August 30, 2020

The Ever Forward Influence of Alice in Wonderland

Ever Forward

I don’t think I’ve even had the chance to write about anything similar to Ever Forward. For real. Sure, I’ve written about plenty of great puzzle games. But in terms of the themes and characters, not one comes to mind in comparison. Seriously, probably the closest I’ve gotten to anything remotely similar is Mosaic 1 Percent. And maaaaaaybe some of my dystopian posts (since the main character lives in a dystopian city). But I mean, even that’s pushing it, by every stretch of the imagination. So, I’d rather not go there.

However, here in this particular post, I’m going to deviate from my usual path. You know which one. The sharing of similar movies, the comparisons and so on. No, this time I’m trying out something different. This time it’s all about influences. But more on that later. I believe that a word or two about the game is in order.

Is Ever Forward A Story Focused Puzzler?

Well, at least that’s how Pathea Games (the game’s developer and publisher) envisioned it. And in the center of that story is Maya. She’s lost in a strange world somewhere between reality and imagination. On her journey of discovery, she must unlock her memories and confront her fears to unravel the secrets of the world. Maya walks around a small and surreal world that has been overcome by demonic-looking red roots. But what about them you might ask?

Well, those roots then act as portals into a variety of puzzles in a more clinical, robotic world. The majority of the game is then spent on these puzzles, and frankly, it makes sense. The studio reportedly spent 3 years crafting those puzzles, so it makes sense that they’re pretty difficult and cerebral. Cool right? Yeah, I thought so too. And according to plenty of the reviews I read about Ever Forward, it seems to be inspired by games like Portal and even Journey… Which is awesome. But speaking of inspiration…. There’s one particular that I’d like to discuss here.

  • Ever Forward

Alice In Wonderland’s Inspiration For Ever Forward

To tell you the truth, the similarities are evident. And the inspiration as well. You know… The Alice In Wonderland inspiration. Just swap Maya with Alice. And instead of Wonderland, there’s an unnamed dystopian city. Oh, and the main protagonist is a teenage girl that finds herself in a dream world filled with puzzles and weird creatures. Sounds familiar? And while I’m on the same topic, we do have some amazing Alice in wonderland games as well. Check them out. They’re awesome.

But aside from the blatant adaptations from Lewis novel, where else can we find the influence of Alice In Wonderland? Which games have it at as well? Well, a lot of them. From Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp to the rather new(er) games like Soul Sacrifice. But that’s not all. Sometimes there are just glimpses of Lewis Carroll’s works in games you wouldn’t even begin to imagine. For instance, both Assassin’s’ Creed 3 and Far Cry 3 have this quote somewhere in the story-line.

“In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again”.

It’s a quote from from the 1st chapter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in case you are wondering.

Games

But, don’t worry! Far Cry 6 is arriving shortly, and we at IndieGala are happy about it. However, here’s a nice story (shameless plug I know) about the main star of the game and one of my all time favorites Giancarlo Esposito. I did a piece on him not that long ago and, maybe you’d like to check it out again.

But Why Does Alice Work So Well In Video Games?

As one article put it, because Alice In Wonderland IS A GAME. Or a rather meta-game. Think about it. The main character is lost in a very strange land, after falling down a rabbit hole. And she needs to find her way out of the peculiar world in which she’s currently part of. A world that blends reality and imagination in a rather surreal almost grotesque environment. It’s a perfect source for a puzzle game like Ever Forward. Why? Well, because in essence Alice In Wonderland is filled with puzzles. Mostly administrated by those peculiar characters she encounters in Wonderland, but yeah. She follows certain rules, unlocks some tricky puzzles and boom. She’s out of Wonderland in a heartbeat.

And you can really say that all that influence in video games comes naturally because of the similarities with the source material. Surrealism is blatantly clear, while the imagination walks a fine line within the limits of reality. And in this particular case, they intertwine and blend beautifully to create even more puzzling product. Games like Ever Forward. Which we currently have here at IndieGala. It’s one of our best-sellers so make sure you try it for yourself as well.

Alice

But The Influence Is Not Just On Ever Forward

That’s true. There are plenty of games, comic books, movies that have some influence from Alice In Wonderland. Remember Jefferson Airplane’s hit song White Rabbit? Well, apparently Grace Slick had issues with the book, and thus the song was born. According to Slick, the song was supposed to be a slap to parents who read their children such novels. Weird and nightmare inducing books. And then wondered why their children later used illicit substances. Her words, not mine.

Furthermore, do you remember Batman’s nemesis, Mad Hatter? Or some of the other iconic DC villains like Cheshire and Royal flush gang? How about the Alice in Wonderland inspiration for some of the finest movies? And no I’m not even going to discuss Tim Burton’s abominations. They’re horrible (both of them are equally horrible) and I refuse to even give them more attention here. Sorry not sorry. No, I’m talking about the hidden homage to some of the coolest movies out there. Movies that you wouldn’t dare to compare to Alice In Wonderland. Such as Labyrinth for instance. Or Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. Yup. That had an Alice in Wonderland vibe as well. Hey, even Neil Gaiman’s Coraline has a nice nod to the young heroine.

Adventures, Puzzles And Awesome Story

But in general, puzzle games are (for some at least) a very niche type of game. They require the use of your brain cells, and sometimes those puzzles can be frustrating. However, over here the story shines through and blends with the puzzles in order to create a great adventure. But do you like puzzle games like Ever Forward? How about Alice In Wonderland? Are you a fan as well? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know all about it.

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