Thanks to Brave Rock Games for the review code
Title: Alice in Wonderland
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release Date: 09/01/2016
Back with another visual novel, Brave Rock games provides us with a story focused game based off the classic fairytale, which before this game I’ve never read. Since the entire game is one big story split into chapters, I won’t disclose the entire plot and instead just say that its the usual journey into a mysterious world under control by a rude queen.
The visuals are handled almost the same as they were in Red Riding Hood, with 2D character drawings over real-world backgrounds, and unfortunately they clash just as bad here as they did in that game. On the bright side, the chapter menu looks clean and the artwork is a step above Red Riding Hood in the quality department, although I can’t help but wish they ditched the real world backgrounds in favor of keeping the artstyle consistent.
Music and Sound
Considering how this is a storybook game, music is not a priority at all, and it shows in this game. While they do try to give the story a quiet, non-intrusive melody to go along with the reading, most of the themes still come off as quite generic, and contribute nothing of significance to the game. The voice acting on the other hand is a major improvement from the previous effort, with a narrator helping to read the story. You have the option of turning off some of the voices at the start of each chapter, but I do recommend you leave them on just for that extra charm.
Just like I mentioned earlier, Alice in Wonderland isn’t a game, rather being an interactive storybook. You pick a chapter, choose a setting and then have the story read to you, and that’s pretty much it. From a technical standpoint, everything works as it should, although I can’t help but wish the text speed was a tad faster and that you could skip ahead during the narration. (if you read faster than they speak but still want to hear their voices) Content wise, you should get a good hour or two out of this story due to the amount of chapters it provides, covering the original quite well. (while cutting out some fluff)
In conclusion, Alice in Wonderland is an interactive storybook meant to showcase the old fairytale to newcomers, and it fulfills its purpose. For folks like me who’ve never touched a previous version of the story, it’ll get the job done for the most part, and the voice acting works just like it should. Obviously don’t expect anything interactive or too in-depth, but if you are part of the target audience for this game and want a more cartoony take on the story, (if the Disney movie doesn’t cut it for some reason) then Alice in Wonderland is the game for you. However at the current price point of $5 I will say it’s a bit steep, especially considering how this novel is public domain and can be found just about anywhere. If it goes on sale for around $3 or so I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up if you’re interested in some fairytale reading, but for the default price I can only recommend it to those who have no other options or those who are simply curious on how this version was adapted. You get what’s advertised, and not much else. I give Alice in Wonderland a 5 out of 10.