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 PLATFORM: PC
JUST A FEW FRENCH FRIES SHORT OF A HAPPY MEAL

ormer id level designer, American Mcgee, has taken the tripped-out world of Lewis Carrol's Wonderland stories and thrown in a much darker twist. Alice has grown a few years, and since the burning death of her parents when she was younger, she has come to reside in an insane asylum. One night the rabbit returns and she finds herself in a much darker and twisted Wonderland than she remembers. Apparently, the Queen of Hearts has really tightened her vice grip on Wonderland. It's had an ugly effect on the world and the locals that inhabit it.

No longer content to be a sassy moralist lecturer, Alice finds that it's much easier to dispatch those who would get in her way with a butcher knife. Running on the Quake III Arena engine, Mcgee's Alice is essentially a third-person shooter with so much personality it almost creates a genre of its own.

Rogue Entertainment made a smart move by actually hiring somewhat talented voice actors to play the parts of the various Wonderland denizens. Rabbit, the Cat, the Hatter, Dee and Dumb, and Alice's nemesis, the Queen of Hearts, are all present and accounted for (albeit in slightly twisted and darker forms). The level designs are also impressive, with plenty of tricky jumps and interesting puzzles to solve; but more importantly, they are lavished with detail and unusual sights.

Aside from the knife, even Alice's weapons defy convention. Whenever a new weapon is acquired, the Cheshire Cat appears with a little commentary: "When is a croquet mallet like a billy club? Why, whenever you want it to be." Most of her items of destruction are based on toys. A deck of cards allows Alice to play a razor-sharp game of 52 pickup with her opponents, jacks home in on enemies, and a pair of dice summon deadly force.

I think what truly impressed me was how well this dark Wonderland works as a game setting. The game literally plays like a dream. Plot turns and the tasks set before you frequently seem almost arbitrary and nonsensical to the conscious mind, but on a deeper, murkier level, they make their own kind of sense. Jungian claptrap aside, I highly recommend posting a clock next to your computer when you start this game up. The hours seriously fly by like you wouldn't believe.  



KRISTIAN BROGGER   9.25
For all you people who want to immerse yourselves in the most jacked-up, bizarre, unthinkably twisted environments of all-time, I highly recommend you buy Alice. Then I recommend that you play it in a dark room at high volumes for a lengthy amount of time. When you come out you will do one of two things – have a psychotic break you’ll never return from, or sleep for 16 hours straight. This is by FAR the most whacked, insane, mind-wringing game I have ever seen. You think Alice is this nice little girl with blond hair and good manners, but it turns out she’s a knife-wielding harbinger of ultra-violence, the likes of which even Hannibal Lector has never seen. This title is creative on a level that would disturb an LSD addict, if that sheds any light on it for you. When you start playing Alice you can say ‘bye bye’ to reality and 'hello' to insanity, because what you’re about to see is going to knock you right on your ass.
9
CONCEPT:
Basic action set in a delightfully macabre world
GRAPHICS:
A little blocky at times, but the art is beautiful
SOUND:
Crazy cool voice-overs and nifty sounds
PLAYABILITY:
You will rarely feel cheated on some of those trickier jumps
ENTERTAINMENT:
So cool you'll never realize it's just another action game
REPLAY:
Moderate
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