July 22, 2018
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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 600 MB    4x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 16-bit

American McGee's Alice
August 21, 2001 | Kit Pierce

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There is no multiplayer element to the game, and I am glad for that. Given the rapid development cycle of most games lately, it can easily be argued that the game would have suffered in quality severely if time and resources had been diverted to adding a multiplayer facet to Alice. In any case, considering the way the game is set up, the idea of chasing each other around trying to kill each other serves to undermine the puzzle-solving nature of the title.

Alice is also OS X compatible. I appreciated not having to drop back into OS 9 every time I wanted to play. The readme lists some known issues with X and Alice, spotty sound during the cutscenes being one of them. The issues didn't bother me much, but, as always, your mileage may vary.

What Alice is Not
Alice is not a particularly challenging game, among other things. It is an average jump-and-shoot puzzle game. Though the action ranges across lands beyond imagination, the action itself is rather redundant and can become tiresome in long stretches. That said, I was able to finish Alice on moderate difficulty in about 16 hours broken up across four sittings.

The course of the game takes you through some very interesting places rich in detail. Then ending drops that to a degree. It's a bit labored and feels like it was thrown down just to end the game and get it over with. It's also a shame that the surrealistic puzzle quality of the title degenerates to a jumping-puzzle game at the very end.

Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute I played, but the linear nature of the game doesn't provide a very compelling reason to play it again. There simply isn't a tremendous amount of replay value in Alice, although in the short time I've had Alice I've replayed it once just to make sure I saw everything the first time.

Alice is also not easy on hardware. In fact, it requires a hefty piece of iron to get on with itself. The box suggests: MacOS 8.6 or later (MacOSX compatible), 400MHz or faster (G3), 128 MB of memory, 4X CD-ROM, and Hardware 3D Acceleration required (ATI Rage 128 or later). If you can run Quake 3, Alice will be okay for you, but the better the video card, the more fun you'll have.

As far as a beautiful piece of programming, a wonderful and original game design, and a close to top-notch story I give Alice very high marks. Unfortunately, this isn't a design review, it's a game review; and from the limited degree of difficulty and homogenous game-play, Alice loses some points. Still, it's worth a play and for the most part lives up to its hype for its engrossing story and jaw-dropping visuals. Approach Alice as a story and not as a hard core gaming experience and the game will not disappoint. Approach it the other way around, and buyer beware.

American McGee's Alice
Publisher: Aspyr Media
Developer: Rogue Entertainment
Mac Version: Westlake Interactive
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Archives  Reviews  American McGee's Alice