A short time ago, I noticed that Blue Tea Games had released a third game in their Dark Parables series. So I decided to go back and replay the previous two games before diving into this latest installment. First up is Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose. Although they have a collector’s edition available, I played the regular version.
Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose Storyline
Blue Tea Games decided to take a familiar fairy tale and reinvent it in this present-day hidden object game. You are a detective who has been assigned to a case in Edinburgh, Scotland. It seems that vines in a nearby castle have started growing at an astronomical rate. They are growing so fast, in fact, that they are threatening to destroy the city.
You find that the legend of Sleeping Beauty is not just a fairy tale after all. Like the story, the princess is cursed to die by an evil witch. The girl’s fairy godparents ameliorated the curse so that she would only fall into a deep sleep. That’s where the legend and the hidden object game depart.
When Sleeping Beauty falls under the spell, vines began to aggressively grow and threaten the kingdom. The prince saves the day with a kiss. The vines go away, but Sleeping Beauty never wakes up. Centuries later, the curse afflicting the princess is mysteriously reactivated. It’s up to you to solve the puzzle and save the city.
Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose Game Play
There was nothing particularly noteworthy about the game play in Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose. It is the standard find and click hidden object adventure game. There are about 25-30 hidden object games plus about 20-25 supplemental games and tasks. A hint button is available to help you find items and figure out what to do next. The story and your progress is tracked in a journal.
One thing I liked about Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose was that the hidden object puzzles were tightly integrated into the game play. You found pieces of one object that was later used to unlock other parts of the game. For example, the first thing you find is pieces of an object that helps you open the castle door. With similar HOGs, you have to find 15 random objects that have no connection to the game.
This game also featured cursed objects, which are items that change appearance. Finding them charged your hint meter faster, which was kind of cool. I also enjoyed the game’s artwork and the musical score was enjoyable to listen to while I played.
Overall Impression of the Game
Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose was a nice, simple game to play. I found the story to be an interesting take on a classic fairy tale. I liked the way the hidden object puzzles were integrated into the game. An unexpected bonus was a hidden room that became accessible when you played the game in Hard Mode.
However, I didn’t find the game to be challenging at all. I consider myself to be at an expert level when it comes to HOGs, but even people who don’t have as much experience with this type of game should not have any trouble getting through it.
There wasn’t a lot of interactivity either. The castle was abandoned. Outside of a run in with the ghost of Sleeping Beauty early in the game and at the end, you are pretty much on your own. Overall, it only took me a few hours to get through the game, and by the end I was a little bored.
If you are looking for an easy game to play, then Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose is nice way to spend a few hours procrastinating. However, if you want something significantly more challenging, then I would suggest the newest Mystery Case Files Game – Escape from Ravenhearst.