Title: Little Briar Rose
Developer: Elf Games
Publisher: Elf Games
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 10/10/2019
Price: £5.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty, where the Princess Aurora pricks her finger on a cursed spinning wheel, falling into a hundred year sleep. With the castle surrounded by brambles, someone must awaken the princess with true love’s kiss. In Little Briar Rose, based on the Brothers Grimm retelling, that someone is you!
Damsel in distress
With the princess asleep behind a wall of thorns, it’s up to a prince to save her. Well, a whole of dynasty of princes. Exploring the fantastical forest surrounding the castle, you must take on a series of puzzles, helping fairy tale creatures. However, if you’re not successful, your character gets turned into something like a fish or a gnome. Taking control of another prince, you must continue from where you left off!
Similar to a point and click style game, you must talk to the various characters and pick up items to find out how to solve the problems. For example, a group of mermen need help saving their home, but they refuse to accept the help of the gnomes. How will you trick them into accepting your help?
Within these overall puzzles, there are mini games like fishing and cooking to add another element to the game. The puzzles aren’t all that challenging, which is expected from a family friendly game, with an abundance of hints to help you in the form of fairies. However I found this relaxing, just something to tickle the brain while enjoying the beautiful environments.
A window to another world
The art style is beyond gorgeous, a unique aspect which first drew me to the game. Hand drawn in the style of a stained glass window, it was something I’ve never seen before. It’s vibrant and bursting with colour, and the geometric patterns bring beautiful backdrops and character designs.
With this in mind, it’s a shame the game is so short. There is so much potential to bring in different creatures and scenery using this style. I’d love to see another game done this way either in a sequel form or another fantasy game. It just looks great and stands out against other games! Paired with an instrumental soundtrack with the whistling of flutes and the pangs of xylophones, you’re transported right into the pages of a fairy tale.
Something I love in particular is having the transformed princes scattered around the map. It adds a visual consequence to failing the puzzles and it’s fun to see a gnome with your old prince’s outfit on while you carry on his task. Though I’m not going to lie, when I failed for the first time and came back as a different prince I thought it was game over and I was starting from the beginning!
Your princess is in another castle
There are locked achievements which you can access from the main menu and the pause menu, amusingly named with references. This gives the opportunity for you to replay the game to unlock them all. They can be such things like dying three times in the same puzzle or simply finishing the game. Because they are hidden, you may have to discover them through trying various things (unless you look it up of course!).
As the game is short, it isn’t too much of an effort to replay it to unlock the achievements. However because you already know how to do the puzzles, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to play it again once getting all the achievements.
Short but sweet!
Little Briar Rose may be short but it’s visually beautiful with fun puzzles great for children and adults alike! The story fits well within the length of the game, but I can see a lot of potential in its style and would not complain about it being longer.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Little Briar Rose from the Nintendo Switch store at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Little-Briar-Rose-1653857.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.