At a first glance, you might think that games are being built to give room to some of our traits and skills to express themselves and get enhanced with practice. Even First Person Shooters teach players something (besides violence), not to mention that some famous strategy games are able to even build the players’ stronger problem solving skills and lateral thinking abilities. All in all, games are here to entertain us, and even if we spill our enemies’ virtual blood, we can still call it a day with a feeling of satisfaction in our hearts, for leveling up or making all sorts of achievements. However, here we have Alz, the game about loss of memory and loneliness that puzzled and thrilled many game reviewers and experts. It may depress you a bit, and apparently, this is a good thing, as it teaches people a few things about their frail humanity and gives them a direct insight into the world of people suffering from memory loss and its consequences. Alz is supposed to be a not-so-subtle reference to Alzheimer’s, but not everybody agrees. However, let’s see what this is all about.
What is Alz, The Game About Loss of Memory and Loneliness?
Its developers, quoted by the guys at Hyperallergic, say that Alz is
A short game. Well more like a short film. Well more like an experimental short film in ever-so-slightly interactive of a format.
Basically, your faceless character wanders around a surrealist world with few choices to make, surrounded by a puzzling environment, backed – up by a somber piano music fine – tuned by Broove. The game experience lasts for a few minutes, but it was described as touching beyond belief, as it throws you into a world you are sure you know a lot about, but in truth, you have little idea of how people with memory loss feel, and Alz is here to give you a sense of a reality nobody wishes to experience. The game is free to play and available online at Newgrounds. The best description for this game comes, however, from Allison Meier (at the Hyperallergic):
a poem-length immersion in the world of someone caught in the confusion of memory loss.