There's a spark that sets the very best games apart. It's not always easy to quantify, but it usually takes the form of a new idea, however small, that's perfectly injected into the mechanics of the game.
A Wonderland Story is full of new ideas, but they never quite manage to gel. It's still a lot of fun, and well worth your attention, but it falls just short of the heights required to make it a must-buy.
Alice?The game tells the story of the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, albeit in a roundabout way. It's your job to lead the rabbit through the shifting landscape of Wonderland, making sure you stay one step ahead of Alice.
Rather than controlling the rabbit, you're in control of the terrain. Each level is made up of a series of columns of blocks and gaps, which you can slide up and down. Your bunny walks to the right automatically, and you need to clear a path for him. Stay trapped for too long and Alice will catch up. And you don't want that to happen.
There are different hazards arranged around the columns, from rats that crawl at you once you let them free to blocks that phase in and out of existence, offering passage one second and forcing you to change direction the next.
You can fall off the bottom of the screen and land at the top, using blocks to create a walkway for yourself across the divide as well. Sliding matching enemies together kills them, leaving you free to collect the gems they drop.
How far the rabbit hole goes
There are two modes to work your way through. Story gives you checkpoints to reach, three different levels to play, and collecting all the gems from defeated creatures is the only way to complete them properly. Then there's Endless, which lets you see how far you can get before the edge of the screen catches up.
Both modes are enjoyable, but while there are plenty of ideas here competing for your attention the end result is just a little too muddled. The puzzling gameplay will keep you entertained for a good while, but we can't help but think that a more focused experience would be even better.