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Retro Gaming 10’s- Alice: Madness Returns (2011)

When it comes down to underrated fantasy-horror games from the early 10’s one of the most underrated video games from that period would have to be Alice: Madness Returns. For those who do not know Alice: Madness Returns was developed by now defunct Chinese indie video game developer Spice Horse and published by Electronic Arts back in 2011. The game was considered to be a sequel to the original American McGee Alice game from 2000 which appeared on the PS3 and Xbox 360. A decade ago Alice: Madness Returns was seen simply as a intriguing multi-genre fantasy-horror video game. A decade later Alice: Madness Returns is highly regarded by critics as a masterpiece that was ahead of its time. The opening intro for the Alice: Madness Returns looked eerie and was nothing short of nightmare fuel similar to rest of the game. The storyline involving the main character Alice Liddel was very tragic seeing that she lost her family in a fire and had to live in a psychiatric clinic with other orphans who have been traumatized in Victorian London. Alice’s traumatization caused Wonderland to turn into a dark place leading her to search for answers. In order to rid herself of the nightmares regarding past Alice had seemed to learn more about what happened during the night of the fire.

The storyline in Alice: Madness Returns eventually takes a darker and more twisted turn during the second half of as players discover what really happened during the night Liddel’s family was killed. It turns out that a psychiatrist named Dr. Angus Bumpy who was supposed to take care of the orphans was the the true main antagonist Alice: Madness Returns. Dr. Bumby was not only responsible for sexually assaulting Alice’s sister but he also burned her family’s house down and killed them while they were still in it. This psychological horror title had twelve different chapters and the whole game could be completed within 8-10 hours. There are various levels that have platform and puzzle solving elements despite being mostly an action-adventure hack ‘n slash game. Alice: Madness Returns had creepy character designs and ominous yet suspenseful BGM which made the game feel more like an actual horror movie. The game had four difficulties including Easy, Normal, Hard and Nightmare which could be changed at any time for those who were looking for more of a challenge. While the whole game in general was very creepy Chapter 5 was arguably the most terrifying level in the game. The Dollhouse resembled a post-apocalyptic Polly Pocket Playset and the Doll battle was beyond frightening. Since its release the game has managed to reach over 1.5 million copies in sales and ended up receiving an animated sequel in the form of two short films from ‘15 entitled Alice: Otherlands. As it currently stands its unclear whether or not we will ever get a video game sequel to Alice: Madness Returns. Its been over a decade since Madness Returns was released and even though American Mcgee wants to make Alice: Asylum a reality its unlikely to happen; unless Electronic Arts is interested in publishing the game itself.

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