Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 52
  2. Negative: 1 out of 52
  1. Jun 14, 2011
    92
    Alice: Madness Returns reminds me a lot of classic N64 platformers like Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie in the best of ways. By mixing a dark reimagining of a literary classic with stylish combat and rock-solid platforming, EA and Spicy Horse have created a gaming experience quite unlike any other. At any rate, its miles better than the lacklustre Tim Burton movie released last year. This is one rabbit hole worth tumbling down.
  2. Jun 14, 2011
    91
    The overall quality of Alice: Madness Returns is high, despite it feeling rushed. The qualities that made American McGee's Alice so enjoyable-the gory hack-'n'-slash combat, the gorgeous design, the rich dialogue, the menacing mood-are present and abundant.
  3. Jun 22, 2011
    85
    Alice: Madness Returns may not win awards for genre innovation, but it's the most darkly fun and gloriously batty game I've played since Psychonauts. I can't think of any higher praise.
  4. Jul 24, 2011
    80
    Despite the flaws, Alice: Madness Returns is still a really fun game to play. The combat is on the whole fluid and satisfying, making the most of the range of abilities, while the platforming and exploration rolls along at a decent pace. Spicy Horse has done an admirable job of continuing the legacy of Wonderland, but it's just a shame that some of the madness seeped into design choices.
  5. Jul 5, 2011
    80
    All and all, Alice Madness Returns is an exquisite alternative point of view of a classical story, given as a twisted gaming extravaganza. The constant platforming can be tiring, but the rich content repays the gamer.
  6. Jun 24, 2011
    80
    Alice: Madness Returns is a wolf in sheep's clothing. This game may look honest and cute, but it's cruel and bloody. Alice takes you to an another unforgettable experience in Wonderland. And if you didn't remember the first experience, then you get the opportunity to play the first game for free. Buy it, please.
  7. Jun 21, 2011
    80
    Alice: Madness Returns should please fans of the original and newcomers alike. The game can feel a bit dated and tedious at times, but the incredibly dark Wonderland that American McGee has crafted is just begging to be explored.
  8. Jun 19, 2011
    80
    In the end Alice: Madness Returns is a fun game that really twists the traditional arcade platformer with the acid like world of the original Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland.
  9. Jun 17, 2011
    80
    Alice Madness Returns should please fans of the original while captivating some new gamers with its macabre storytelling.
  10. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Impressive. This darker spin on a classic tale is full of great atmosphere and some well-designed platforming.
  11. Jun 22, 2011
    79
    A fairly competent game that is held back by some mediocre platforming sections.
  12. Jun 22, 2011
    79
    A fairly competent game that is held back by some mediocre platforming sections.
  13. Jun 17, 2011
    79
    Alice - Madness Returns is the kind of game that's retro in both a good sense and a bad: It's a tough game to beat, but lacks innovations and better graphics.
  14. Jun 23, 2011
    78
    And that, in a nutshell, can be used to sum up Alice: The Madness Returns. There are moments of brilliance; of clever design, fiendish platforming, loads of secrets, and intense combat. At others, though, Alice's adventure can be an unpolished, frustrating exercise in repetition. To say Alice is trippy would be more than a slight understatement. I have to say I enjoyed my journey into madness as I plunged further and further down the proverbial rabbit hole more than I thought I would initially. Still, I can't help but feel like it could, and probably should, have been better.
  15. Jun 14, 2011
    78
    Alice's second trip into madness isn't quite as satisfying or fresh as her first. Everything feels dated and there's an unfinished, even hurried quality to the game that's more than a little disappointing. That doesn't mean there's a shortage of great moments or fantastic ideas, because Madness Returns has both in spades.
  16. Jun 17, 2011
    76
    It has been great to enjoy a classic 3D platforming game. These sort of games have almost disappeared in this generation, except for mediocre movie adaptations. American McGee and his team have made a great game, fresh and charming.
  17. Jul 15, 2011
    75
    Madness Returns is by no means a terrible game, as in fact quite the opposite is the case. But its enormous potential combined with its stubborn unwillingness to take much, if any creative risks, keep this one from achieving its fullest potential.
  18. Jun 29, 2011
    75
    After ten years there is finally a new Alice game. The story is interesting, the platforming works great and the level design is fantastic, but the game looks a bit old and there are a few annoying mistakes in the gameplay and also the fighting system doesn't work perfect. But besides of that, this is a fine game for the fans.
  19. Jun 17, 2011
    75
    An avant-garde game, but not in the gameplay department.
