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It’s so hard to be a prince

  • JEStaff
  • 09/13/2016 02:17 AM
Litte Briar Rose is a short adventure game based on the classical tale "Sleeping beauty"

The gameplay here is clearly leaning to a pure point-and-click adventure game, like the old SCUMM games or the games made in Adventure Game Studio. The mechanism itself is pretty simple, and should be very easy to learn. Basically, each area is a grid where you can click on the place where you want to go, and the cursor changes when you can interact with something on that place. Something I appreciated of the game was that there wasn’t pixel hunting, the objects were always of a good size, and you can click on many points on a NPC to interact with them.
As for the puzzles themselves, they make up for the “meat” of the game after all, there are some very logical and intuitive, and others are a bit obscure and more complicated like for example…
There was an errand near the end where you needed to talk with every character in the game, and many of them said something that was completely unrelated with the “mission” taking place. Also is easy to miss two characters who aren’t on any of the creatures lairs.
Anyway, the puzzles or the missions are not really difficult (Don’t expect anything on the style of the 90’s Sierra adventure games). Even, if you get stuck there is a walkthrough included in the game files.

Graphics & Art
This part of the game can be described with only two words: Simply beautiful. The sprites are big and detailed (put attention of what happens with the main character when you lose), the places, and the characters themselves, are designed in a Stained glass style, enhancing the whole fairytale atmosphere of the game. Besides they are very colorful and imaginative.

The "hub" of the game, and it's save point

Music & Sound
The work in this division of the game is rather poor, especially when compared to the other departments of it. The sound effects are almost nonexistent, or very silent to be noticeable (the only one I remember clearly is the “broken screen” effect every time you fail in a mission). In regards of the music, there’s only one theme you’ll hear for almost the whole game, thankfully, the game is short, so it ends before this aspect becomes unbearable, but for a game that put much attention to each area this is highly underwhelming.

Storyline & Characters
Let’s talk a bit about history first. The game is based in “Little Briar Rose” by the Grimm brothers, but you probably know better this story by the title given by Charles Perrault, The “Sleeping Beauty”. The game itself made its plot inspired by the first part of the story, that is, until the prince get to the castle and awoken the sleeping princess.
The plot itself of the game is good, the problem comes when translating it to the game format. In this point the game becomes an another standard adventure, where you have to: pick objects, talk to NPCs to unlock thing, and generally all tasks are giving the item X to NPC Y, curiously, one of the first tasks involves building a library, and it’s clearly different to the future missions. It would have been nice if the rest of the game stayed in that path.
As for the characters themselves, they are your standard “fairy tale” bunch, with the creatures acting as is expected of them, and none gets too much development that would take away the focus on the objectives. A more interesting feature is the Main character, every time you lose…
instead of showing a game over screen, the screen “shatters” and the prince becomes what appears to be a spriggan (a goblin like creature), thereupon, you appear back in the save point of the game as a slightly different sprite, who identifies himself as another prince.
It is an interesting point, and shows how the objectives are the main purpose of the game.

As a summary of everything, Little Briar Rose is an good game with a very inspired style, and an easy-to-master gameplay. In the worse of cases it is short, so it would end before it becomes a chore for you.