Alternate Titles: Alice in the Country of Hearts, Hāto no Kuni no Arisu
Platforms: IOS, Android, PC, PSP
Edit: On September 25, 2015 QuinRose’s parent company Artmove ceased distribution of ALL QuinRose games. As of right now the game is no longer available in Google Play or the App store! Despite this I hope you enjoy this review!
So I’m about a year late at finally playing this game. So when I heard that we were going to get an English port of Alice in the Country of Hearts, I was super stoked! Alice in Wonderland the otoge, is like a dream, but then I heard about the terrible translation. It broke my heart…So with heavy heart I decided to pass the game up and moved on…But now that the semester is done with and winter break is on the horizon, I figured it was time to finally give the game another try…
So the elephant in the room…the translation! It’s completely awful, but bearable. I mean I will give QuinRose props for translating the entire game on their own, especially since they aren’t native English speakers!
I had heard that the translation was bad, but reading it for myself was something else…In the beginning it was almost unreadable. I swear, Google Translate would probably have done a better job, it was just that terrible. Now, I took Japanese as an undergrad, so I know how hard it is to translate from Japanese to English, it’s like apples and oranges. There are just some things that don’t translate well, it’s inevitable, but for a developer like QuinRose, who could have
should have invested in a cleaner/proofreader, this is unacceptable. But after awhile the bitter tears of disappointment blurred the screen enough that the words on the screen didn’t matter.
After that my brain went into auto correct mode and it was smooth sailing from there. Since the initial release, there have been a few updates that fixed some of the major syntax and grammatical errors, but it’s nowhere near perfect. But I do appreciate the effort, a bad translation is better than no translation! For those still wary about playing, the prologue and the first chapter of each of the 9 routes are absolutely free. So at the very least play through the freebies, before completely ignoring this game, it’s pretty good.
The art is lovely, each and every background, sprite, and CG (at least in the prologue) is clean, crisp, and beautifully rendered! The colors are vibrant, just like one would expect from a place as surreal as Wonderland! Alice is spunky, quick witted, if not a little blunt, and she is quick to call the other characters on their BS. And boy does this little lady have a mouth on her!
The plot starts off much the same as the novel:
You, Alice Liddell (or name changeable) are spending a lazy Sunday in the garden of your estate reading with your older sister, Lorina Liddell. She suggests that the two of you play a game of cards to pass the time, so she returns to the house to get them. Bored, you began to doze off, when suddenly a talking rabbit appears and tells you to chase him. Like any normal person you dismiss this event as a dream and doze off again. But when you open your eyes a few minutes later, the rabbit has turned into a bunny eared bishounen, who carries you off to Wonderland.
Much to Alice’s relief, they land safely, but much to her ire, they are most certainly not in her garden. The man introduces himself as Peter White and then begins confessing his undying love for Alice. He then tries to get her to drink some “medicine” from a small glass bottle, but Alice refuses. So he forces her to drink it via kiss, by drinking the contents of the bottle, Alice is now trapped in Wonderland and must participant in a game. In order to leave, she must spend time with one of the inhabitants of Wonderland, refilling the bottle, in order to go home. Alice must decide where she will live during her time in Wonderland, while getting to know the strange and reckless people who live there.
[Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the game is fully voiced, for $37.99, you can get all 9 routes all FULLY VOICED!]
(Click the image to view character description…All images belong to QuinRose)
The gameplay is typical, a good deal of reading, with choices sprinkled at sporadic intervals throughout the game. The choices you make determine the course of each route; good answers bring you closer to the good ending, while not so good answers bring you closer to the bad endings.
Final First Thoughts
Translation aside, Alice in the Heart seems like an interesting game. I mean come one, you can’t go wrong with a reverse harem romance, smack dab in the middle of a three way mafia battle royale all wrapped up in a crispy Wonderland bun.
Then there are the characters, Alice is insecure, the love interests are diverse with a sprinkle of danger added in. Each one brings something interesting to the table, but it is Alice that steals the show. She feels inferior to her older sister, who is everything she’s not; beautiful, graceful, responsible, and smart and that is something that every girl can relate to at some point in their life. The game even has Alice react realistically, instead of dealing with her insecurities, she puts up walls and facades, pretending to be childish and sweet at home, while at school she’s blunt and aggressive. Home girl is not afraid to speak her mind, usually saying whatever comes to mind, regardless of the situation. But, somehow it’s believable, especially once she gets to Wonderland, Alice treats everything and everyone there as if it were just a really vivid dream. So logically, she believes there are no consequences, and goes out of her way to assert herself. I am really looking forward to how the rest of the game plays out, I am especially interested in how Alice grows as a person as a result of her time in Wonderland.
I’m going to shoot for Peter White first, even though Blood Dupre is so my type. Peter just kind of spoke to me, so we’ll see how that goes….All in all based on the prologue and translation aside I think this may just be a fun game!