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Alice in wonderland is a quirky game we see kicking around on a few consoles these days, this game is what some people may call a "game of the film". Alice in wonderland follows the rough plot of Tim Burton's Alice in wonderland where Alice returns to underland to restore order and defeat the red queen. As always Alice slips into underland via the rabbit hole and along her way meets array of bizarre characters including tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, the mad hatter, Cheshire and more.
Starting the game to my surprise I didn't actually play the character Alice, I started playing the game by controlling the white rabbit and throughout the game I could switch to play the mad hatter, Cheshire cat and the Caterpillar. Each character has special abilities which you will need to sue as a team to help solve puzzles and help Alice to reach her destination.Alice will obediently follow the player but let her stray away and the queens red troops will kidnap her.
At the engining of the game the white rabbit(you) and Alice are in the strange garden being instructed by the tweedles on the controls, here we beat our first set of red troops and collect our first puzzle piece to add to the Oraculum map. Throughout the game there are puzzle pieces to collect, this will start to make the Oraculum map complete allowing you to explore new places and create shortcuts to old destinations if need be. Through the game we have armour to collect ready to battle against the jabberwocky, chests to open and pictures to collect.
The white rabbit has the ability to slow time down or up. Things in the game that are purple indicate when you can use this ability IE - speed time up to make a purple chandelier fall to the ground so you and Alice can step on it. Absolem has the ability to stretch out and create Bridges so Alice can walk over water spots too deep to cross. Cheshire has the ability to make things vi sable and invisible. The mad hatter, where there is a floating orange hat, the mad hatter has the ability to change perspective to create new locations.
The graphics are quite restrained keeping them a simple 2D design mad up of mostly black and white striking lines to make a bigger impact with subtle coloured background and objects making each level seem Erie and strange like underworld should be without attempting to replicate the look of the film they have managed to capture ghostly and mysterious feeling when playing this game. The music helps set the scene on Alice IN wonderland too. Complete orchestra in the usual Tim Burton style the music is slow tempered and gives off a supernatural vibe.
The game roughly follows the film plot, the music helps set the scene but uh-oh. The controls aren't the best. For anyone who loves playing with the buttons you'll Eb disappointed to find out this is completely com trolled by the touchscreen option and you have to play with the stylus on the screen. You have to place the stylus on the screen in the direction ouw ant to walk, jump and fight. To me this is annoying, all the way through the game I forgot and started trying to play with the buttons, getting frustrated and then remember why it wouldn't work. This games seems to be strictly aimed at children due to how easy the game is. The levels are not so complex and are fairly easy to follow and back track if you have gone down the wrong dead end.
Over all Alice in wonderland is a good game to waste time with. To me it wasn't very exciting and it didn't hold my attention for long I played this little and not often but I never gave up and did finish the game. The levels after a while because a little repetitive due to the same fight scenes with the red troops, Alice being annoying and not following you. I also notice that towards the end of the game having to swap characters due to their much needed abilities became more frequent and in the long run annoying.
I'd like to begin by telling you that Alice in Wonderland is one of those rare treats in modern gaming, a genuine surprise. That the game is original, stylish, suited well to the console and fun to play is impressive enough, that the game is also a box office tie-in is astonishing. As gamers we have grown accustomed to the "game of the film" releases, events usually so devoid of effort and creative spark that they serve no purpose but to waste our time (See "Alice in Wonderland" for the Wii.) All too often we are the victims of an industry that sees the video game market as little more than an extension of their marketing campaign, I am pleased to say that the handheld Alice in Wonderland stands proudly as one of the best tie-in games ever made.
Alice in Wonderland follows the rough plot of the recent Tim Burton remake. Alice has returned to "Underland" via rabbit hole where she meets an array of bizarre characters. Surprisingly, the game does not place you in control of Alice. Instead you are given the White Rabbit, Caterpillar, Mad Hatter or Cheshire Cat to control. each has its own range of abilities and you will be expected to switch between them to solve puzzles. Alice will obediently follow the player, waiting upon request. Get too far away from her however and the Red Queen's troops will arrive and kidnap her. Eventually she will confront the villainous Red Queen and save the world. Larger details from the film are ignored and instead the game tasks you to stop Wonderland from falling apart by recovering piece of the map. As you locate more bits of the map you will be able to juggle them around, allowing you to reach new areas and create shortcuts.
Alice in Wonderland's biggest achievement is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the Nintendo DS. Firstly it takes the sensible choice of restraining the graphics. In the days of Xbox 360s and Playstation 3s we are all aware of how good computer graphics can get and attempting to replicate the look of the film would be a mistake. Instead the game designers seem to have liberally lifted a style from Tim Burton's more stylised films, particularly The Nightmare Before Christmas. The game presents a 2D world, mostly in Black and White with elements of strong colour. Strong outlines and sharp contrasts create a Wonderland built out of shadow and pen strokes. The effect is stunning and presents a visually flawless look that 3D games on the console just can't replicate.
Controls are solid, though it might upset anyone that prefers to use the buttons. It is entirely operated through the touch screen. Similarly to Nintendo's own Zelda titles on the DS, characters are controlled by holding the stylus against the screen to lead them. It can get a little fiddly when switching between characters but is manageable and fun.
Unfortunately the game seems to sell itself short with its difficulty and keeps things pretty simple, clearly believing itself to be of interest only to the kid's market. Again, this is totally pointless as children continue to prove they are better at games than the rest of us and more deserving of a good challenge now and then. After the while the game also sinks into repetition a little, random baddies encounters become more frustrating and once you've unlocked all the characters and their powers the game stops throwing anything new at you until the big finale.
All in all, playing Alice in Wonderland was a positive experience on the DS. It was nice to play a tie-in game that felt like a good experience in its own right. It was also nice to see a tie- in push out in its own creative style and cover new ground. It is an enjoyable, if easy game and for once it feels as though the hollywood connection has hindered the sales of a deserving game rather than the other way around.
An easy recommend.