Game: Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose
Platform: iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC
Store: Big Fish Games/Wildtangent Games/Steam
Dark Parables is a hidden object game series that you can find on the three-game platforms listed above. The Curse of Briar Rose is the first game of the series. It kicked started this popular game series, which has had a strong following since it launched. The series follows the known fairy tales that many authors have written. There are two game companies that make this series; Blue Tea Games and Epix Games.
This review will go over the collectors’ edition from Big Fish Games, which is $19.99 on its own but drops down to $13.99 if you buy the monthly membership for $6.99 a month. It’s a good deal if you like playing similar games to this. You also get tokens for free games every month, on top of your game card, in which each classic match counts as one punch and collectors count as three punches. Once you have filled the card, you can get a free standard version of any game.
One thousand years ago, Sleeping Beauty was kissed by a prince, which broke the terrible curse on the kingdom. The rampant briars were held at bay, but the poor princess was left in her slumber. Follow a modern-day detective as he travels to Edinburgh, Scotland, and attempts to end the curse once and for all in Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose.
Most hidden objects are the basic point and click games, however, they make up for that with gameplay; storyline, design, and different variety of puzzles throughout the game. For instance, Dark Parables brings a different look to playing hidden object games with its HOS (Hidden Object Scenes). Instead of looking for objects in a list, you are building tools that you need to use to progress through the storyline.
Another puzzle in the game is the marble game, where you have to move the little marbles around to their colored spots on the board. Each round gets harder the farther you progress into the game. Many other puzzles deal with memory, sound, and non-physical puzzles too.
Once you have finished the game the first time around, you can play the game again on hard mode, which takes away the hint button and skip button on puzzles. In this mode, you can go to a secret room at the bottom of the well. Although, you still have to play a good portion of the game to get into the room. You need a particular object that is picked up halfway in.
Like most HOG, you are given the hint button and a journal that keeps your notes through the different chapters. There are twelve chapters in this game. The game has a little section above the tools bar that you can click on. This section will show you your next objective in the game by showing scenes of the locations you need to go to.
However, this does not have a map to move around with to the different areas. This means you have to manually move through the game until the transportation symbol is activated, only in two places that aren’t started until a later point of the game.
During the gameplay, there are morphing objects that you can click on. They will refill your hint button faster in the game. These are only available in the normal mode since the hint button isn’t usable in the hard mode. Some objects will appear in a location that did not have one before, which means they will appear later in the game. Morphing objects changed into something more meaningful in the later rounds.
Collectors Edtion Perks
So, the collectors’ edition gives you access to an extra scene, which is the Spindle Room. This room gives you more information about the legend of Briar Rose. It also comes with wallpapers/screensavers, music in the story, a strategy guide, extra puzzles that are challenging to play, and three versions of the Sleeping Beauty story.
The Strategy guide in the collector’s edition is available through both versions of the game. The strategy guide can help with some of the puzzles, but the memory puzzles are a bit more tricky. You have resources, so use them when you can’t figure them out on your own. It’s okay to use them since that is what they were made for.
Thoughts on the Game
I like this game, in all honesty. The graphics aren’t the best because the game was created in 2010, but the overall detail in the game’s art makes up for it all. The music is eerie but very relaxing to listen to. I love the gothic ruined look that the game uses since it nails the story’s darker elements.
It was annoying they didn’t include a map with this game, but it was easy to move around even if it felt tedious. The Journal just goes over the different chapters in the game, but it doesn’t save any smaller bits of information. It’s not a problem, though, if you aren’t picky about the little things. I’m just one of those people who gets that way.
After the first two games, this series picked up in gameplay and art that draws you into the story even more.
Most initial games are usually a work in progress. Most of the time, the game series gets better with each game and the Dark Parables is one of those games. I would recommend that others play this game if you love the dark gothic fairytales versus the kiddy-versions of them. The Dark Parables Creators took the fairytales and turned them into a visual masterpiece.