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by Eric Eve profile


(based on 6 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

An entry into the MCDream minicomp, this game tries to capture the essence of a vivid dream its author remembers having many decades ago.

Game Details

Editorial Reviews

Making your day with a visit to McDreamland
"Dreadwine" uses the expectations of IF to emulate the frustration of a dream. There are places and props in the game that look like pieces of a puzzle solution, only the player is never allowed to put them together, to resolve things as he wants to. Instead, other events unfold and the player is swept along with them. At the time, I found this a bit baffling, but in retrospect I think I see the point: dreams are full of struggles like this, attempts to do things that never quite become possible. The best we can accomplish is to wake out of that state.
-- Emily Short
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Should Dreadwine be judged as a game or as a conveyor of the author's emotions? As a game it provides little of interest, few interesting interactions and a solution that is arbitrary and unsatisfying. As a vector for emotion it fares rather better. [...]

The town has a drab sullen atmosphere suffused with a sense of forboding. The author writes very well and manages to create his dream with economical English that is interesting and evocative.

-- David Jones
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Franz Kafka’s Dracula, October 24, 2023

You are at a cafe with Sandra and O’Brien. You can trust Sandra, but not O’Brien.
An ancient castle looms large on the horizon. There is a glass of wine in front of you. You really need to get out of this town.

Based on one of the author’s dreams, Dreadwine is a short and surreal game about trying to escape from a totalitarian government. You and your friend Sandra must find a way to leave town together before you both are arrested and turned into wine.

On one hand, the game can be frustrating. There is very little that you can interact with and the locational details are often inconsistent. For example, a building might be described as a barber shop at one point and a brothel at another point. Sandra serves as your companion NPC, but she proves to be more of a hindrance than a helper.

On the other hand, I suspect that the frustration is mostly intentional. Dreadwine is based on a dream after all, and dreams are often confusing and disorienting. That feeling of frustration also ties in well with the game’s themes of hopelessness and paranoia.

The game features two endings, but they both share similarities.

While I didn’t find the gameplay of Dreadwine to be very engaging, the surreal and oppressive narrative more than made up for it. Fans of weird fiction will find a lot to enjoy in this interactive nightmare.

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