Joker no Kuni no Alice is the third game in Quinrose's Alice series, after Heart and Clover. It's an otome game series that have 200+ turns where you go and visit who you like for affection points and they trigger events. As the name implies, it's based on Alice in Wonderland.
The series features a very snarky protagonist who have very low self-esteem and guilt issues. All the characters are bizarre and the world have some strange concepts that Alice can't quite grasp (as expected from source material). Basically all of her relationship end up being really questionable at one point or other. Simplifying it would be: everyone are yandere. It's unhealthy relationships all the way, Alice is very much aware of it but she still falls into it, and it's very fascinating.
I didn't record my thoughts for the previous games and my Clover save went poof after not playing it for like a month ugh. Going to record my thoughts here in case that happens. I might do a more in-depth review of the other later.
Overall, Joker's mechanics are much more simple than Clover, and lot less events too. A standard route would require 108 affection, 18 events spread over 198 events. Gowland and Vivaldi are non-romanceable, but they have their own platonic endings. Other than that, everyone have 3 non-stay events you can get (you can only activate one person's at a time though! so reload to before you activate theirs for another! or use a different route). There's Bad End, Joker End x 2 and few other endings that'll be noted later.
In other words, no more horrifying perfect win Clover & Heart! *throws confetti* The game exists, but it alternates with Blackjack and losing it just means you try again with no penalty (no turn change, no decrease anything) which is AWESOOOOME. You don't even need perfect win for it, that's only for 5 events which I got on my first playthrough because why not.
I managed to gun for 5 endings on my first playthrough (you can go for 6 but eh, whatever) :D I don't really have a favourite character (I have a few favourites, but I like pretty much everyone) so I asked someone else to choose my love interest and end up with Nightmare which is great because he's one of my favourites!
The save files look like this:
1. Tower Blank -> Tower all 6 (Turn 17) -> Tower all 6, Castle all 10 (41) -> Tower all 6, Castle all 10, Mansion all 10 (71) -> Nightmare 42, Event 4, Joker game event 1 (99) -> Nightmare 63, Event 10, Vivaldi 26, Joker 30, Joker game event 5 (140) -> Nightmare 100, Event 16, Vivaldi 26, Joker 32 (180)
So the first 70 turns were really just killing time without triggering any events, so I could use it as a split off later and basically skip 1/3 of the game, then I triggered events in a row and accidentally triggered the 1st perfect win event. At which point, I decided I would get all of them (last one is turn 140) , which required delaying Joker event 6 which is after event 11, so I went to visit Vivaldi and other people instead. I also talked to Joker 30 times because I got bored. So, I got Bad End, Welcome End (not trigger Joker event 10, and not enough Vivaldi or Gowland points for their ending), Vivaldi End (3rd non-stay event triggered, 35+), Joker End and Nightmare End.
Nightmare: He's kind of irritating because he's so childish but he's also adorable because he's so childish. That's just how he rolls. I like that this actually shows other people's reaction towards Nightmare, I love that Alice asked Gray what he thought of Nightmare. I especially love that Alice and Gray are both terrified of Nightmare but they still care about him deeply. Aside from seeing his irritatingly adorable persona and his terrifying one, Nightmare also show that he's a capable person because of his powers, so woo hoo.
Second playthrough end up being Pierce because I loved Nightmare, and I will probably like Julius and Gray too. In Clover, Pierce was probably my least favourite so I wanted to get him out of the way first.
2. Park Blank -> All Park 6, All Tower 10 (38) -> All Park 6, All Tower 10, All Mansion 10 (66) -> All Park 6, All Tower & Mansion 10, Peter & Ace 10 (83) -> Pierce 48, Event 8 (115) -> Pierce 91, Event 14 (154) -> Pierce 108, Event 14, Gray 30, Joker Jail 8 (184)
Similar as above, although I skipped out on Vivaldi, and Gowland (because will do his event some other route). Although I didn't note it earlier in the saves, I actually picked all the options that increased jailing points (idk what you call it) for the other Joker ending. The other playthroughs would probably be relatively simple.
Pierce; He's...really really hyperactive and simple. It's meant to be like that, and for some, it would play to their heartstring, it didn't really for me because he was just too high strung for me, also idiotic to a fault, I can't with people with no common sense. He says terrifying things while smiling, it's exceptionally chilling, and it's different from Ace who knows the effects on other people, Pierce just have child-like innocence. He wants to kill other people who likes you too because he thinks you would abandon him, which in a twisted way, is heartbreaking. He doesn't care if you are a good person, because he's not, he just cares that you won't hate him for not being a good person. It's kind of sweet.