The Lost Island of Alanna will probably go down in history as one of the better marketing gimmicks ever made for one of the worst products. Coca Cola released the game in 1998 with great fanfare, to promote its new Cherry Coke. The company even signed on the designers of early CD-ROM blockbuster The 7th Guest to help with designing some puzzles in the game. There's even some semblance of a plot: explore the mysterious island of Alanna to find a treasure. So far, so good. |
Once the novelty (and exhilaration that you're playing what looks like a decent graphical adventure game for free) wears out, the game turns out to be a typical adventure with a decent mix of inventory-based and logic puzzles. It suffers, however, from the extreme "hunt the pixel" syndrome (you may well have to click on every single innocuous-looking rock in the game to pick up "useful" ones), and the fact that clues to some non-inventory puzzles are actually NOT inside the game, but in --you guessed it-- included in Cherry Coke bottles. Okay, we all know that this IS a marketing gimmick, and that it's not really free-- but hiding clues in millions of Cherry Coke bottles randomly is pushing the concept a bit too far. It's a little surprising that Cherry Coke was a flop-- maybe they didn't sell this "free game" idea well enough. Anyway, I suggest you download the walkthrough to pass these annoying marketing ploys.
The game does have its own moments. The "trap the lion" game, for example, is a great example of a Myst-style puzzle that actually is fun to play (and figure out how to play). All the inventory-based puzzles make sense as well, once you find all the items. Overall, this is a decent, albeit very short, adventure that's worth a look... if you can stand a constant reminder of *shudder* Cherry Coke.
Reviewed by: Underdogs