Review: Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary
Alice in Wonderland is ripe for world-building, with plenty of characters and stories to create. And Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary takes advantage of the setting and builds an intriguing visual novel. There are several different mysteries to be solved in this game, so one playthrough won’t be enough. And priced at only $6.99, there’s plenty here for fans of a good novel.
The story takes place after Alice’s time in Wonderland. The Queen of Hearts has died, apparently of a heart attack, and her daughter, the new Queen of Hearts, isn’t much better than her mother. You play as the White Rabbit, and as a dignitary of the Hearts King, your job is to ensure that the Queen’s orders are upheld.
The narrative revolves around the four kingdoms, Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs, coming together to vote on political topics, such as war, magic, and open trade. The Heart kingdom is hosting the event, and the Queen wants you to get people to vote a certain way. You can control how the vote is swayed by pairing up like-minded guests in different events. The difficulty is you don’t know how people will vote on your first play-through.
But there’s more than just voting on politics; as you put characters together, you start to learn about their secrets - who are lovers? Who holds secrets over another? Who is plotting to overtake which country? So while the Queen of Hearts may want votes to go a certain way, the real charm of the game - and what drives the outcomes - is the stories you discover from the conversations. This is the most impressive part of the game, as pairing certain characters will unlock different discussions. There are almost 3000 lines of dialog, all voice-acted.
This leads me to my most significant criticism of the game; I appreciate that the entire game is voice-acted; however, not all the lines are delivered very well, and the audio mixing isn’t polished. There are times when the King of Diamond's audio is very low, and the Queen of Hearts' audio is extremely loud. But it’s not common for a visual novel to have all the lines voice-acted, so this is a welcomed feature.
A codex, which you receive from the Cheshire Cat, fills up with clues as you discover secrets about the different characters. This codex will also give hints about who to pair up next to help flesh out more of their stories. The codex will keep all the clues you uncovered into your next play-through, so you don’t have to start over. There are sixteen potential endings, so this guide certainly helps with seeing all the endings.
Final Grade: B+
Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary took me by surprise. The depth around the dialog and the logic that went into delivering all those lines is impressive. The story is intriguing too, and with each play-through lasting only around twenty minutes or so, it’s worth going through and trying to get all the different endings. I only wish that the voice-acting and the audio quality were on par with the amount of logic that went into this game. I appreciate that I didn’t need to read all those lines, but the audio quality was distracting.
Review code provided by PR Hound