If you read our interview with Aaron Giles back in March, you’ll remember that we touched a bit on the dilemma of faithfulness with running the old SCUMM games on modern systems, leading Aaron to drop this juicy nugget:
In fact, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to these specific issues recently and have created a new SCUMM-specific DOS emulator called DREAMM, whose goal is to combine the fidelity of an emulator with a more approachable and simpler interface tailored to how the SCUMM games work. I hope to be able to share it more broadly in the coming months.
So what exactly is DREAMM, and what purpose does it serve in a world where both ScummVM and DOSBox exist? Well, you get to find out for yourself seeing as the software is now in public beta, but this snippet from Aaron’s FAQ sums it up pretty nicely:
How Is DREAMM Different From ScummVM?
ScummVM is a modern reinterpretation of the original SPUTM game engine. It has a nice modern interface, but may not achieve 100% fidelity to the original code, due to the fact that it is not actually running the original code. For most people, this probably isn’t noticeable/doesn’t matter. But if you’d like to experience the games closer to their original form, complete with original bugs and user interface, DREAMM might be closer to what you want.
How Is DREAMM Different From DOSBox?
DOSBox is a generic DOS emulator, and has a lot of similarities to DREAMM in how it is constructed. The advantage of DREAMM is that it was specifically written for the SCUMM games, so it knows about how the games use the system. This allows for automatic configuration for each game, better mouse integration with other programs, and a simpler, more approachable user interface.
The “limitation” of DREAMM is that it is Windows-only and relies on you having the original .exes (which, inexcusably, are often missing from the official releases on Steam/GOG, since ScummVM acts as a replacement), so you’re going to have to dig out your old floppies and CDs. But for any DOS-based version of the SCUMM games (plus, in a heroic exception to complete the catalog, the natively Windows The Curse of Monkey Island), there is no better or more convenient way to play them with faithful exactness, making DREAMM a wonderful new tool to add to the True Fan™’s arsenal.