Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is a text adventure by Robin Johnson from 1989. I tried to find more info on this Robin Johnson, and failed. It’s not the actress, at least I assume as much. Strangely enough, there’s an IF author with the same name, but it’s not him either. Oh well. I can understand the author not wanting to get known too well. So, the game. You play Alice on her discovery in Wonderland. You know, as in the book. Except, instead of having strange conversations with cats, rabbits and hatters you just die a lot. Hooray for deaths in text adventures.

How can anyone think this picture is a good idea?

Alice starts off with her sister reading a book, next to the river. Oh dear, boooooring, the young Alice (who will probably never attain a university degree) thinks, and she is ready for adventure. So you can go south and step into a river, or north or west and get lost in the woods.

Death by river

I suppose you’ll have to start going east. After stealing and eating some brownies, and sleeping in a hay barn, she sees a white rabbit.

Death by barn

Now, of course, you can follow the rabbit. Turns out it goes down a rabbit hole. Your faithful companion, Dinah the cat (which you can actually name whatever you like – yeah, go wild) jumps down the hole after the rabbit. So Alice can do nothing else but also tumble down. Quite the fall later, you stand in front of a door that is way too small for you. Exploring a bit farther, you find a bottle labeled “drink me”.

Death by bottle

Yeah, and that’s about where I gave up. No doubt inspiration to solve this puzzle can be found in Carroll’s book, and no doubt the game gets a lot more interesting once you actually get into Wonderland. But really, I can’t be bothered. Puzzles without clues, the possibility of permanently losing vital items, unfair deaths, mediocre writing. 2/10, lowest score up till now. To be fair, I didn’t totally hate this game, I hope there will be other games with as low a score as this one so it isn’t the one with the lowest score…

If someone wants to play this game, I have started a walkthrough on Google Wave. Email me on [my account name at the blog] @gmail.com for details if you want access or want to help. Or if you want a Google Wave invite, I’ve got a few left.

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5 Responses to “Alice in Wonderland”

  1. zweisechs Says:

    I found your article while looking for a solution to the exact same puzzle you gave up on. After a while I found out a little bit more about the game by simply reading the instructions: The author gives his adress in the instruction screen at the beginning of the game. Also the game has a hint system: just type “hint” (You will loose points for that). The hint will tell you somthing about the place you are standing.
    The solution to the puzzle you gave up upon is : “cry”. Also it seems you did not grab the marmelade falling through the hole, and did not take the book with you the sister gives up upon? You can read it, it also sometimes gives you hints sometimes.
    I have to agree you can die in this game a lot, and you can loose any vital item by giving it away or using it in the wrong place. This means one has to start over a lot. But it gets easier once you are past this puzzle. It’s still a good idea to first go around and only collect things, because often you can use them in different places, but just one is right, and will also need another counterpart.
    I very much liked the idea of the absurd world of AIW presented in short sentences and without images. It really made me imagine things very nicely. Quite like the “the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy” text adveture. Also if you take the time to draw the sites you can go to onto a piece of paper you will find that the gameworld is put together quit nicely. Sorry to hear you gave up on your blog idea. I liked your entrys.

    • Anon Says:

      I had the same problem, but I found a lovely glitch where you can eat the book instead of the brownies for the same effect.

  2. Zan Says:

    I enjoyed this game as a kid and have been trying to play it again the last few days, and I can’t figure out how to get the rabbit to appear. I’ve eaten the brownies and slept in the hay loft, in fact I’ve slept every place it will let me and read the book at every location, even asked for hints in every location. I even pulled out the real book to see if there were something Alice does in the book before the rabbit appears, and no–he appears in the second sentence, before Alice has even moved. What do I have to do to see that damn rabbit??

  3. Amber Says:

    I played this game growing up and got so far as to find the cat, enabling alice to go home, even had the marmalde jar that acts as a teleporter of sorts. But could never get home! Do you have any hints as to help the far in the game?

    • Amber Says:

      I’ve gotten as far and could never get home with Dinah and the marmalade jar! Yes, the jar helps as a teleporter of sorts, but doesnt get you home! Did you ever figure it out? It’s been driving me crazy for 20 years!!!

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