Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Download



The Lost Islands of Alabaz, v2
fixes several bugs that surfaced during the Spring Thing 2011 competition
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
A Traveler's Almanac of the Alabaz Archipelago
A brief overview of the islands.
To view this file, you need an Acrobat Reader for your system.
Play in Your Browser
Play the game directly in your browser, using Quixe.
Original Release
Contains The Lost Islands of Alabaz.gblorb
from the Spring Thing site
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

The Lost Islands of Alabaz

by Michael Gentry profile

Children's
2011

Web Site

(based on 6 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

Once upon a time, our Kingdom was much larger than it is now, reaching across all ten islands of the Alabaz Archipelago. But then a terrible curse fell upon us. A thick, gray mist covered the sea, hiding each island from the others, cutting us off from our neighbors. Every ship that ventures into the mist becomes lost. No one knows where the other islands are or what has happened to the people there. For years we have studied the mist, hoping to discover some way to break the curse. We had almost given up hope. But now, we have discovered a secret that could solve the mystery of the mist once and for all. And we are giving that secret to you...

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 4, 2011
Current Version: 2
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: CCA17779-50F0-4B06-9F33-15AFA9E5D6A2
TUID: 2gh8bselanlyh6g

Awards

Nominee, Best Supplemental Materials - 2011 XYZZY Awards

1st Place - Spring Thing 2011


News

Expand all | Add a news item

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(2)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Kid Knight Super Gem Collect, May 16, 2011
A just-so story: an author has some small children. Every night, at bedtime, he sits down with them and invents another installment of an ongoing story. The children chip in with suggestions. The story they tell has a lot of problems -- exactly the sorts of problems you get with stories told off the cuff. It's mostly a series of fragmentary set-pieces, it's heavily derivative, it lacks cohesion, there are a lot of loose ends that never get tied up; the stories are mostly unified by a broad setting and recurring characters. The children don't care about any of this, because they're sharing a story by their dad. Later, the author assembles some of these stories into an IF game, designed to be accessible to children. Whether this actually represents how Alabaz was written is irrelevant: it's very much how it feels.

The plot: you are an Everyman child hero, tasked by the fatherly but inert King of Alabazopolis to reunite an archipelago-kingdom sundered by mists. To do this, you must take your child-crewed ship, explore the islands and recover magic pearls; there's more than a touch of anime about the scenario. Its strength is in its set-pieces, which include plenty of strange and striking imagery. (Some work much better than others.) The novice-friendly design is a more questionable virtue; the influence of casual gaming is obvious, with heavy-handed pointers and showers of achievements, and a character whose main function is to follow you around dispensing tutorials.

Despite this, Alabaz is consciously old-schoolish; it's a substantial size, and there's a lot of Zork and Myst here. As a game for children, its worst structural flaw is that it's a big-map game that's designed in ways that make travel very tedious, even when you've solved all the relevant puzzles. Apart from this, the puzzles are solidly designed and appropriately easy; but I think that this was intended as a game to be played over many evenings, which is hard to do with easy puzzles. The tedious navigation fills that gap.

In terms of content, there's a sort of uneasy dissonance that a child might or might not pick up on: it's a world where adults behave like sulky children and children behave like responsible adults, and it's also a world that promises heroism but fails to deliver, because heroism requires real monsters, and in Alabaz all apparent monsters quickly turn out to be paper tigers. The game seems designed for very small children -- too small to cope with very much conflict in their fiction. I can't say how well it'd work for its target age, but there's a great deal that makes this translate poorly for adults.

I suspect that children’s literature is best written not by a doting parent -- someone who primarily wants a safe, clean, improving world for their children -- but a crazy uncle, someone who wants to entertain, inform, subvert.

If you enjoyed The Lost Islands of Alabaz...

Related Games

People who like The Lost Islands of Alabaz also gave high ratings to these games:

The Promise, by Sean Huxter
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
Your village lives a harsh life of perpetual winter and has for as long as you can remember. As a young boy unable to go on the hunt, you may find that, with almost everyone away, you can be of some use to your village. Today holds such...

Fragile Shells, by Stephen Granade
Average member rating: (37 ratings)
You don't know how long you've been hammering against the station's wall, but you stop as soon as you realize what you've been doing.

All Roads, by Jon Ingold
Average member rating: (124 ratings)
"Wave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread For he on honey-dew hath fed And drunk the milk of paradise." [--blurb from Competition Aught-One]

Suggest a game

Polls

The following polls include votes for The Lost Islands of Alabaz:

Games suitable for children by Mike Sousa
My 10 year old twins recently "discovered" IF. They fell in love with Grunk and are asking for more games to play. I've searched BAF and have some ideas, but figured I would give this poll a shot since there are hundreds and hundreds of...

Links




This is version 9 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 26 May 2011 at 8:42am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item