Dreamfall Chapters: Books 3-5

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Dreamfall Chapters: Books 3-5 Game Poster Image
Mildly interactive mature novel has thought-provoking story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Game's two worlds -- magic, scientific -- represent ideas that cause conflict, so they're great illustrations of problems troubling society. Players forced to make choices that have profound, lasting consequences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players take on two roles: a modern (circa 2220) young woman, male warrior from a more primitive time and place. Despite differences, both bear burden of guilt, desire to redeem themselves. Both can become true heroes; also can be less heroic, based on player choices.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, intuitive puzzles with dialogue choices that add light challenge.


Players are shown being stabbed, bleeding, in one instance, implied someone is attacked by a crowd. A bird's neck is broken.


Zoe, the heroine, is shown briefly in tank top, underwear. Some talk of "copulating," hero Kian -- depending on player's choice -- announces he's gay. Drunken revelers make suggestive movements.


Occasional use of words like "s--t," "f--k," "bitch."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes of drunken revelers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dreamfall Chapters: Books 3-5 is the end of a complex downloadable adventure tale for mature players that addresses ideas about love, guilt, tolerance, and faith. Genocide is central to the story with characters being sent to internment camps. Characters are shown being stabbed, and a bird has its neck broken. The main (female) character appears briefly wearing only a T-shirt and underwear and the other main (male) character admits he's gay. There are scenes with drunken, lascivious revelers and occasional profanity with words like "f--k" and "s--t."

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What's it about?

DREAMFALL CHAPTERS - BOOKS 3-5 continues the parallel stories of Zoe Castillo and Kian Alvane. Zoe's an average 20-something from the year 2220 who discovers she has the rare ability to cross between the futuristic, science-oriented world of Stark, and the magic-soaked world of Arcadia. Kian is an Arcadian warrior from the industrial Empire of Azadi who joins a grass-roots rebellion to combat the Empire's genocidal agenda. The two heroes work in unwitting parallel to defeat an evil called "The Undreaming," that threatens to destroy all dreams and magic. 

Is it any good?

The last three books of this series take you even deeper into the compelling worlds of Stark and Arcadia, providing a truly thought-provoking tale. They brilliantly deliver the pay-off set up by the first two, digging into Zoe and Kian's fears and letting you tag along as they overcome their respective challenges. Both characters are appealing because they're realistically drawn; full of doubt and self-recrimination, but determined to do whatever it takes to redeem themselves for past failures.

If things were surreal in the first two books, they're even trippier here; the story jumps back and forth among the dream world and the two waking ones, effortlessly weaving multiple threads into a thought-provokingly weird story arc. As strange as things get, the story's emotional core is what holds it together; everyone's felt loss, betrayal, anger, love and fear and can identify with the heroes' uniquely human flaws. Humor also plays a big part in the game's success, since it prevents the narrative from becoming too heavy and melodramatic. Along with the well-written story, Dreamfall Chapters: Books 3-5 offer great voice acting and truly beautiful graphics. The magical world of Arcadia on its own is worth a folder full of screenshots. As with Books 1 and 2, the only issue with calling Books 3-5 "games" are their limited interactivity. There's not much you could call "gameplay" here; really, it's a bunch of beautiful mini-movies playing one after the other. The Interactive Novel is on the rise -- perhaps this is the start of what should be called the Interactive Movie? Anyway, despite their relative lack of interactivity, you shouldn't miss these episodes. They're some of the best-looking, most mind-expanding things you'll ever point and click on.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between faith and science. Are the two naturally opposed, or can they coexist?

  • Discuss times in history where groups of people have been imprisoned for being different. Do you think this could happen again?

  • Think about the importance of tolerance. How do different kinds of people make society better?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy adventure

Themes & Topics

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