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The Dreamhold

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Number of Ratings: 101
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- Beable, January 19, 2013

Imaginative Setting but Unsatisfying, December 23, 2012

by Andromache (Hawaii)
I'm a bit conflicted on this game. I loved the exploration but am frustrated by a couple puzzles I never found the solutions to. The writing was too vague to get more than fleeting impressions, and even though I did complete the game, I'm still not sure if my impressions are correct. If they are, I have to say I don't like the player character much, which probably influences my feeling of dissatisfaction. On top of that, I'm left with questions concerning the character's backstory that don't have answers that I've found in-game. (Spoiler - click to show)I realize the character doesn't remember specifics, and using masks as devices for recall was a neat idea. But by the end of the game, the character should be able to fill in gaps, and I don't see that happening. Also, the issue with his child's deformed foot and the crutch, which figures prominently but not sure what happened to the child. Was he killed in combat? Was he killed by the player character?

Due to the sketchiness and ambiguous writing, puzzles don't feel precisely natural. Ostensibly, the character knows what everything is and how to use them, and the puzzles feel like they are just put there for something to do. (Spoiler - click to show)No real reason why the masks would be scattered around the property, or that there'd only be one glove in the shed.

Mechanically, I thought the game played well. Writing was good also. But ultimately, my frustration with the extra puzzles and unclear storytelling leave an unfavorable impression.

- Cuxxu (Albany, NY), August 27, 2012

- Amy (Upstate NY), July 20, 2012

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), May 27, 2012

- kala (Finland), May 26, 2012

- danyadsmith, April 21, 2012

- Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.), April 11, 2012

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Great Introduction to IF, even beyond the initial 'ending', April 5, 2012
by octofuzz (Trondheim, Norway)
Related reviews: Beginners
The only reason I have given this game a '4' is because it is the first IF I have completed so I am not really qualified as of yet to be a critic!

Great tutorial adventure that paints a wonderful image in your head that you can almost touch.

Puzzles are not too tricky and if you are a newbie you should not feel too guilty typing in 'help hint' if you get too stuck.

With several endings and options to explore beyond the initial conclusion you can happily burn away a couple of days playing this.

Highly recommended.

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), April 4, 2012

- JasonMel (Florida), March 26, 2012

- Relle Veyér, March 1, 2012

- tjax, March 1, 2012

- amciek (Opole), December 18, 2011

- heleneotroy (Washington, DC), September 20, 2011

- Xander, July 17, 2011

- calindreams (Birmingham, England), July 14, 2011

- Corwin71, July 9, 2011

- Shchekotiki, June 23, 2011

- Xeinok (Cali/Osaka/Pattaya), June 9, 2011

- Felix Pleșoianu (Bucharest, Romania), March 18, 2011

- JohnW (Brno, Czech Republic), March 16, 2011

- Michaelsollien, March 13, 2011

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Good intro to IF mechanics, vague story, March 7, 2011
by spinnerin (Portland, OR)
I decided to play this because it was rated newbie-friendly, and I’d agree with that assessment. The hint system was very helpful, especially when the descriptions of things and the PC's flashbacks were confusing. I didn’t find the story very engaging, but the gameplay was fine, and after getting through a couple of puzzles I was interested enough to finish.

- thatPenguinOverThere (Cork, Ireland, EU, Earth, Solar system, Milky way), February 12, 2011

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