Cyberpunk Review » I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

March 16, 2006

I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream

Game Review By: Neuromancer

Year: 1995

Author: The Dreamers Guild

Platform: DOS

Publisher: Cyberdreams

Rating: 8 out of 10



Introduction: In the early nineties a game publisher named Cyberdreams specialized in games targeted towards a more adult audience. Their games incorporated adult imagery and themes set in a horror, scifi or cyberpunk setting. The list of published titles contains: DarkSeed (based on the artwork of Giger) and CyberRace (based on the -Tron- vehicle design of Syd Mead) and I have no mouth and I must scream.


I have no mouth and I must scream is based on the story of the same name written by Harlan Ellison. Not only did he write the initial story, Ellison was heavily involved in the game design as well as doing the voice acting for AM.




The story : At the height of the cold war China, Russia and America are the three ruling superpowers of the world. Each has built their own immensely huge supercomputer with only one purpose in mind: the destruction of the other two superpowers. By means which are not described the three supercomputers merge and become sentient. This new supercomputer calls itself AM (I think, therefore I AM) and has adopted one emotion from its makers: hate. Hate towards mankind. The first thing AM does is wage total war and subsequently manages to destroy all of mankind. All but 5 people who have been taken hostage for the sole purpose of entertaining AM. 109 years of torture and humiliation have passed as the game starts.


Now AM has devised a specific quest for each of its victims. The quests are filled with metaphors as each must enter their own personal hell. As the game progresses we find that each character has to face their own severe psychological issues caused by a traumatizing event in the past. The player must take a journey into 5 very troubled psyches attempting to rescue the last bit of humanity left. This game/story is very grim and not for the faint hearted. We are dealing with all too real issues here that force us to explore the humanity of not only ourselves but also mankind as a whole. Without giving too much away the victims have to learn to deal with murder, rape, cannibalism and the horrors of the holocaust. Each must be guided through metaphors towards some sort of redemption.


And it seems as if forces within AM (the original three computers from which it originated) are resisting their host and are very stealthily aiding and guiding the humans as they themselves want to be free…




When the game starts we get a view on AM’s pillar of hate and get to choose one of the 5 people. As a player we get a lot of freedom as all 5 quests can be undertaken in any order. The quests in particular can be completed in a variety of ways. The key thing to remember is we are trying to aide these 5 people to retrieve some of their lost humanity. Points are given for each choice we make that either lowers or raises the level of humanity this character has acquired. And these are very much needed for the end-game.


When all 5 quests have been completed AM retreats into itself to think about what went wrong. Finally the 5 people can put the pieces of the puzzle together and learn what is going on. The player then gets to choose a character which will be digitalized and loaded into AM. What follows is a very vague end-game wherein we will attempt to take out metaphors of AM’s ID, Ego and SuperEgo (yup, the Freudian ones). There are several endings possible based on the choices we make ranging from very depressing to slightly hopeful. This part of the game is the least interesting as things tend to get a bit too vague.




The game: This is an old-fashioned point and click adventure which runs on DOS. The interface is reminiscent of the old Lucasarts games like Monkey Island where you get to build sentences by clicking on the commands. The graphics are somewhat static (this pre-dates FMV) but really add to the atmosphere while the voice acting is quite good. The puzzles are logical and sometimes quite hard. Besides the end-game there is not much here an experienced adventure-player shouldn’t be able to solve though.




The verdict : The disturbing, unsettling psychological and intellectual storyline more than makes up for the outdated graphics and somewhat disappointing ending.

Tags: game review


March 19, 2006

SFAM said:

Great review Neuromancer! I love the suspended prisons image. Have you read the book as well perchance? I’d be interested to know how closely it matches.

Neuromancer said:

You can read the short story it was based in in the link at the top of the review. has permission to reprint it so you should go there.

DannyV_El_Acme said:

To my knowledge(I haven’t played the game) the game is completely faithful to the short story, and serves as a sort of alternate ending. Harlan Ellison himself wrote all the scenarios in the game, so it is completely authentic to the original story’s mood and themes.

The short story is VERY disturbing and dark, truly a cyberpunk nightmare, and apparently the game is just as dark. Doesn’t surprise me, considering it’s from the same company that made Darkseed. The game’s won quite a few awards, too.

By the way, the website Home Of The Underdogs(, a website dedicated to honoring games which weren’t popular when first released, has a cyberpunk category with some GREAT games for full download, including Beneath A Steel Sky and(*GASP!*) NEUROMANCER! The IHNMAIMS page in the website has a link to Harlan Ellison’s official site, from which you can buy the game very cheaply, too. The website also has TONS of great games for free download, so go check it out!

Simonf said:

I just remembered what darkseed is I had totally forgotten about it untill reading this review and now I must go and fire up the old amiga emulator :)

July 24, 2006

Kei said:

Game only uses the basic concept of the short story (not a book). And even though the character names are the same, most of their personalities and backgrounds are changed (well, they didn’t have much of a background in the story).
Excelent game.

Also, the story is available online

January 31, 2007

Samek said:

My Grandfather FINALLY sent me this game *he had it in his collection* and Im sooo gonna play it… I love games like these. If you know of any other games of this type and genre please email me a list. :) Thank you.

October 22, 2007

freak a leak said:

this shit is ridiculous!!!! u freaks need to get a life and stop playing fuckin video games!

freak a leak said:

repn clairemont san diego baby!! ¿WCSK¿ 4 life.

October 26, 2007

CzIGGY said:

I have a mac :(
and that is all I have to say about that :(

November 24, 2007

pukeslip said:

i played this game back in the day and was wondering if it was still available anywhere.

April 18, 2008

Bethany said:

I remember this game somehow, like from when I was a little kid or something.
The picture with the pedestals is eerily familiar.

May 4, 2008

john holmes said:

Wow, glad this game is reviewed here.

I love this game very much, precisely because of the story, the atmosphere, the haunting music, pure cyberpunk horror. The story is immersive, as well as the characters, it’s breathtaking.

Although I’m an adventure-games lover I found some of the puzzles odd and extremely hard, but once you get past them you add up the clues and all the metaphors joined together all create the most unique atmosphere in a game I ever experienced.

This game can still be played, the good folks that developed ScummVM (avaiable for almost every OS out there) made that possible. Grab your copy of ScummVM and download the game from the-underdogs and have a blast.

Most of the Lucas Arts games and those who use the same engine work with the emulator. Go have fun and get immersed by this true epic!

July 22, 2008

brian said:

there was a mac version. you can find it.. (and even if not, there are BILLIONS of emulators for PCs out there, (vmware server is free for one) and now the new version of SCUMMVM the interpreter for mondo adventure games is multi-platform (even have a version on my palm!))

October 20, 2008

ttao said:

its on mac also..

December 12, 2008

skvmb said:

˙sǝɯɐƃ oǝpıʌ ʇnoqɐ ƃuıpɐǝɹ ʇınb puɐ ǝɟıl ɐ ʇǝƃ noʎ ‘noʎ ʞɔnɟ

brin said:

you obviously have never seen it. Not only is Harlan Ellison a great writer, the “game” is not about video at all. It’s about thinking.

November 21, 2010

horror games said:

well as a huge fan of horror games I think its safe to say I’ll be checking this game out, and to the guy who despaired because he had a mac fear not, you can run a virtual windows installation on a mac no problem and play games that way

December 3, 2010

bluesy said:

O Wow I remember reading the short story for the first time back in the 70’s .. it blew my mind then,,never forgot it.. Harlan Ellison is an awesome you know that he wrote an episode for the original Star Trek. . I would be interested to check out the game.. I used to like playing video games like this where you had to type in commands or questions.

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