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About the Story"Outside, the chill wind wails and tears the leaves from their branches. Gusts of wind scour the muddy sidewalks; gusts of wind roar through the alleys between buildings. Before one gust can fade, another swells behind it, and another behind that, flowing in an endless torrent. All the world is awash in wind. The walls of your room groan like the hull of a sinking vessel."
A single-ending interactive story: explore your bedroom at night and experience many strange encounters. Contains one (sort-of) puzzle that isn't necessary to solve to reach the end of the narrative.
*Update, 10/31/2015: Corrected some typos. The game is now hosted on both Philome.la and itch.io.
Nominee, Best Setting - 2015 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 2
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The breadth of the writing makes for entertaining reading. You can listen to a radio discussion between what we would probably call aliens, disputing the existence of parallel universes. You can catch the lunar moth which has been eating your books. Thankfully, the seemingly arbitrary worlds are unified with a few common themes, and things referred to in the beginning are remain consistent to the end, which stopped Beautiful Dreamer from being bogged down with beautiful but pointless detail.
It is stated in the ending text that this game was meant to be chiefly an exploration game. The order in which you explore partially determines what you experience, but otherwise there is a single ending. This is not meant as a criticism. Woodson creates gorgeously detailed worlds, awash with colour and light, as befits a world meant to belong in a dream - not your dream, but someone's dream.
You slowly realize that the game's world is not the same as your own. The world has a strong internal consistency, and you begin to learn more of its rules and nature.
The game is quite large. I was quite thrilled to discover (Spoiler - click to show)a classic CYOA gamebook near the beginning of the game. I thought the game was quite big already, but when I finished it and read the credits, I discovered that I had missed thousands of words' worth of text, which I went back and read.
The tone is a lot like Howl's Moving Castle (both the book and the movie), with archetypal characters, much talk of dreams, surreal magic, etc.
I also felt there were many similarities with Eidolon: (Spoiler - click to show)exploring a dark and shadowy bedroom, dream-type worlds, and a moth motif.
I strongly recommend this game.
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Recommended ListsBeautiful Dreamer appears in the following Recommended Lists:
personal favorites from 2015 by A. Johanna DeNiro
These are probably idiosyncratic, and I haven't hit nearly everything I probably ought to have. While I play catch up I'll hope to add to this list a bit as well. Also, there are a few IF works that are not yet in IFDB that deserve...
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PollsThe following polls include votes for Beautiful Dreamer:
Christianity in IF by Bainespal
Sam Kabo Ashwell's statement in his recent review of Cana According to Micah that "the best works dealing prominently with Christian themes are written by non-Christians" made me curious. Perhaps a list of games with serious Christian...
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This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here...
This is version 5 of this page, edited by S. Woodson on 31 October 2015 at 9:37pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item