Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 67 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 67
  2. Negative: 1 out of 67
  1. 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.
  2. Jun 16, 2011
    70
    Fans of the original Alice will find plenty of here to love, and will certainly want to return to Wonderland to work towards a satisfying narrative conclusion. For others, putting up with the game's monotonous design may prove to be a personal spiral into madness they may want to avoid.
  3. Dec 12, 2011
    79
    The levels are creative and artistic direction is solid, but the actual gameplay suffers from a lack of diversity and being clumped into big chunks.
  4. Sep 14, 2011
    82
    All in all it's a decent game with only a few nagging issues to prevent it from being great. Comparatively, I think that the original did it better, but Spicy Horse has done a respectable job with the sequel.
  5. Aug 2, 2011
    70
    Had Madness Returns cut its length by half and tossed in a few more gameplay mechanics, it could have easily been one of the best titles released this year.
  6. Aug 1, 2011
    91
    Alice: Madness Returns certainly has its flaws - the least of which is pacing - but the experience of exploring the slowly-deteriorating mind of Alice Liddell in the imaginative and dark world of Wonderland is worth putting up with them for.
  7. Jul 15, 2011
    65
    Alice: Madness Returns is still a mad ride worth taking, but from start to finish, I never stopped thinking how much better it could have been with help from a strong editor's hand.
  8. Jul 14, 2011
    83
    Once you get sucked into the beautiful world of Wonderland you'll be drawn in and amazed with how unique McGee's imagination is about a story we all knew growing up. This is not your friendly Disney version of Alice in Wonderland or anything even close. This is Amercian McGee's twisted and amazingly complex Alice that tells a tale of a girl who's on the brink of losing her mind and what she must to do save it and Wonderland.
  9. Jul 7, 2011
    60
    Based on the classic book, just like the previous part, Madness Returns tries to follow up its predecessor's success and thinks that more brutality, sickness and weirdo-like patterns are enough to achieve it. Apart from an unrepeatable graphic style and some good passages it barely keeps our attention. Maybe next time.
  10. Jul 6, 2011
    75
    As lovely as Alice: Madness Returns is (and if you've not seen any screenshots, Madness Returns is a very good looking game), it can also be horridly repetitive, and there's a same-ness about subsequent levels, in that they, and the baddies that people them, don't feel as if they get any more challenging as you go along.
  11. Jul 5, 2011
    80
    Usually it would be said that a game such as this is spoiled by some poor game mechanics, however, Alice: Madness Returns' gameplay is completely forgiven as the story-telling, and creative direction take you on a magical, yet dark and disturbing journey that you never want to leave. It is the type of game that reminds of why you fell in love with gaming in the first place a proper break from reality.
  12. 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.
  13. Jul 4, 2011
    70
    Wonderland itself, the way it changes visually and the way it changes Alice, is the game's most important feature.
  14. 80
    A wonderfully realised fantasy world that is equal parts entrancing and disturbing. The story is well realised and will keep you enamoured until the credits roll. There are a few niggles here but nothing to stop Alice: Madness Returns from being a wonderfully different slice of entertainment. Now who's for tea?
  15. Jul 1, 2011
    50
    Alice: Madness Returns a visually stunning game with great art direction. However, the game is far too long and repetitive, and due to the uninspiring and outdated level design, it never reaches its full potential.
  16. Jul 1, 2011
    85
    As it turns out, following the rabbit down the rabbit hole is a whole lot of fun.
  17. Jun 28, 2011
    83
    It's far from perfect, but even further from broken. Alice looks good, plays good, and has a very decent length that should appease any diehard fan.
  18. Jun 28, 2011
    79
    If as much imagination had been applied to the gameplay that was put into the art design, Madness Returns would have been a phenomenal game.
  19. Jun 27, 2011
    75
    When the wondrous becomes the familiar and we begin to peek behind the warped Victorian-Gothic façade, we discover an action platformer that lacks strong differentiation.
  20. 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.
  21. Jun 23, 2011
    83
    The original is a more inspired game, but kudos to Spicy Horse for making this second foray through the looking glass more than tolerable.
  22. 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.
  23. Jun 22, 2011
    70
    My Recommendation, then, is clear/ But so I don't deprive/ You any longer, here it is: / You'll love it if you strive/ To overcome the boring bits.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Jun 21, 2011
    40
    Outdated action platformer that despite all its talk of madness is far too mundane in both design and visuals to justify its mammoth playing time.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Jun 20, 2011
    78
    For the most part though, Alice: Madness Returns bazaar setting and imaginative design does a great job of immersing you, and whilst the repetition can grate slightly, its still a unique experience that is well worth your time.
  30. 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.
  31. Jun 20, 2011
    70
    Alice: Madness Returns is a surreal bit of macabre platforming and action, that just doesn't have a real sense of pacing.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Jun 17, 2011
    50
    Sure, the visuals are hauntingly striking from beginning to end but art style can only carry a game so far. Without enough interesting mechanics and a meaningful narrative, playing Madness Returns became tiresome very quickly.
  38. Jun 17, 2011
    70
    For all its inventive turns and standout moments, however, much of Alice's return feels a little too templated for it to truly embrace the nonsensical.
  39. Jun 17, 2011
    50
    The game's visual and combative energy spark the urge to see where it goes next. If only there was something to do when you get there.
  40. Jun 17, 2011
    80
    Alice Madness Returns should please fans of the original while captivating some new gamers with its macabre storytelling.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. Jun 16, 2011
    80
    An engaging slice of dark fantasy, one that reaffirms American McGee's command of both the unhinged and the fantastical.
  44. 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.
  45. Jun 16, 2011
    69
    Nightmarish fantasy worlds, bizarre level designs and weird cutscenes - you're in for an unique experience. Unfortunately, the longer you play, the more boring it gets.