  20. Jun 22, 2011
    73
    Madness Returns' presentation won't please everybody and the average gamer might feel out of place with the unique horror-theme. Since there are very few games on the market like it presentation-wise, Alice's newest adventure is worth checking out.
  21. Jun 17, 2011
    71
    While Alice: Madness Returns has a number of problems, its artistic side and its genuine concept calls off the bad. This is a game that truly could have outshined American McGee's Alice with its interesting production values, but instead it leaves us slightly disappointed.
  22. Jun 14, 2011
    71
    Why such a focus on action when the control scheme can't really handle that emphasis? Why not do a lot more with the atmosphere and storyline? Why does it take the story so long to get anywhere? These are questions I didn't want to ask.
  23. Madness Returns is in a tricky position. It could never offer pistol-quick mechanics because of the character design and it often feels like a chore to finish a stage. You'll also probably get pretty tired of finding and shooting switches to reveal a hidden platform, or slogging through another round of five or six enemies. Yet it dares to be different, so if you're happy to admire it for is own sake then you should find some fun amongst the insanity. [August 2011 p74]
  24. Jun 24, 2011
    70
    Alice: Madness Returns isn't a bad game; it's a game that isn't quite good enough. Tighter controls, a little more testing, and either much less or much better combat would've turned Madness Returns into one of the all-time greats. Right now, it's picturesque but annoying. It's fun to look at, some of the stages are OK, and there's a lot of variety both in the level design and in the basic gameplay, but as a game, it's frequently half-baked.
  25. Jun 21, 2011
    70
    American McGee, I really wanted to love Alice: Madness Returns, truly I did. And while I can say that in it there were instances of fun and moments of wonder, these were eclipsed by an excess of repetition, a surfeit of crummy-looking textures and a general lack of polish. And so I admit to you with a heart full of regret, that Madness Returns has failed to live up to either my dreams or its own potential.
  26. 70
    Overall, Alice: Madness Returns is a nice little action platformer. It's not without its problems, and the levels do tend to drag on for a while, but the core mechanics are strong enough than genre fans should give it a look.
  27. Jun 17, 2011
    70
    Alice: Madness Returns is stylistically gorgeous, with its crazy characters and a great environmental design. It's a shame that everything is spoiled by huge technical issues, bad graphics and a great lack of variety.
  28. Jun 16, 2011
    70
    All the trudging, mundane puzzles, and hours spent on air vents are worth it at the end when secrets are revealed and the scattered memories all start to make sense.
  29. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    Far from a bad game. Stellar art and a darkly unique stage help set it apart from the brown and bloom of this console generation, and Spicy Horse should no doubt be commended for their approach to an underfed genre in the HD-gen platformer.
  30. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    Madness Returns is a fantastic, alternative vision of Wonderland, full of secrets and fascinating creatures. However, its gameplay doesn't evolve from the first chapter and tends to be repetitive.
  31. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    There's a lot to like with Alice: Madness Returns, but regretfully there is more that needs work to make it even more likable. Had this had a few more months to stew in beta and the release date pushed back into the holiday season then maybe these little things (camera, AI and repetitive enemies) could have been worked out. As it is, the game is a little broken, but certainly not as severely as the main character.
  32. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    I'd have liked the adventure to have been trimmed of fat, the combat is at times extremely irritating, and the art design far exceeds the technical prowess on show, but at its core Alice: Madness Returns is an imaginative romp through a world that's clearly been designed by some incredibly creative minds.
  33. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    Playing Alice: Madness Returns isn't as exciting as looking at it, but you'll still enjoy getting lost in this twisted fantasy adventure.
  34. Jun 17, 2011
    68
    Alice Madness Returns is a beatiful game. The beginning is great but after the first few hours Alice Madness Returns becomes too repetitive. In some situations the gameplay is only a mess.
  35. Jun 14, 2011
    68
    What starts out as a promising romp through a demented Wonderland devolves into a few good ideas stretched across redundant gameplay.
  36. Jun 16, 2011
    67
    Provides a visually interesting world, with competent gameplay mechanics, but it ultimately fails to completely draw the player into the depths of its promised insanity to satisfaction.
  37. Jun 27, 2011
    65
    The weird setting around alice's wonderland is pretty cool, but the gameplay has no stunning features and is nowhere special. The graphics aren't state of the art, however, the atmosphere and the sound effects are pretty nice.
  38. Jun 17, 2011
    65
    Alice: Madness Returns isn't as good as we expected. It has a lot of style and very good visual deisgn, but its long main adventure becomes very repetitive too soon.
