American Dream

This is one of two games I worked on at last weekend’s big game jam here in Cambridge – it’s a collaboration with Stephen Lavelle, Jasper Byrne and Tom Morgan-Jones.

Play it here!

It’s kinda cool to see this finished, because I’ve had it hanging around in one form or another since last summer. Originally it was a KOTM game about an assassin who spent all his money on designer furniture, and it was called “Killing Spree”. (It was the game about interior decorating I was referring to here)

(As for the other jam game I worked on last weekend, I’ll talk about it very soon! It’s been a while since I posted anything, so I’ll try to catchup this weekend.)


54 Comments so far

  1. Kreender on February 10th, 2011

    Hi Terry.

    The game looked really interesting but I didn’t now how to play it, some brief instructions would be really nice (I couldn’t find the button to buy stocks). Other thing, The game screen didn’t fit my laptop so I think I couldn’t see everything.
    I liked the graphics a lot.


  2. Terry on February 10th, 2011

    It’s just arrow keys and z to play – press left and right on the trading screen to buy and sell.

  3. […] by Terry Cavanagh and some cohorts (Stephen Lavelle, Jasper Byrne and Tom Morgan-Jones) at a game jam in Cambridge […]

  4. increpare on February 10th, 2011

    Kreender, if you want it to fit more nicely, go to

    That should resize to fit your window.

    The controls are listed at the bottom of the page, but obviously not much help if you’re not scrolling down. Hmmm.

  5. Kreender on February 10th, 2011

    Thanks Increpare, I ended up with 935,321 on week 64 and with a stock of 50 Bill Cosbys and 50 Maddonas. Surprisingly addictive, I only cared to update my room when I had a lot of money. Good work!

  6. Alex A on February 10th, 2011

    I don’t really get it. I kept not buying anything on the stock screen and ended up with lots of money. How do I sell stuff? So anyway, I ended up with a load of money which I bought a load of stuff with and got some furniture, which I was then opf course had to update coz it was all out of date. Then there was a party in which I was spanked and I was told to buy an Arnold Schwartzeneger. Then I gave up. I’ll try to enhaust my funds next time and see what happens.

  7. Richard on February 10th, 2011

    Very addictive little game.

    I finished around week 89 after becoming a millionaire.

    It becomes pretty easy once it starts telling you whom to buy. I assume this happens at an increased rate when you upgrade your flat.

    Again, very good.

  8. increpare on February 11th, 2011

    “How do I sell stuff?”
    right arrow to buy, left arrow to sell

    you get an allowance of $100 each week even if you do nothing.

  9. dr on February 11th, 2011

    man it’s great to be an american.

    party time.

  10. Kadir on February 11th, 2011

    This is fantastic. I think I finished on week 56.

    I’m not sure if this was your intention, but this game made me feel like being poor can’t be all that bad.

  11. JackTack on February 11th, 2011

    This review made me want to play the game – crazy

  12. spencer on February 12th, 2011

    this is the greatest browser game i’ve played in a while. i felt so connected to the game. after like an hour i felt like i was buying real stock and lonely in my house. incredible. about to play again. thank you.

  13. The Brass on February 13th, 2011

    We certainly have a nice start to 2011.

  14. BlueBandanaJake on February 13th, 2011

    This was really fun (surprisingly enough!) What’s cool about it (atleast in my experience) was not knowing what the game was or anything about it. Here you are, this is the American Dream, now go!

    Its actually pretty funny, when you think of it that way!

  15. Micah on February 15th, 2011

    This is exactly what I want my life to be like.

  16. Chris on February 16th, 2011

    Thank you so much for making this. You’re a fucking breath of fresh air in the gaming industry.

  17. Jonas on February 18th, 2011

    Have I mentioned that this is really good?

  18. laessiger on February 20th, 2011

    finished in 31 weeks, played through the 2nd time

  19. laessiger on February 20th, 2011

    by the way, it reminds me of dope wars (series 60).

  20. thumbnailmoss on March 3rd, 2011

    I really liked the music when you finished the game.

    Who composed it?

