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American McGee is best known for his work on shooters likeQuake III, but he split off from id Software recently and his first effort isAlice, a twisted romp through his own version of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. The trick is that Alice, now older, is the lone survivor of a house fire that kills her family. She's stuck in an asylum and must regain her own sanity by returning to the madcap Wonderland she visited as a child. She's a darker person now, and, perhaps consequently, Wonderland is correspondingly dark.

The Queen of Hearts cruelly rules the land, the White Rabbit is tattered, the Cheshire Cat sports a pirate earring and a mangy, emaciated look, and the Mad Hatter is even madder than before. Alice, armed with her characteristic politeness, athletic ability, and a large knife, must venture through this dark Wonderland righting wrongs while thwarting the Queen and her army of playing-card guards.

The game itself uses an over-the-shoulder perspective and has Alice running, jumping, and swinging from ropes like a younger and primmer Lara Croft. Controls are easy to use and aside from difficult jumping puzzles and an odd problem where Alice slides on surfaces, the game is easy to play. Wonderland here is dark, like a Tim Burton film, but still easily recognizable to fans of the classic novel. If anything the game is woefully linear--there's only one path and therefore no need to replay the game after you've finished it. The result is a game that feels more constrained and conservative than its source material should have allowed, but the atmosphere makes for an exciting action-adventure nonetheless. Mature subject matter is strewn throughout, so always remember that this isn't an E-ticket Disney ride. --Bob Andrews

Pros:

  • Gorgeous, wicked graphics
  • Excellent use of Carroll's famous characters
Cons:
  • High system requirements
  • Very linear
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review by . August 19, 2004
posted in The Gaming Hub
Poor, poor Alice. Your parents killed in a fire, you are now trapped in an insane asylum with only your madness to keep you company. Even your dreams of Wonderland have become corrupted by a fractured mind, old friends becoming terrifying menaces and familiar places now dank and mysterious. What was once a place of wonder now becomes a life-threatening journey into your own psychosis.    Clever, wicked Alice, filled with malice, to bring all your new toys into Wonderland with …
review by . November 14, 2001
posted in The Gaming Hub
One of the most engrossing aspect's of the Alice pc package hasn't even been mentioned yet. Included with the game is a small 20+ page booklet that is the journal of Alice's asylum doctor. It is a near daily record of the changes in Alice's condition, and the eerie happening's around her. I enjoyed reading it nearly as much as playing the game. Alice, like most have said already, is a stunning game with gorgeous graphics. I have a 750 mhz processor, asus motherboard, and voodoo3 3d card, and it …
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"A Darkness Carroll"
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