventurer), it's one of my favorites. I just wish, at the end, I understood a little more of the world. To Dreamhold's credit, though, it has given me enough reason to go back in again.


- Carpetbomb, April 7, 2015

- blue/green, March 18, 2015

- Matt W (San Diego, CA), March 15, 2015

- besmaller (Portland, OR), January 19, 2015

- Catalina, January 12, 2015

- BlitzWithGuns, December 5, 2014

- Janice M. Eisen (Portland, Oregon), November 11, 2014


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