Lost New York

From IFWiki

Science Fiction
Six white ribbons.png
XYZZY Awards 1996
Finalist - Best Game, Best NPCs, Best Puzzles, Best Setting, Best Story, Best Writing
Lost New York
Lost New York icon.png
Author(s) Neil deMause
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 1996
Authoring system TADS 2
Platform(s) TADS 2
Language(s) English
License(s) Freeware (or Shareware if you want to unlock the hints)
Color effects none
Graphics none
Sound/Music none
Cruelty scale Cruel

How It Begins

It begins with two short quotes, one by former NYC mayor Philip Hone, and one by Luc Sante.

You are a visitor to New York City with some time to kill, so you decided to visit the Statue of Liberty. You are wearing a wristwatch and a knapsack, the latter of which has your credit card and four subway tokens. Unfortunately, heavy fog has both blocked the view from the statue and interrupted the ferry service to and from Liberty Island. You're stuck here until you can find another way off.

Notable Features

  • Time travel and significant amounts of historical content. The player, if successful, will travel to several eras of New York City.
  • In-game hints are locked. Players must register their copy of the game in order to receive a file that explains how to access the hints.
  • When you end the game, your "rank" is the name of New York City's mayors, accompanied by a paragraph about what that mayor was noted for.
  • Difficult puzzle game. It is easy to strand or destroy needed items and make the game unwinnable.
  • Several dispenser-type items which create new identical objects.

Trivia and Comments

  • On August 12, 1996, the author announced a mini-contest which was called the LOST NEW YORK Easter Egg Hunt. It consisted of a list of ten responses from the game (see Spoilers below) that players could evoke from the game using particular commands. Players were to try to be the first to discover all ten of these commands as they could before January 1st, 1997. The prize was the book You Must Remember This: An Oral History of Manhattan from the 1890s to World War II by Jeff Kisseloff. (Q: Who won this contest?)
  • Early discussion of the game often mistakenly called it Lost In New York. Eventually, a much different and much shorter game with that name was written: Lost In New York (Mikko Vuorinen; 2000; Alan).
  • A joke game, Lost Anaheim Hills, or, Pick Up Anaheim Hills and Die (Adam Cadre; Z-code), was likely inspired by both Lost New York and Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die (Rob Noyes; 1996; Z-code).


Early versions

  • Lost New York (Neil deMause; 1996; TADS 2).
    • One version was version 1.02.
    • Version 1.1 was released on August 12, 1996.
    • XYZZY Awards 1996: Finalist for Best Game, Best NPCs, Best Puzzles, Best Setting, Best Story, Best Writing.

Version 1.4 (latest)

Feelies from feelies.org were once available for this game, but this particular package has been discontinued. The items in this package were:

  • A guide to the history of New York.
  • A genuine New York subway token.
  • A postcard of old New York.
  • A software key to unlock the in-game hints. This last item was a file sent by e-mail.


General info