  21. […] responsible for brilliant titles like VVVVVV, Don’t Look Back, and the recent game jam entry American Dream, which he created with fellow scenesters, Stephen Lavelle, Jasper Byrne and Tom Morgan-Jones.What […]

  22. Eliot on March 12th, 2011

    This game is awesome, and hilarious. I made a million dollars and had lots of drunken debauchery with wall street insiders!

  23. Andres on April 13th, 2011

    Loved the game, great concept and balance.


  24. Oscar on May 6th, 2011

    Cool idea and some nice touches. Cunning idea for a game jam game too, to do something where the shallowness of the experience is the point! I got bored after week 40 though and didn’t bother continue, I forgot my ambition was to become a millionaire. Oops!

  25. King Reggin on May 27th, 2011

    Stole this from me, suing now. I made this about 3 years ago, when one day my computer was hacked and the code stolen. Now I know who did it. You will work the rest of your life to pay me back.

  26. Terry on May 27th, 2011

    Pathetic, dude.

  27. aplsin on June 4th, 2011

    I became a millionare but I never figured out how to buy furniture.. 😛

  28. Sk8erwind on June 24th, 2011

    This game was strange but really good. I got addicted lol

  29. Jumbles on July 13th, 2011

    Ugh. I’ve seen a lot of games like this, but none this stupid.

  30. Leon on July 27th, 2011

    Excellent little game. It’s amazing to see a game so saturated with hilariously bitter irony with your name on it, which I know from VVVVVV which couldn’t be more genuine. You have some real scope, can’t wait to see your next work.

  31. dude on August 13th, 2011

    I just love the comuting screen and music

  32. Sofox on August 13th, 2011

    Got it at week 51.

    The whole time I was thinking, “I seriously doubt real life trading was this easy.”

    I have to say, I kept expecting there to be a subversive message to it, like just before the end you have the option of investing a huge amount of money in a sure thing, only to have it bomb big time. It would make it true to life anyhow.

  33. Anonymous on September 1st, 2011

    Oh wow… I just played all the way through to 1 million and never realized I was supposed to be doing something outside of trading. I just went to work every single time it showed the house.

    I was just curious about what happened at 1 million, I didn’t think there was anything else to the game. =P

  34. Terry Cavanagh parte 3 on October 5th, 2011

    […] Freeware – gioca qui […]

  35. Travis Boisvenue on October 15th, 2011

    Just finished. That felt scathing.

  36. Jason Michael on November 16th, 2011

    Being an American, I totally understood the game play controls, and object of the game. I thoroughly related to everything that was going on in the game. I’m surprised how well you guys (working from Cambridge) could have so accurately depicted the American Dream, but you did a knock out job. I shall have to do a “Response” game that so accurately depicts the U.K. dream, which might not be too much different… I’ll have to do my research!

  37. Terry on November 17th, 2011

    I hope you do, Jason! 🙂

  38. RickRoll'd on January 10th, 2012

    Rick Astley, seriously?

  39. kamerin ribunsin on February 16th, 2012

    it taks for ver to beat this game

  40. cheergirl! #1 on June 8th, 2012

    this passage was amazing it touched me truthfully i hope u write more!!

  41. hope on June 23rd, 2012

    i love this book because it is great and i live in america.

  42. hannah salle on October 17th, 2012

    what is action button i am so confused

  43. Dmitry on November 24th, 2012

    Like it very much! Nice sarcasm over american dream.

  44. Matt on February 28th, 2013

    Hit 1.2M at the end of week 52 exactly on my first go’round! A really cool and super-fun game for its genre!

  45. Thomas on March 6th, 2013

    Any chance I could get my hands on the little tune that plays after you win?

  46. […] the Interactive, it provides some interactive stories such as American Dream, Make It Good, This One Time, […]

  47. Chris on July 1st, 2013

    just play and made a $1 million dollars on the OUYA version. great work, keep it up 🙂

  48. Alex on February 25th, 2014


  49. Prisha on April 10th, 2014


  50. Giorno on January 25th, 2016


    Friend of mine found this game while back and showed it to me. I was wondering if you have worked on any other games in the past few years. the art style and idea of this game gave me a good laugh, but the ending made me, sad. It would make me happy to see if you had worked on anything new lately.

Leave a reply