Friday, 28 September 2018 06:28

RETRO REVIEW: Alice in Wonderland (Multiple Platforms)

Written by Hollywood_Scarecrow
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(3 votes)

This game is definitely fun to play but sometimes lets you down. It's a psychedelic thrill-ride with puzzles around every corner. The graphics are undeniably charming, but the gameplay can be a little repetitive and is a little bit "style over substance". Let's take a closer look.

This 2010 release was fairly highly anticipated after the popularity of Tim Burton's film of the same name and was released on multiple platforms, including PC, Wii, and Nintendo DS. It was designed to bring us into the mad world of Wonderland, which has been explored over the years in many different adaptations after the publication of Lewis Carroll's original novel in 1865. This latest addition allows us to protect and chaperone Alice, as she fights off the Red Queen's army and the Jabberwocky and avoids capture - all by switching between the characters that we know and love.

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Although this is an adventure game, the main obstacles are puzzles, which come thick and fast but aren't too hard to master and are very engaging, aided by the very intuitive controls. However, as soon as you begin to enjoy the mystery-solving, you are let down by the complete lack of excitement at the battle scenes. Although they are designed to slow you down, the Red Knights show little resistance and attack in a predictable formation, allowing for a fairly easy but not hugely satisfying victory.

The game doesn't really veer from traditional Alice in Wonderland themes, like the psychological horror game American McGee's Alice which turns the adventure into more of a nightmare. And it doesn't really show us a new platform for the story, like the Alice Adventure casino game from Joe Fortune, or give us different types of gaming like Alice no paint Adventure, the Japanese arcade adaptation. However, for the platform that it does inhabit, it does a good job of entertaining and engaging the player, and it would be lying to say that it isn't fun to run around the enchanting digital world of Wonderland.

It was fairly well received after its release, but appeared more popular with DS and Wii users than PC, scoring an average of 78% positive for DS, 70% for Wii, but only an average of 62% for gameplay on PC. This suggests that the gameplay is more effective when performed on a handheld device, making it closer and more personal to the player, and possibly more exciting than it would be on a PC.

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The original actor for Alice, Mia Wasikowska, stayed on and reprised her role for the game, which makes for a more immersive experience. Unfortunately, her performance isn't matched by the 3D engine that can't keep up with the fast movement of the game, leading to a frustratingly low frame rate. The DS version avoided this problem, as well as using the striking cartoon versions of characters instead of trying to mimic Tim Burton's direction, which is probably why the DS version is considered so highly superior.

Overall, it is a fun game that will entertain the eyes but possibly not the mind, and lets us down when it comes to actual gameplay. Worth a play, but probably not a second run.


Additional Info

  • Review Score: 2.5 / 5.0
  • Platform: PC, Nintendo DS, 3DS, 2DS, Wii
  • Genre: 2D, Adventure