Dark Parables: Curse of the Briar Rose
Good story, shame about game execution
Technically speaking, there is a visual problem with this game in that the graphics are so dark you may find you need to change the settings on your computer just in order to be able to actually see anything, as I did. A gamma adjustment option within the game would have helped overcome this.
As far as playing the game itself is concerned, this could have been a really good game as I enjoyed the storyline, but it was spoiled by very inferior gameplay.
Firstly, although many things could be clicked, most of them produced nothing other than a description or commentary. Some locations had barely anything even to click on and there was nothing to do all. At one place there was a door blocked by rubble which could be clicked on but I never found anything to remove the obstacle and never had to pass through the door the complete the game anyway, which left me wondering what the point of it was.
In one location I just finished searching and finding all the parts for one item and immediately had to go back to exactly the same spot to look for the next item which was also rather tedious.
Some things, although being used in the correct place, had to be done in precisely the right order or in the right way, otherwise a rather condescending message would be given as if you had tried something stupid when, in fact, it was not very clear which item should be placed before any of the others.
As you progress through the game there is no logic as to what to do next. In order to save yourself the bother of going from place to place looking for some clue as to what you should be doing or where you should be searching, it is best just to consult the hint button which tells you where to look, as there is no logic at all behind the locations of the objects.
The hidden objects are not actual objects but fragments of things which assemble when you have found all the parts. They all look very similar - basically you are looking for what appear to be lumps of wood, bits of masonry or lumps of metal. Really. Not very inspiring and not at all visually appealing and gets really boring after a while, especially as the designers had little imagination as to where to place the parts. Pretty much all the items were in the same sorts of places. The objects parts you are looking for do not resemble their picture, either in size, colour or shape, so at the start, before you learn where they always put the object parts, you end up just randomly clicking everything in the hope that you will find something. Not very entertaining and more frustrating than challenging. Still, at least there is no click penalty, which is just as well as I would certainly have given up completely before I got very far if there had been.
I did enjoy some of the mini-games (the ones where you had to get a coloured disk into its location by pressing arrows) but all in all I found the whole thing disappointing and the game failed to deliver what it seemed to promise.
Oh if only Elephant Games had made this story! I am sticking to games made by them in the future - none of these other games at all meet their excellent standard.
March 21, 2013
This is an older game and perhaps that is the reason for little guidance to where the player is to go. There is an "inspect" guide, but if you cannot remember which direction to go in you just "wander" around. The hint button only works for the hidden objects. I was thankful for the walkthrough. The graphics were nice.
July 10, 2014
Fun at times, boring at other times
My first experience with a Dark Parables game. The graphics and story line were mediocre. All HOGs consisted of three parts broken into subparts which was challenging due to the blending into the background but after a while, became monotonous due to lack of variation. Each scene was generally limited to one or two actions which seemed to require more movement than challenge thinking. There were a couple of other puzzles but they were simple and sporadic. There was no name for the multiple locations and the map was of minimal use in getting around, most of the determination was by hunt and seek although the map did give locations as an end goal. There was limited use of notes which were themselves of limited value. Back and forth scene interaction wasn't bad but wasn't spectacular either. Ending was abrupt and disappointing and almost seemed unrelated to the context of the story line. As for a game recommendation, I am recommending it but generally only for the casual player who doesn't mind drudgery and likes piecemeal put-together HOGs.
February 16, 2014
Ok for a FROG
Cute and fluffy. A nice, easy, sweet fairy-tale-style game to help me settle down for the night. Not for serious gaming by any means.
I didn't like the FROG part of it; how exciting can it be to look for pieces of items? I hope that fad passes soon, never to be revived.
The other problem was that aside from the uninteresting music, there was only one sound effect, no matter where I clicked -- stone scraping on stone.
Overall, I'd say it's slightly above average for this type of game. I'm not sorry I played it, but I'm glad I bought it on sale and didn't spring for a CE version.
February 16, 2013
It was ok.
Compared with other hidden object games, I found Briar Rose fairly simplistic and not very challenging. Probably not enough puzzle scenes for my liking and the hidden object scenes were quite boring as you aren't searching for separate objects, rather pieces of one larger object which are really simple to find. Not my favourite game.
November 20, 2011
Beautiful graphics but....
This is a bit of a different HOG in that you don't look for one object, but the bits of the object to put together to use.
It's unusual at first but gets old quickly. I didn't even finish the trial.
It's a shame because the story line is great, the graphics are beautiful and the soundtrack is nice and in the background rather than in your face.
December 19, 2011
Maybe I'm Dumb
The game is beautiful. I've bought and liked the other Dark Parable games. Perhaps I'm just dumber than most, but I had difficulty with the puzzles. Don't get me wrong. I like puzzles, but it would be nice to have even a small inkling of what I'm supposed to do. I'm not asking to be told the solution, just give me a hint about what to do. I'm so glad I just tried the free hour. I won't be buying this game.
February 18, 2012
Ok, we all known that not all games are cut from the same cloth. But this game was truly, truly boring. I wish I'd just tried the trial, then I wouldn't have wasted those hours of my life.
At no point in this game did I feel surprised, or engaged, there is no plot to speak of. "Search the castle to save the princess" is really all there is. You track around a labyrinthine maze of rooms, playing repetitive mini games, and while I give the creators credit for trying to be original with the HO style, it grows old very quickly.
In most games, there is some sense of learning, of accomplishment- not so with this game. And it ends, **minor spoiler here**
With a plug for their next game, instead of an ending.
Anyway, this game is one I definitely wouldn't recommend- save your time and try something else.
July 12, 2012
I bought this game based on other people's review and was very disappointed. It is so repetitive with constant and ever so similar HOGs that I just found myself sighing and thinking "let's get this over with". The free trial had a nice balance of puzzles and HOGs but as soon as I paid up, that was over and we were into almost strictly HOGs, an endless parade of almost identical "challenges". Graphics are nice, as they are in the Dark Parables series, but the ending was so flat I couldn't believe it.
June 21, 2012
I was looking forward to playing this game after reading all the positive reviews, but I had a different experience. Although the graphics were well done, the story was just like a hundred other stories but without the interactions with the characters to keep it interesting. There were way, way, way too many HO games which require you to find bits and pieces of an inventory object. I didn't have to look at the pics. of what I needed, I just went around the scene clicking on likely looking objects. I only needed the Hint when the pieces were too small to see. All of this HO hunting really took me out of the story. I felt no connection at all. Added to this was the fact that there was no map. I spent some frustrating time backtracking. Surprisingly, none of the objects, hiding places, etc., were magnified when you worked on one so you didn't really feel part of what was happening. I usually only comment when I've loved a game and want others to enjoy it, too. With this game, I want other gamers to save their money. I was so glad to be finished with it and sorry that I wasted two credits on it.
November 1, 2012