When I was a kid, my mom used to buy me a children’s book. I grew up reading these books of imaginary stories and tales of wonder. Speaking of wonder, one of my favorite stories is the story of Alice and her adventures in wonderland by Lewis Caroll. Alice is a young girl who followed a bizarre looking rabbit down to a rabbit hole and had a chance to explore the mysterious world called Wonderland, which is only a product of her wild imagination. There, she would meet strange creatures such as a grinning cat, a mad hatter, a smoking caterpillar, and even a ferocious queen of hearts. All is in harmony until an accident destroyed her life as she knew it. Although not included in Lewis Caroll’s original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a tragedy will change everything, and thus a new story begins.
In 2011, game designer American Mcgee and Spicy Horse studio, released a psychological horror action-adventure video game titled “Alice Madness Returns”. It was published by Electronic Arts Incorporated for Windows, Xbox, and Play Station. This game is a sequel to “American McGee’s: Alice”. Actually, I just finished playing it and I couldn’t resist myself from writing my reaction about it. The twist is unexpectedly incredible and taking Alice’s madness to the next level is what makes this video game one of my favorite third-person perspective games of all time.
In continuous of the story I mentioned earlier, Alice’s madness returned when the fire burned her house down which she believed is the reason that killed her family. She will then be discharged in an orphanage for mentally traumatized orphans under the care of Dr. Angus Bumby, a psychiatrist. Asked by the doctor, teenage Alice will have a chance to run around and there, she will chase a white cat that will eventually lead her to Wonderland. Her adventure in Wonderland, which is once again corrupted by a new evil force, then starts to restore balance and to discover the truth behind her past.
More and more revelations came as I completed each chapter. I met characters that I never saw in Lewis Caroll’s book, like the giant abominable snowman and the samurai bee warriors. Some characters evolved too, like the wise caterpillar that became a butterfly. Hatter even made his tea house into a giant tea factory. After I finished the game, I realized that some characters in Wonderland exist in Alice’s real life. Even now, I can’t believe that the Queen of Hearts is actually her sister Lizzy.
I also reached some places that never appear in the book like the “Tundraful” and the “Mysterious East”. These places fit and could be in Wonderland. After all, the magical land is relatively big and holds a lot of mysterious places that Alice probably hasn’t discovered yet. Another cool thing about Alice is her unique dresses that change depending on the Scenery. My personal favorite is her Japanese dress, a combination of aristocratic gothic and Japanese classic kimono. The weapons are also fantastic in appearance and destruction capabilities, designs that could really be seen and produced in Wonderland armory.
I think the biggest twist in this game is the one that connects with the saying “trust no one”. Even the kindest person you know could be your mortal enemy and sometimes, only your wild imagination could unravel the truth.