Alisa: Developer’s Cut – Review
Follow Genre: horror game
Developer: Casper Croes
Publisher: Casper Croes, Top Hat Studios
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: Switch

Alisa: Developer’s Cut – Review

Site Score
Good: Perfect retro visuals, Cool enemies
Bad: Bad voice acting, Finicky controls
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

We don’t know if many people reading this grew up with the original PlayStation, but since retro games have been incredibly popular lately, we do know that more and more folks enjoy the nostalgia that comes with this era. Alisa is a horror game by solo developer Casper Croes and publisher Top Hat Studios, very much inspired by the original Resident Evil games and other late 90s horror titles. It was released for PC back in 2020, but it was recently ported to consoles with the Developer’s Cut update included, making this the definitive edition of the game to experience. Let’s dive straight into this mansion of madness!


The game starts by introducing us to Alisa, a special military agent with a sexy French accent. She and her fellow soldiers are chasing a spy who stole military information and then hopped on a train, tracking him into the countryside. Once there, Alisa’s pursuit leads her to an abandoned area in the woods where she’s attacked by doll-like creatures and dragged underground. Hours later, Alisa wakes up in a strange mansion called the Doll House. The rooms are filled to the brim with dangerous monsters. But Alisa finds a gun and a mysterious note next to her bed, imploring her to explore and uncover exactly what this place is, why she’s here, and how she can escape.

The game has several endings, some of them unlocked in really convoluted ways or only accessible through a New Game+ mode unlocked after finishing the game once. This does add some replay value and the almost impossible things you need to do to uncover the harder endings are reminiscent of older games.


Alisa has a visual style that leans in perfectly with its retro aesthetic, and the chunky graphics and almost clunky animations have a certain charm to them. For people used to modern games, this might be a bit jarring, but we’d say they’re not bad to look at. Only the character models will take some time to get used to when viewed up close. One of the highlights of the game is the enemy designs. The various dolls and other creatures that inhabit the mansion have unique but creepy appearances, changing between the different areas of the mansion.


With its simple but effective soundtrack, Alisa knows when to use silence to build tension. A lot of the tracks sound like they’re being played by a music box, which also fits the vibes of the game. Where the music is good, the voice acting leaves something to be desired. It’s just not very professional, to put it bluntly. Scenes that are supposed to be scary or have an impact on the story end up feeling rather silly when the lines are delivered badly with weird accents or flat delivery. Thankfully this can be easily ignored.


Alisa is a survival horror game with classic gameplay, having everything from tank controls to fixed camera angles. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you do, it becomes a difficult but rewarding experience. You start the game with only your handgun and no upgrades (called modifications in the game). The mansion offers a vast map to explore, with enemies lurking around every corner. Killing them rewards you with gears, which you can use to buy new weapons, modifications, and even outfits from a little doll merchant you meet in a safe room. This merchant is also the only way to save the game, which costs you one gear. So being smart about when you save is important.

Once an enemy is defeated it does not respawn. This means that while you can run away or sneak by enemies sometimes, killing them when you have enough ammo is smart since it clears up parts of the mansion for you to move around in freely. And since you will be doing a lot of backtracking, this is a worthwhile thing to do. You’ll constantly be moving through the rooms to find items and solve puzzles, unlocking doors to access new areas.

The difficulty of the game cannot be understated. While the tank controls aren’t as bad as they seem at first, they’re still rather finicky, especially on a Switch. More importantly, the game gives you very little direction and there is no tutorial. It took a while of us playing to even figure out you can block and parry attacks because you need to use the reload button for this. Since you can only save sparingly at specific areas of the mansion, first aid kits are rare, and some stronger enemies can kill you in barely three hits, this game is not fit for those easily frustrated.


Alisa offers a challenging and somewhat creepy experience that really pays tribute to the horror games veteran gamers grew up with. While not everybody’s cup of tea, we respect the dedication to bringing this nostalgia to life, and this results into something that was a lot of fun to play, even though we would like to have seen a few modern adjustments to this game a classic for years to come.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Alisa: Developer's Cut - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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