What a shock when I saw this today!
Here’s a very rough translation of an article at Inside by Tsukui Kazuhito aka Sososo:
The parent company of game brand ‘Quinrose’, which makes female-targeted love adventure games, has halted operations and handed the business to a lawyer for debt consolidation.
It has become clear that the company stopped operations on Sept 25 and handed the business over to a lawyer. The amount of liabilities outstanding is still under investigation.
The ‘Quinrose’ brand mostly produced such games as Heart no Kuni no Alice and Arabian’s Lost for the PS Vita, PSP, and PC. It also sold related items such as soundtrack and drama CDs.
However, amidst increased competition and large changes in the market such as the upsurge in mobile gaming, sales dropped sharply. The company determined that it could not recover, and so stopped operations.
It is unclear as of 3pm on Oct 2 2015, what will happen to New Edition Majoou and Heart no Kuni no Alice~Wonderful Twin World~, slated for release on the PS Vita on October 22 2015 and October 29 2015 respectively. The ‘Quinrose’ brand portal site and game websites are still online as of today, so it’s possible that some announcement may be made there or on the Sony PS Vita website. For those who were planning on buying these games, or who have preordered, keep an eye out for further information there.
I had no idea this was coming. From what I understand Quinrose was pretty much run by one person, I was kind of amazed at how prolific the company was, even if I had stopped buying all their games. Now I really really wish they’d done a decent job translating the mobile Alice game, because I’m sure they would have gotten at least some buyers for that.
[EDIT: Ah, my first time playing Alice. I only got through one route (Blood), and it took so long I never did anthoer. But this game was definitely innovative for its time in terms of character designs and having a distinctive heroine, and it tried different things with the turn progression. The beginning of Quinrose’s Alice dynasty!]
Originally from 2008/06/08
PC & PS2 game by Quinrose
So I still haven’t finished my first Alice character route, but I have enough to talk about just describing the game, so I’m going to start there.
You know, Quinrose might just be my favourite otome game developer. Their heroines are always smart and non-doormatlike, their heroes are definitely not stereotypical, and the premise is always interesting.
In Heart no Kuni no Alice, you are a young lady who acts politely in front of her beloved sister, but who is actually pretty cynical. Her father ignores her and her tutor whom she was in love with fell for her “perfect” sister. As a result, Alice doesn’t trust people much. One day she and her sister are out on their lawn, and Alice falls asleep while waiting for her sister to go get a board game.
She’s woken up by a sound and sees a white rabbit run by wearing clothes. In the original Alice in Wonderland, she follows the rabbit down a hole…here it’s not quite like that. Alice determinedly ignores the rabbit while he tries to get her attention, but he eventually picks her up and drags her down the hole with him.
They fall for what seems like forever. Alice is understandably pissed off at this weird rabbit guy who kidnapped her, and he seems to know all about her, even how she recently broke her heart. He makes her drink this potion (by kissing her) which sends her to sleep.
When she wakes up, she doesn’t know where she is, though she sees that she’s in a tall tower. A man comes along and realizes that she’s from another world, but has no sympathy for her – he just shoos her out to find her own way.
From that point, you decide where to go – you can go to the Heart Castle, the Amusement Park, or the Hat Estate. Depending which you choose, you’ll end up staying there.
The rest of the game is mostly deciding where to go during each turn. Depending on the time of day (day, evening, or night) you may or may not be able to meet the person you want to. In this land, the time doesn’t go normally from day to evening and night, it changes randomly, so you never know what time of day will come next. You can get hourglasses that change the time of day to whatever you want.
When you visit a character, it raises their affection for you, and eventually you get progression scenes. For each character there’s about 20, as well as other events that occur You also sometimes have to raise other character’s affection to progress in a route.
While this sounds like a pretty basic visual novel, and it is, really, there’s a lot more material and CGs than in most others I’ve played. Plus, the number of characters available is pretty high – ten, well technically eleven, but two are twins and are pretty much one person. The world itself is fascinating – the three ‘areas’ (Amusement Park, Heart Castle, and Hat Estate) are all trying to win control of the whole land, and it’s anarchy – Alice almost gets killed when she first meets most of the characters.
All the characters are really interesting and have their own appeal:
The March Hare (Elliot March) CV- Mogami Tsuguo: The loyal right-hand man to Blood, he’s sweet but will kill people without hesitation, and denies emphatically that he’s a rabbit (he has rabbit ears). He also insists that he doesn’t like carrots, though all he eats is carrot-flavoured food.
The Bloody Twins (Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum) CV- Fukuyama Jun: Two boys who guard the Hat Estate’s gates, they almost kill Alice when she first arrives. All they care about is money and fun (i.e. killing people)