So, here we were on our Gaming Adventure, and along came Alice: Madness Returns. I have not played the first Alice game, but this was next on my list, and that was the deal!
Just going to say, first off, that this game was VERY much outside my wheelhouse and/or comfort zone. I’ve not played anything like this that I can remember – puzzles and jumping and dodging and timing and dying… DYING so many times! I do not play “souls” games or “roguelike” games – I do not have the patience or tenacity for them! That being said, this game is so beautiful, darkly humorous, twisted, and a little bit silly (looking at YOU, Rabbit, and those SILLY teapots!) that the endless dying and “let’s try that again” made it fun/interesting enough for me to keep going to the end.
The story is also dark, twisted, but fascinating, and I kept going to learn more about poor Alice’s past. The memories were bittersweet, sad, and showed a broken and very interesting arc for young Alice. I am not sure how many of them were recalls to the previous game, but it didn’t matter, as the story was so well told that I could keep up easily with the story in this game.
The covering of mental health issues, deeply disturbing moments, and overall strangeness made the game quite complex, despite the apparently first-look appearance of “just another puzzle game” which you may think when you watch a few minutes of game play.
It’s not a “new game” by any means, and the graphics are not AAA game level, but they are gorgeous enough to make the game just beautiful to look at while you dodge hot tea, black blobs, and strange shadows with doll heads. I was thoroughly entranced and entertained.
I won’t show too many more shots from the game, as they definitely give spoilers, and that’s something I try not to do in these Gaming Adventure reviews.
I will say, though, that if you go into this game with no knowledge of the previous game, and an open mind, you will thoroughly enjoy it.
I certainly did!
And the whole time I played, I had Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” going around in my head, often humming it aloud.
Go ask Alice… when she’s 10 feet tall!