Product Type: Disney Interactive Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... 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 stra... more
Just on time.
Alice in Wonderland (DS)
Member Name: illogicology
Alice in Wonderland (DS)
Advantages: A stylish and original tie-in game, good fun and good ideas.
Disadvantages: A bit repetitive, never very challenging.
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.
Summary: Sets the standard for tie-in games and a must buy for DS owners.
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