The Dreamhold

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Description of App

*The Dreamhold* is interactive fiction — a classic text adventure. No graphics! No point-and-click! You type your commands, and read what happens next.

*The Dreamhold* is designed for people who have never played IF before. It introduces the common commands and mindset of text adventures, one step at a
time. There’s an extensive help system describing standard IF commands, as well as dynamic hints which pop up whenever you seem to be stuck.

I’ve tried to create a game which rewards many species of adventurer: the inexperienced newcomer, the puzzle-hurdler, the casual tourist, the meticulous
explorer, the wild experimenter, the seeker after nuances and implications.

- Fluid interface designed for comfortable typing and reading.
- Full-length puzzle adventure with several optional side quests and hidden endings.
- Text adventure devotees can turn off the tutorials and hints, or play in Expert mode for additional challenge.
- Achievements tracked through Game Center.
- Pop-up palette of commonly used commands.
- Dynamic in-game map, so you don’t have to scribble boxes on a piece of paper.
- Full support for VoiceOver (speech output) and dictation (speech input) on devices that offer these features.
- Yes, really free. Not “free with ads,” not “freemium.” Just free. I want to introduce people to IF, and this game is how I do it.

*The Dreamhold* won the XYZZY Awards for Best Puzzles and Best Use of Medium in 2004. It is also available (for free) on my web site.

(The cover art is based on a photograph by Trey Ratcliff: The Festival of Lights in Lyon (CC by-nc-sa), remixed with images of Mercury and Io.)



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support

Not Known

iOS Version


Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPod Touch

Accessibility Comments

Game is fully accessible with voice-over. Read the story blurb and go to the thing that says prompt and double tap that as that is your edit field for putting in commands. Works like any other text adventure in the Z-machine format. I think directions need to be typed full though as I can't get just the letter to work, though it is supposed to.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

I have played many IF games on the computer and also a few on my iPod via the Frotz engine, but this one is spoken by voice-over itself so need for a special engine to play. However, if playing on the computer, which you can, you would still need Frotz or another type to read the files. It's great to see one of the main founders of IF still out there and working on new games that now have iOS support.

Developer's Twitter Username



1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by kithri 6 years 4 months ago


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