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Ten years after the original American McGee's Alice debuted -- ten years! -- its sequel is nearly here. With its June 14 launch just over a month away, I accepted an invitation to dive into its fractured Wonderland and play through the first of its five chapters. Although a decade has passed, it felt like I'd never left.

While the core game design hasn't changed much -- platforming interspersed with combat -- Alice: Madness Returns is harnessing today's tech to convey a visual spectacle that's closer to McGee's original concepts than the first game could get at the time. It's also capitalizing on some new design ideas dreamt up by its imaginative designers at Spicy Horse.