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Alice in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Alice in Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Alice in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

So it’s not everyday that I come across a children’s game that is as creative in its approach to teaching music as I did with Alice.


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So it’s not everyday that I come across a children’s game that is as creative in its approach to teaching music as I did with Alice. Even though I’m working on my Master’s Degree in Voice right now, as a kid, I never really enjoyed classical music. Don’t stand there with your mouth hanging open – it’s true! I had no interest in learning the different sections of the orchestra or understanding how the structure of Vivaldi’s timeless work tells its tale. Yes I was studying piano, yes I was playing the clarinet. But I would have rather sat down with my Debbie Gibson piano book then take a look at the Bach invention I had been assigned that week for my lesson.

I’m guessing that the opinion of classical music among kids hasn’t changed much since 1986, except nowadays I would have been pounding my way through a Hillary Duff portfolio instead of Miss Deborah. That’s why I have to give my hand to Music Games International for developing such a user-friendly portal into one of the “scariest” realms of music – baroque orchestral composition! (Gasp!)

By packaging the work with Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale of the naïve little blonde girl who goes searching for the White Rabbit, MGI sets the scene for one of the most interesting combinations of Literature and Music. In this version, Alice has indeed gone searching for the White Rabbit, but becomes trapped inside his watch which is now broken. The Cheshire Cat greets us at the opening to explain that Alice can only be released when the watch is fixed. To fix the watch, we must explore all twelve puzzles, each related to a number on the watch. Only a few choices are available at first, but as puzzles are solved, more open up. We must process through all twelve in order to set Alice free.

 Here’s the fun part: all twelve puzzles are music related in some capacity. Some deal with the parts of the orchestra, while others touch on The Four Seasons. My first challenge was to match a piece of music with the four instruments that were playing it. This can get difficult if you cannot tell the timbre of a violin from the timbre of a viola. In another, you can help Alice compose her own melody for The Four Seasons by running her across a field and having her pluck the notes out of the sky. However, my favorite is the melody recognition puzzle. Alice must make her way through the White Rabbit’s house by identifying altered versions of The Four Seasons. At the beginning of each level, the orchestral sample will be played. You must scroll over numerous objects, each matched to an altered version of a place in the work, and find the altered version that goes with your correct sample. You know you’re a music nerd when you enjoy hearing Vivaldi played on the sitar.

The sound is well done, although some instruments were recreated using a MIDI console instead of recorded instruments. But that’s understandable considering the game explores early Baroque instruments that are hard to find outside of a period ensemble. The Cheshire Cat’s voice acting is reasonably “purrrfect” (so many puns!!) and was quite enjoyable. It’s difficult to talk about the graphic achievements of a music based children’s game, because how do you grade it against other games? You simply can’t! The graphics are cartoonish, but quite friendly and colorful. They consist of line drawings mostly, recreating the childlike world of Wonderland.

I thoroughly recommend this game for any parent or child interested in learning more about the orchestra and is a little afraid to venture out to the symphony. I also recommend it for any gamer out there who was terrified by the music-based puzzles in Myst and Shivers. Alice makes learning Vivaldi extremely enjoyable and should be a staple in every Music Appreciation classroom, from elementary to college.

If you’re interested in purchasing this game, it is available on, along with MGI’s other releases based on Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. I think they should tackle Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty next.

Grade: Gold Star (that’s an A in my book)

For all of you Alice junkies out there, may I recommend:

Read: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Play: American McGee’s Alice (It’s twisted, I know, but so much fun!)
Watch: Any one of the MANY miniseries that are based on Alice

Final Grade: A

System Requirements:

Windows 98 or higher
Pentium 360 MHz or higher
128MB of RAM
250MB available on Hard Drive




Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller is a contributing writer to the walkthrough department of Just Adventure. Although she graduated with a degree in music, Jennifer counts writing and computers among her many loved hobbies. Aside from her work with Just Adventure, she is a full time singer/songwriter, part time fiction author, and part time computer geek.Jennifer first found the graphic adventure when she was 16. A complementary copy of the Presto's The Journeyman Project Turbo was included with her family's new Packard-Bell. After meeting Agent 5 and out-witting a crazed scientist with the help of the Pegasus time machine, Jennifer never looked at gaming the same way again.

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