  46. Jun 15, 2011
    72
    Alice: Madness Returns doesn't quite operate under modern game logic, and while it's certainly fine for a game to play by its own rules, it helps if those rules don't feel slapdash and outmoded.
  47. 61
    Breathlessly imaginative in everything but gameplay. Only die-hards need to journey down this particular rabbit hole.
  48. Jun 15, 2011
    70
    Alice: Madness Returns is, overall, a good game. It has many good things, but it's a bit unpolished and rushed, kind of repetitive and lacking originality in some areas. It delivers much fun, but not as much as it should.
  49. Jun 14, 2011
    76
    Alice: Madness Returns is not a masterpiece at all but, thanks to fine gameplay mechanics and a peculiar art design, it can be really engaging and funny.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Truly the definition of a sleeper hit. I enjoyed the twisted atmosphere and the solid mechanics. Sure, the tricks the game uses get repeated far too often, but it is easy to overlook when you weigh the value of the entire package.
  55. 60
    Madness Returns shows substantial flashes of being equal to its predecessor, but its strongest detractions - middling gameplay mechanics, the rushed ending, and that last tier of weapon upgrades being available only as paid DLC - hold it back.
  56. 60
    It's a furry platformer with combat that suffers through repetition. Just like the first game, Alice doesn't quite match up to its own grand ambitions - let alone the classic stature of the source material. After 11 years, they should have got it right by now.
  57. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Impressive. This darker spin on a classic tale is full of great atmosphere and some well-designed platforming.
  58. Jun 14, 2011
    70
    It's just a pity that a title inspired by some of the most outlandish and inspired works of literature has to live with some of the driest tropes that the game design textbook has to offer.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. Jun 14, 2011
    50
    Worst of all is that exploring Wonderland is, in practice, about as full of wonder as watching paint dry. Paint the colour of blood and dreams, but paint nonetheless.
  63. 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.
  64. Fails to make any great strides after a decade away, but for a 360 platformer, it's a wonder. [Sept 2011, p.90]
  65. Jul 10, 2011
    60
    I did not regret playing Madness Returns, nor could I earnestly recommend it. There's incentive to brave a secondary play through to obtain more unlockables – by way of memories and opening up new nooks by shooting pig snouts, naturally – but the problem is thus: we've been blessed – daresay spoilt – by better action/adventure titles over the past few years for Madness Returns to ever compete. Hopefully we see Alice again. I sensed a great game in Madness Returns and occasionally played one but this spicy gift horse would be best looked in the mouth.
  66. Jul 8, 2011
    76
    Not quite the return we were hoping for, but still a fun run, jump and dash-through for fans. [Aug 2011, p.88]
  67. Jun 28, 2011
    60
    At points beautiful, depressing, enthralling and utterly dull. [Issue#73, p.78]
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 47
  2. Negative: 3 out of 47
  1. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    Reviewers are somehow blind to what makes a game actually good I guess. Every game is repetitive, and yet only certain games does it seem to make the reviewer call it out. Black OPs is shooting bad guys for the entire campaign absolutely no change and yet it does not get hit with a lower score. Alice is an absolute joy to play each level you play has a very distinct art direction and makes you feel like your truly in Alice's twisted world. The combat is smooth and fluid and actually makes you think about how to beat each enemy, you have to utilize each thing they give you even the block button which I admit I never use in other hack and slashes. There are a few graphical glitches but it doesn't detract from the gameplay, and if you've played the first Alice the games story is intriguing and makes you feel like an absolute continuation of the original story building on it The art is beautiful, the fighting engaging, the mini games give a nice change of pace but don't feel out of place. Don't listen to what paid reviewers have said about this game, instead look at what users are saying everyone is enjoying it and there's a reason!! This is a buy, especially since you get the first alice with it!! Full Review »
  2. Jun 14, 2011
    9
    I would not be writing this review if i didn't feel that the critic scores grossly misrepresent the quality of this title. I feel as though low scores will be given simply because a game does not innovate--rather than it just being a bad game. Alice: Madness Returns is an excellent game and does not claim to, or want to push any new boundaries in gaming. Madness Returns offers a very nostalgic "oldschool" 3d platformer feel with slick combat to back it up. The puzzles in this game were quite lackluster and are a part of the reason why I will not give this game a 10. The points of Madness Returns that need to be highlighted are the art direction, sound, and story. The atmosphere that the art evokes in this game is simply stunning. I had similar feelings gazing into the distance in "Cardbridge" as I did perched atop a building overlooking a beautiful Italian vista in Assassin's Creed 2. Aiding the stunning landscapes in creating that feeling of Wonderland; is an amazing score, in addition to great character voice acting. (I have never said 'what' so delightfully, SO many times to the things the characters said)
    All of these great aspects of Madness Returns are nothing without a spine, without a story. The tale following the events of American McGee's Alice is an incredibly fun, creepy, and intriguing adventure that will keep you playing.

    To top everything off the game is bundled with a code for American McGee's Alice... how can you go wrong with this game?
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 14, 2011
    10
    I have finished this game and I am confused because I thought it was absolutely wonderful. It felt like a flash back to older platforms with better graphics, great story, and controls that don't get in the way and feel very natural. I see the invisible walls which often bother me in most games but here the world is so very interesting I don't really care that I can't go somewhere that it appears I might be able to. Also they have a great system that shows you important things so if there isn't a hint nearby you clearly can't go there.

    I wonder it the same people that complain about how formulaic games are getting yet give all the COD games 9-10 scores and give wonderful games like this crappy ones. I only came hear after playing the game because I wanted to see if other people thought the game was as absolutely amazing as I did. I was expecting to see 80s, 90s from all the reviewers and was completely caught off guard by the low marks.
    Full Review »