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Sleeping Beauty and After 

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Described as the "True story of Sleeping Beauty", the Curse of the Briar Rose belongs to the Dark Parables series of titles. Developed by Blue Tea Games, this title offers Hidden Object game play as you take on the role of a detective tasked with solving the mystery of fast spreading vines threatening the local environment.

Dark Parables Curse of the Briar Rose

The story of Sleeping Beauty began, as I am sure you know, with the birth of a new princess who was cursed at birth.  Later, when pricked by a spindle, the princess and everybody else residing in the castle fell into a deep sleep that could only be broken by the princess being kissed by a prince.  At this point, the kiss woke up everybody apart from the princess and thus the legend of the Sleeping Beauty was born.  But that was a thousand years ago and evidence of the Sleeping Beauty's location was lost in the mist of time.  This then is the situation at the start of this game.

Prior to setting out on this adventure, you can create individual profiles to record the progress of different players.  Adjustments can be made to the volume levels for background music and sound effects.  There is also an option to play the game in full screen mode.  Rather than select to play the game using a choice of difficulty levels, you are restricted to standard mode.  However once the game has been completed using this level, a Hard mode, with reduced Help features, is made available.

In your role of a detective, you are ordered to check out  a spread of vines emanating from an area known as Rose Castle situated near the city of Edinburgh.  It has been estimated that these vines would soon take over the whole area and destroy the city.  The spread of the vines must be stopped at all cost.

As you travel around the castle and its grounds, the lower area of the current scene will be overlaid with the tools available to you.  Taking up a central position is an inventory holding the items you have collected.  This inventory is sandwiched between a notebook on the right with features for Hint and Inspect on the left.  The Hint and Inspect features  are cast together as they are linked.  The familiar Hint feature only offers assistance during Hidden Object game play.  At other points during the game you will need to use the Inspect feature which will show possible locations which need to be visited.  Some care needs to be taken with this feature as using it could lock the normal Hint feature for up to three minutes.

When exploring a scene, the appearance of sparkles will indicate when a Hidden Object session is available.  Instead of combining a cluttered scene with a text list of items to find, this game uses a different approach.  You are asked to find small pieces of an object.  These pieces, making up the object, are integrated into a regular scene. The pieces are divided into three groups and when all the pieces have been found then they will come together to form an object needed later in the game.

As well as the numerous Hidden Object scenes, other tasks will face your detective character.  From time to time you will encounter a puzzle mini game that will need to be completed.  These puzzles are varied in type and include matching items with their correct location, pairing goblets with an image and selecting the correct symbols as they are added to a potion.  If any of the puzzles prove too difficult then a skip option can be used but this action will cause the Hint feature to be locked for five minutes. 

As well as the puzzles, the game has 20 cursed morphing objects that need to be found.  Finding these objects will help speed up the recharging progress undertaken by the Hint feature.

While the game does not have a map feature to help move you between different scenes, you do get a transportation device.  This device become available later in the game.  Once you have unlocked the Alchemist's room, the transportation device, in the form of a symbol, will allow you to travel between the Alchemist's room and a swing located in the castle grounds.  This device works in either direction.

With its heavy emphasis on Hidden Object game play, this is an enjoyable game that will keep you occupied for many hours of challenging game play.  You can download the game from Big Fish Games where it is priced at $2.99.  Specifications for the game call for a 800 MHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 160MB of hard disk space running Windows XP and later.

Dark Parables: Curse of the Briar Rose > iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC Game | Big Fish (bigfishgames.com)

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OverallBlue Tea Games Curse of the Briar Rose rated 72 out of 100

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