(Cover art: black and white ink? drawing of a pagoda-like building to the right and lots of pigeon-looking birds)
It’s a sleepless night for you, and instead of laying in bed trying to go to sleep, you’ve started exploring the house. You can read books, listen to the radio, or do a million other little things; like Magical Makeover, there is a bit of combinatorial explosion, which lends a surprising but welcome depth to the game.
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.