Game: Little Briar Rose
Genre: Adventure | Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also iOS, Android, PC)
Developer|Publisher: Elf Games
Age Rating: US E | AU G | EU 3 +
Price: $5.99 US| $9.00 AU|£ 5.99|€ 5,99
Release Date: 11th October 2019
Review code kindly provided by Elf Games.
Past The Briar Thorns
Little Briar Rose is an adventure game where you must break the curse of the forest to save the sleeping princess Aurora. Its story is obviously set in that of the Sleeping Beauty tale. Yet the adventure you go on as a courageous prince, is its own journey.
As the prince, you explore the forest finding new items that may aid you later in your adventure. The first place you come across is a gnome village with a serious architectural dispute. This may or may not be where I lost a few princes in a row. If that happens, the next brave bachelor will show and take your place from the same point you were last.
Lost in a Daze
Asides from the adventure mechanic of using a few items on different things, you also must talk to the characters to complete an area’s problem. While you might know the answer to an obstacle your prince needs the context to solve it.
After finishing a section which you will be given their wish and use it on the large mushroom. Then the wish must navigate a rotating maze puzzle. Which will then unlock another areas for you to explore and help the inhabitants of. Asides from these puzzles, there are a few necessary mini-games, such as fishing. You will need to go back and forth throughout the forest to complete each wish.
The game’s art style is a gorgeous mimicry of stained glass art. Thankfully, without light refraction. In the introduction there is some narration other than that, there is no voice acting. The writing has light humor to it, and matches the adventure tale you are on. Which is important since you have to do a reasonable bit of talking. The music befits the enchanted forest, though I had to turn it down a smidge.
While puzzles are necessary to progress, the game is very generous with hints. You can solve swap puzzles to get a hint about what to do in an area. Unless you happen to solve them in an area with nothing new to do like I did. The maze puzzles also have to option to show you the line path that it would need to pass through. As I’ve said there isn’t really a failure state even if you do lose a prince. It has in-game achievements, so getting things perfect (and sometimes wrong) can net you these.
The controls for the puzzles and mini-games are a bit of a hassle on the Switch. I had to use the d-pad buttons instead of the joy-stick to finish them. In handheld mode you can use touch controls which are much better.
Going through the game took me almost two hours, though it could take less if you’re better at gnome architecture than me. The puzzle and adventure aspect are easy so if you came for a challenge it isn’t here. Little Briar Rose is a gorgeous little game, that while the setting is that of the Sleeping Beauty, has it’s own simple adventure to tell. It reminds me of the kind of games I’d play as a young girl, although this is much less tedious than those.