American McGee’s Alice was probably the first sleeper-hit of the 2000s. It used the popular Quake III engine to deliver something that was much more of an adventure than the slew of straightforward shooters we got at the time. It also had a compelling, psychological tale to tell, which was also unusual for the time. I know a lot of people who have the fondest memories of this game and the disturbing, gothic take on the Alice in Wonderland story.
I also knew a contingent who hated it for this very reason, because they knew what kind of people it would attract. Fair enough, someone as prejudiced as me can’t call anyone out on that. Goths make me vomit in my mouth too – but to avoid these two games for that reason is to do yourself a tremendous disservice. Oh, and if you haven’t played the original, don’t worry. With every first-hand purchase of Alice: Madness Returns, you get a voucher to download an upscaled, HD, widescreen version of American McGee’s Alice for free. That’s frickin’ awesome, because I played the original, but never quite got around to finishing it. Now I can.