Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary Review | In Wonderland, four nations gather together annually to discuss and agree on various policies. Still, not all is rosy as many schemes are sought against one another and each nation will do its utmost to get the decision to swing in its favour. In Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary, you act as the White Rabbit and it’s your job to organise the hectic four-day schedule and make sure you take notes on each King, Queen, Prince, and Princess to uncover their relationships, preferences in activities, and perhaps secrets if you listen closely enough. Placing certain people together could go either way; you won’t know until you learn everything about them. Overall, all your decisions ultimately affect the whole destiny of Wonderland and White Rabbit. Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary has been developed by Sky Bear Games and published by Ratalaika Games S.L. to give you all the power and make your choices mean something. Whether the nations agree to live in harmony or clash over policies and whether secrets are uncovered to the right or wrong people is all down to you.
|Developer||Sky Bear Games|
|Publisher||Ratalaika Games S.L.|
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher.
This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Tonnes of replayability | As there are numerous combinations of people to be made and endings to reach by changing these throughout multiple playthroughs, there is plenty of replayability to be found in Wonderland Nights. There are four policies to take into consideration, positive and negative relationships, and whether they enjoy the activities you’ve allocated them to. All of these matter so it’s important to always check your codex to get the outcomes you are aiming for. As I progressed, I was able to reveal helpful details about each character to make my decisions easier and more informed rather than choosing at random. Knowledge is power when it comes to Wonderland Nights so to experience all the content on offer, you’ll be doing much in the way of trial and error.
- Notes section | Within the codex is a section labelled notes which can be found in the top right-hand corner. These notes are incredibly useful when going for achievements and alternate scenarios or endings as they push you in the correct direction. They provide information you have gathered and give you possibilities to try out. For example, it may suggest making two people, in particular, spend the entire summit together, therefore revealing secrets or alternate endings by doing this. It’s a great bit of guidance you can refer to if you’re unsure what to do next or who to pair up together. These are gained over multiple playthroughs so I made sure to keep checking back to see if anything had been updated.
- Interesting story concept | I quickly became accustomed to the story in Wonderland Nights and I found it interesting to play through. Nations come together to settle on policies that affect relationships and the world they all reside in while all being organised by the White Rabbit, with the inclusion of the Chesire Cat and mentions of Alice; it all muddled together quite nicely. Along the way, there are suspicions, secrets, and scheming you may uncover that could affect how policies are discussed and agreed upon, making the nations react accordingly to their preferences. I found myself questioning all my decisions and the consequences of my actions were exciting to witness. As the story can change based on your choices, it made each outcome unique, creating a sense of mystery every time which I relished.
- Fully-narrated dialogue | One thing I’ve been dying to have included in many of the visual novels I’ve played is narrated dialogue. Not only does it add personality and character to the people within the game but it also allows you to leisurely listen to the story instead of reading through heaps of text. I’m incredibly thankful to the developers for including this. However, the quality and consistency of the voice actors/actresses aren’t always clear and pleasant to endure, sometimes making them come across as a little too forced and over the top. Perhaps that was the intention because of the setting and royal persona which is fine but I didn’t enjoy the addition as much as I would have hoped for.
- Artistic style | With horrible character models, looking like cheap comics, I instantly turned sour towards the visuals. I didn’t like them one bit. The elements that saved the visual aspect of Wonderland Nights were the beautiful backgrounds, attention to detail, and colouring that made every scene come to life – allowing me to look past the horrendous characters and appreciate the other artistic features. As Wonderland Nights is a variety of visual novels, the visuals should be one of, if not the most, important factor developers should focus on. Unfortunately, as I had extremely mixed feelings about them, I do think the standard wasn’t up to par and failed to hit the mark.
- Schedule element | The only ‘gameplay’ element you have to contend with in Wonderland Nights is creating and planning the schedule for Her Majesty; the rest is listening/reading along with the conversations as the days pass. It was a unique take that few ‘visual novels’ have included within their games and I felt more in control as appose to just being given two or three choices during active dialogue. Using the codex to make educated decisions made me think more about my choices depending on what outcomes I was hoping for. Is it different from your standard game in the same sub-genre? Yes. But is it fulfilling to ‘play’? No, it isn’t.
- Different schedule layouts | There are two separate layouts you can switch between when assigning people to their activities. I would like to say they are purely based on preference but one just works incredibly better than the other. One allows you to decide on one activity at a time and play out each scenario separately, then return you to the schedule. In contrast, the other will enable you to plan out all activities in one motion and watch each play out back to back. The latter works better all things considered – I don’t know why the other option was even included as it looks and feels bland with no sense of character. Perhaps just stick to the one format as the other has no additional value.
- Informative codex | I love making informed decisions in video games and Wonderland Nights gave me loads of opportunities to find out details about each individual. Everyone has their preferences for activities, policy views, and feelings towards all the other characters. You must reveal these over multiple playthroughs by trial and error to make calculated choices that all have varying outcomes. My only gripe with this was the layout of the codex was slightly overbearing to view. I would have loved some colour coordination for positive and negative details to make it easier/quicker to find what I needed, or a compare option, but this is a minor thing in the grand scheme of everything.
What we Disliked
- Short playthrough | The story is split into four separate days where one policy is discussed and agreed upon. During the days, there are select activities people partake in and these didn’t have enough dialogue or detail for my liking, making the overall game much shorter than I had expected. With my first playthrough barely taking an hour to complete, I was shocked. Everything happened so quickly and without much depth, leaving me unsatisfied with the story I had ultimately created. I wanted to read and listen for much longer and think the developers could have easily increased the content in every section to bulk out the story. Yes, there is replayability but the main content just wasn’t enough for me to enjoy thoroughly.
- Becomes tedious | After maybe two or three playthroughs maximum, Wonderland Nights becomes incredibly boring to play through. The game may have replayability value but most will skip the majority of the text/dialogue, making use of the options provided, to get the game completed quickly. This is because the conversations are extremely dull and only got me interested when I unlocked a secret. The gameplay never changed; you’re always doing the same thing and repeating it over and over for the completion was far from enjoyable. I much prefer my achievements to be obtainable over a couple of playthroughs instead of being made to play more than I would have liked.
- Tiresome music | I swear the audio could have made me fall asleep – and not in the positive relaxing way you may expect. Although the audio was subtle and calm to listen to, it was perhaps a little too dull and didn’t add anything to the atmosphere or quality of the game. There were plenty of disagreements and raised voices in Wonderland Nights to contend with and the background music felt out of place in these instances. The sound effects were mediocre at best which went against the audio quality. I think, in hindsight, I would have preferred to just have the narration volume on and the others set to zero from the beginning to avoid the fatiguing audio.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 1-2 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 3-4 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | A Little Lily Princess, C14 Dating, Henchman Story
As visual novels go, Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit’s Diary is one of the more unique ones I have played but I wouldn’t say it was a huge pleasure overall. It’s fun for a handful of playthroughs but then loses any charm it originally had. The scheduling does change the original concept but the goal ends up the same – make different choices to reach different endings. Those who enjoy visual novels may enjoy the variety but, in my opinion, it fell below my expectations.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!