  39. Jun 14, 2011
    65
    Presents a fantastically imagined vision of Wonderland full of secrets, collectables, and wondrous areas of classic platforming to explore. But through questionable level design, graphical inconsistency, and repetitive gameplay, I was pulled out of the experience more than I would have liked.
  40. Jul 3, 2011
    62
    Insipidly competent but, sadly, just a bit of a yawn to play. [Aug 2011, p.84]
  41. Sep 16, 2011
    60
    Alice: Madness Returns is interesting, visually stunning and inviting. Some of the gameplay elements excites in its pure form, but combat does seem ridgid and sometimes random. It's close, but not quite the cigar for Mr. McGee.
  42. Jul 20, 2011
    60
    It's a game for platform lovers, gothic and macabre environments, but decide whether to buy or not with caution.
  43. The problem is that, even at its best, it's an 11-year-old best. [Aug 2011, p.114]
  44. 60
    A moderately fun action-adventure title that creates an interesting, albeit confusing experience to play through, which just needed a little more polish, spark, and character progression to make it great.
  45. Jun 20, 2011
    60
    Ten years. That's what it took for a follow-up to the original American McGee's Alice to be born. A great day for the fans, who will immediately recognize the trashy-gore touch of the developer. They won't be disappointed by the singular atmosphere, which captures imagination right from the start of the game. But its terrible lack of polish and technical shortcomings may also frighten a lot of people. The fans will probably forgive those, but others may not.
  46. Jun 17, 2011
    60
    At the end of the day, Alice: MR has a lot of good ideas from a lot of other good games, but never really executes them as well as the originals did. Unless you're a hardcore fan of the original, or a dedicated platforming junkie, you'll want to skip this return to wonderland.
  47. Jun 23, 2011
    58
    Alice is a competent action-platformer with richly imaginative worlds steeped in allusive imagery. Half of the fun is seeing how American McGee has transformed the beloved stories into a wicked journey that nicely complements and embellishes its source material. Alice: Madness Returns can be darkly engrossing, but also, a devestating reminder that more is not always better.
  48. Jul 19, 2011
    57
    Aside from intense boredom, you'll also have to compete with shonky mechanics and intense frustration. [Issue#207, p.86]
  49. Jul 14, 2011
    55
    It is, however, a game with truly stunning production values. There's some great animation, fantastic voice acting, and the levels have jaw-dropping visual design. It's also painfully repetitive.
  50. Jun 20, 2011
    50
    Quotation forthcoming.
  51. A poor pace potholes the proceedings...Alice chugs and chugs and chugs. [July 2011, p.84]
  52. Jan 9, 2012
    40
    Alice: Madness Return has a terrific visual style and intriguing ideas, which is why it's so frustrating to see what could've been a clever game turn into such a tedious, drawn-out mess.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 48
  2. Negative: 3 out of 48
  1. Jun 14, 2011
    8
    The reviews are full of sh!t I don't usually make a big deal about reviews (because very rarely do they affect my purchase decision), but I'm three chapters into the game (about 6 hrs) and I'm not seeing any of the "problems" that are bringing the scores down. Well... It's not so much that some of the quibbles don't exist (audio/visual glitches, random loading), it's more that they don't occur frequently enough (or as bad) to distract from the actual game/gameplay. Not to mention, the game oozes an amazing artstyle & story -- and plenty of variety (contrary to what the reviews say). Presuming the game keeps on this path, I'd give it an 8/10. Maybe a 7.5/10 depending on what mood I'm in. But definitely not a 5 or 6. Gamespot has a fairly accurate review; but I just think they exaggerate how much the "bad" affects the overall enjoyment of the game. If you enjoyed the first game, enjoying the second game is a given. True story. Full Review »
  2. Jun 16, 2011
    9
    This game is a piece of art. If you're looking for adrenalin rush, or for a game to be a fine tuned hypnotic machine to make you think you're l33t. This is not that game. It is a fine piece of art for those who want to explore a fantastic world artfully placed between genius and insanity.

    Game reviewers these days are such morons. On one hand, they whine like dying cows when outsiders say game isn't art. On the other hand, when a truly artistic game comes out, they complain about gameplay being too repetitive and "irritating" then use that to slap on a low score.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 14, 2011
    8
    I was a little nervous after the first critic rang in with a 50....... BUT after playing it for the last 3 hours I can say that its easily a 7.5/10 that I will round up to 8 for this review. The music and audio is amazing, the gameplay is good (notice I did not say GREAT) as the fighting mechanics are sound I just wish there were more moves and weapons and the Puzzles seem a tad too easy which makes me not want to have to do them to begin with. Overall a solid game. Full Review »