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Alice’s Warped Wonderland REcollection: A Delightfully Dark Experience

Alice’s Warped Wonderland Recollection is a horror visual novel with outstanding production values and plenty of replay factor. I went into my review on this totally blind, and came away chillingly surprised.

I really just didn’t care for the art style they went for here.

First and foremost, there’s almost no spelling or syntax errors. I spotted a couple, but nothing that could even be considered bad, particularly by the standard of most visual novels. While there’s no voice acting, they make good use of bold words and italics to emphasize emotion. The text will also shake if a character is particularly panicked, and the screen will strobe if you’ve received a shock. They’re simple techniques, but they add to the experience. (It’s worth noting that the strobing comes out of nowhere, so if you’re photosensitive, this VN might not be for you. ) The VN does support the use of a controller, and the control scheme is flawlessly implemented. The music is minimalistic and really is there purely to set a vague creepy mood and little else. It works for what it is. The character art, however, is REALLY weak. They’ve gone the route that so many devs have of late, using 3D modeling for characters, and to be painfully honest, it’s just not good. The best character designs in the game are “okay” at their highest point.

3D models are pretty mediocre, particularly compared to the detailed backgrounds.

Thankfully, the story more than makes up for the poor character designs. Alice in Wonderland is a REALLY common theme to see done in anime, visual novels, and video games, because the story and characters are in the public domain. Most of the time, they’re focused more on the visuals and miss the tone of the original source material. Warped Wonderland, however, does not. The writer(s) have managed to match the absurd and surreal quality of the original novel itself in the universe they’ve created. It becomes very easy to empathize with how off-balance Alice is in the world, because she is just as confused as you are. Unlike the Disney movies you’re most likely familiar with, the lingering sense of dread never goes away. The story goes to some VERY dark places, and it’s not for everyone.

The VN tries to keep you off-balance and full of lingering dread, and generally succeeds.

The game definitely hits all the QoL notes perfectly. There’s a skip feature for when you’ve already read a chapter. There’s a flowchart that you can readily access at any point, and jump to any previously viewed point in the story. Reaching an ending doesn’t do a soft reset to title; it just bumps you into the flowchart section, so you can hop right back to whatever choice you want. There’s a total of ten basic endings within the body of the game, and five “true” endings. There’s some postgame extras that unlock as well, so people who have enjoyed the game will find a reason to come back and linger a bit.

Small graphical tricks (this was moving) add to the narrative quality, and the team should be commended.

It’s worth noting that the price point can be a turnoff. $25 is a bit high for a game that’s got a rather weak art style. It’s also got somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 hours of total reading time to see everything, so those of you who equate game length with value may find it a little short for the price. I also feel it’s important to point out that the true endings are all dependent on your final choice, so the journey you took to get there has no bearing, which some might be bothered by. I suspect at least part of the price on Steam is due to the game also being out on Switch. I absolutely feel like this is a VN worth experiencing, but I’d personally have struggled to justify paying full price, just due to the lower quality graphics.

To buy Alice’s Warped Wonderland: REcollection, CLICK HERE.

The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.

The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.

When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.

Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.

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