Version Reviewed: 1.40
App Reviewed on: iPad Air
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If there was ever any game that was perfect for the iPad, The Rivers of Alice would definitely be one of them. From the magnificent hand-drawn landscapes and character art down to the beautiful soundtrack, The Rivers of Alice is one game that shouldn’t be missed.
A graphical adventure that manages to wrap the player up in its surreal and dreamlike world, The Rivers of Alice mixes challenging puzzles and an obscure fragmented narrative in order to keep the player guessing. Though it is easy to fall in love with this wonderful, albeit sometimes frustrating experience, there may be others who will find it slightly off-putting or perhaps esoteric in nature.
The controls are fairly straightforward. Players use the typical touch screen controls in order to examine, talk, or interact with objects and characters - provided the icon is not greyed out. In turn, conversations are portrayed through a series of images (or pictograms) that refer to the task in question and perhaps give a hint to the player as to what is required next. Though it is meant to provide answers these images can be just as bewildering and difficult to interpret, but as the game advances they do seem to become a lot less confounding and start to make sense. Further interacting with the world involves players dragging the correct items from their inventory to try and use them, but upon getting the wrong item out Alice will express a somewhat condescending shake of the head.
What I sometimes found frustrating is, upon figuring out how to solve a puzzle, I found myself running into a dead-end scenario and realizing that there was obviously something I had to resort to doing first or another piece of the puzzle to work out before I could advance any further. As someone who finds it hard to figure out what breakfast to have, I can’t really say I’m the leading expert in such perplexing endeavors - but interestingly enough, since the game offers little help in regards to what comes next, I felt a whole lot more satisfied upon figuring out the most arcane of riddles.
Hopefully there will be gamers who will see it through to its very end before giving up, as it really is an uplifting experience. For the serious adventure gamer, The Rivers of Alice will intrigue, impress, and awe, but for the more casual gamer it may seem a little overwhelming.