Who remembers the Addams Family, Wednesday Addams in particular? Imagine Wednesday going to an orphanage or toy store filled with children. “Alice: The Madness Returns” is just like that.
Following the first “Alice” game, “The Madness Returns” is a direct continuation, though it doesn’t look like it at times. A much more desolate landscape welcomes you as you sink into insanity.
The game is undeniably strange — creepy as nothing should have any right to be. I’ve never liked dolls, and now they freak me out.
Spooky imagery aside, the game itself is beautiful. The graphics are crisp, and the music fits the mood of every chapter perfectly.
The game is as dark as you would expect it to be, considering it not only came from the mind of American McGee, but the name itself gives it away.
The fights can be tricky, but with masterful use of dodging and abusing the use of the teapot cannon, you shouldn’t have much trouble.
As for the story, it’s told in a way that almost seems realistic — if you don’t count Wonderland, anyway.
Outside of her psychosis, Alice still lives in Oxford with her caretaker, who is a prostitute.
She goes to a doctor to help her with the memory of the fire that killed her family, and tries to live the best she can.
Inside Wonderland, she makes some shocking discoveries about her past which she had forgotten, finds what was making her forget, and who is responsible for her troubles.
This leads to one of the most satisfying endings I’ve experienced: One involving a train and a delicious sense of irony.
Overall, this game is extraordinarily trippy. Kinda like diving into a swimming pool of LSD.
It enraged me, made me smile, and freaked me the hell out sometimes.
It should also be mentioned that you get a free copy of “American McGee’s Alice” when you buy “Alice: The Madness Returns.”
The game is worth it, and I would suggest that people try the game, if not buying it outright.
To contact Robert Bolton, email firstname.lastname@example.org.