"Little Briar Rose" Review: Sleeping Beauty With a Twist
Little Briar Rose is a whimsical and charming puzzle adventure game for mobile and PC. Italian developer Elf Games and publisher Mangatar have recently brought the beautiful point and click experience to the App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon and the Windows Phone Store. The game is also available on to download on Steam
Art, Music and Story
Little Briar Rose makes a good first impression with beautiful art styled after traditional stained glass art. The little bit of voice acting included is well done and the music is nice. As elegant as it is charming the unique art style is exceptionally well executed and really makes this title stand out among other mobile titles.
The story—as you may have guessed from the game’s title—follows the well-known fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The game explores the prince's journey through the thorn-covered path to the sleeping princess’s castle. Along his journey, he’ll meet various communities of fae folk and complete a number of quests in order to clear the thorny path and eventually wake his princess with a kiss. The story may seem straightforward but it has its own quirky sense of humor and an interesting meta twist at the end.
The dialogue in the game is another strong point. Communicating with characters in the game is done through text boxes and the writing does an excellent job of conveying the personalities of its characters. Dialogue is humorous and fleshes out the magical world that players will find themselves in while playing Little Briar Rose. The only issues with the dialogue are that the text is too dark to be easily readable and there is some mild language that seems unnecessary and makes the game less accessible to younger players that would really enjoy the game.
As an adventure puzzle game, Little Briar Rose blends point and click clue finding with puzzle solving and fun mini-games for engaging gameplay. If players are stumped they can get a hint but they’ll have to work for it by solving an easy puzzle first. This mechanic combined with the fact that the game doesn’t allow players to get hints too often is nicely balanced.
There’s a nice variety of puzzles ranging from mazes to figuring out the right gift to give someone or the right thing to say. The puzzles get progressively more difficult, making for a challenging and rewarding experience. Although some puzzles seem to have no clues to help you figure them out, meaning failure seems inevitable.
If you do fail the game has an interesting new life system. Failing a puzzle will offend the fae folk you’re interacting with and they’ll turn the prince into one of them. Players will then need to start where they left off but as a different prince, similar to games like Rogue Legacy. The game will put you back where you left off with all your items so it isn’t very punishing but is an interesting touch.
Sprinkled between point and click item finding and puzzle solving there are a few mini-games to play that will progress the story. Mostly these are a nice change of pace but some can be tedious to complete. For example, the fishing game has unintuitive controls and has to be played multiple times to get the items required to progress in the game.
Overall, Little Briar Rose is an enchanting puzzle adventure game with gorgeous art and a cute story. As a premium game, it is free of any in-app purchases or waiting mechanics. Enjoy this charming game on mobile or PC and experience the tale of Sleeping Beauty from the prince's point of view.
© 2016 Alexandria Taberski