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Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Thursday 7 November 2013

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It’s dinner time in Alice: An Interactive Museum (1991), a very cool and interesting game by Haruhiko Shono, known also for the games Gadget and L-Zone, and featuring extensive artwork from Kuniyoshi Kaneko. As you may have guessed by the title, it is based around Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and a good portion of the gameplay centers around interacting with the actual art in order to unlock playing cards that reveal clues as to how to escape the museum.

There is no ability to save your game, nor is one needed, as your progress isn’t dependent on anything you do but on what you figure out from the clues. If you know how to finish the game, you can do so in maybe 10 minutes from a fresh game start. Of course, it might take you many many hours to get all the clues you need to do that in your previous plays.

To be honest though, I don’t even know if I have actually finished this game. I managed to get outside the museum and there were three paths to follow, all of which resulted in the game starting over from the beginning. Is that how it is supposed to end or did I miss something?

Anyway, this game is highly collectible and can be very expensive. That, combined with its niche appeal, makes it hard to recommend even though I personally enjoyed it.

     
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The game is from 1994: http://www.mobygames.com/game/alice-interactive-museum

I was a little shaken up when your post suggested this predated Myst! It looks amazing.

     
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thejobloshow - 06 November 2013 10:36 PM

The game is from 1994: http://www.mobygames.com/game/alice-interactive-museum

I was a little shaken up when your post suggested this predated Myst! It looks amazing.

Mobygames is wrong (or perhaps only lists a specific localization release date). As Wikipedia shows HERE, it was released in 1991 and he received an award for the game that same year.

In addition you can read an actual interview with Shono HERE in which he discusses starting work on Alice in 1990, L-Zone releasing the year after Alice and then starting to work on Gadget in 1992.

You can also look at the original Japanese website for his company which lists the release dates HERE.

So yes, it predates Myst and definitely does looks amazing.

     
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Those are some fantastic graphics for 1991. I wonder why the game isn’t better known?

     
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AHHHH, I’m impressed. Ahead of its time.

     
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Oscar - 06 November 2013 11:46 PM

I wonder why the game isn’t better known?

You would be surprised by how many games people who love AG’s know about are not better known or (more frequently) not known at all. Not known at all by the masses, that is.

Kurufinwe and Bastich showed us how little even people who claim to like AG’s know about AG’s.
That fact was nothing new for me, btw.

     

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My Alice is the hybrid for Mac and Windows 3.1, released in 1994. If there was an earlier English version for Windows 3.0 in 1991, I haven’t heard of it.

Alice’s Museum is a great interactive experience. Most of the 52 playing cards are easy to discover, some are even in plain view. But a few are hard to find. They have clues written on them, not just to find different ways out of the museum, but to find other cards. One of my favorite interactive sequences is the one to get into the bar. So elegant!

The game has strong homoerotic themes. And we know what they say about Lewis Carroll and little girls, so that’s in there too. Nothing pornish, it’s art, but I guess some people found that shocking in the nineties. I remember a woman at another forum posting about how she was disappointed and gave the game away to her neighbor who’d shown interest after she told him the nudity disgusted her, and then he was disappointed as well. Smile If only they’d known how rare the game was.

Bastich - 06 November 2013 10:04 PM

To be honest though, I don’t even know if I have actually finished this game. I managed to get outside the museum and there were three paths to follow, all of which resulted in the game starting over from the beginning. Is that how it is supposed to end or did I miss something?

The exit through the chimney was far from easy for me. It’s the only timed part of the game and my computer was too fast. You try to escape a bony hand grabbing Alice’s ankle and walk as fast as possible across broken eggshells. I had to restart the game dozens of times before I made it to the other side. And now I don’t remember how the sequence ended, only how hard it was!

EDIT: One more game ticked off. Only 332 to go!  Cry
(Just teasing, I won’t do this every day.)

     
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zobraks - 07 November 2013 02:06 AM

how little even people who claim to like AG’s know about AG’s.

That’s the very first lesson I learned about myself when I joined this community… Tongue

     

Last played: Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5

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