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Gamer Tuesday

September 4, 2012

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Alice's Paint Adventure (Japan Only)

Developed by: SAS Sakata

System: Super Famicom (Japan)

Many people see Disney's 1951 adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland as being very ahead of its time. For some, the surreality of the settings and the insanity of the characters made it hard for audiences to feel invested in its narrative. The years, however, were very kind to the film as it slowly began to grow in popularity. Today, Alice in Wonderland enjoys immense popularity around the world thanks to initiatives like Disney theme park attractions, popular meet and greets with the characters, countless merchandise apparel, and even a live action film by Tim Burton that re-invents the world of Wonderland under the Disney label.

Disney's Alice in Wonderland has had a presence in the video game world, including a solid Game Boy Color game (which you can read all about here), Disney Villains' Revenge (which can also be read about here), and several appearances in the Kingdom Hearts game franchise. In my research for future Disney games to cover, I ran across a hidden gem of a game based on Alice in Wonderland: Alice's Paint Adventure.

If the name doesn't sound familiar to you, don't fret. Alice's Paint Adventure is a Japan-only game released for the Super Famicom (best known in North America as the Super Nintendo) in 1995. The best way to describe the game is that it is Nintendo's Mario Paint (also for the Super NES) with an Alice in Wonderland theme. There is, however, more to it.

There is a story mode that follows the events of the film, but with a slight twist to it. The story mode serves as an interactive mode meant to teach children hand to eye coordination and basic understanding of the colors. In it, the Queen of Hearts has divided a magical globe into three different globes. This causes Wonderland to lose all of its colors. It is now up to Alice to restore the color back to Wonderland.

The story can be experienced in two ways: as an interactive adventure or just watch the story as it progresses as if it was a movie. Outside of story mode, there are three mini-games: the first is a game where you paint the roses red. The second is a variation of the Whack-a-mole game but with Alice in Wonderland characters. Finally it's a card match game of concentration. There are also several coloring pages where kids can add color to the drawings (each depicting a scene from the movie) or let their creativity soar on a blank canvas.

Visually, the game does a good job of capturing the creative vividness of artist Mary Blair's Wonderland renderings. The characters have been rendered in great sprite detail, and the menus and fonts make you feel like you are watching Disney's Wonderland. Musically, it does a good job as well with its mainly original tunes.

There isn't anything else to say about Alice's Pain Adventure. It is an educational painting game using one of Disney's silliest and most whimsical stories. Yet, it is amazing to see just how far Disney's presence has reached international markets, and how they interpret it in their own, unique way. We may never get to fully see or play Alice's Paint Adventure, but we can definitely appreciate its place in the mythology that is Disney.


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