Rule of Rose - hands-on

We delve into the first game to ever make us afraid of little girls

With us so far? OK. While things look bleak for Jennifer, she has one chance to survive: if she finds gifts for the Aristocrats (usually things like dead butterflies and escaped rabbits), she can join the club and even move up in the ranks. That, in turn, will mean more tolerance from the other kids, and fewer "ceremonies" that involve a rat on a stick being jabbed in her face by a maniacally leering fat girl. It also means the Aristocrats' mysterious leader won't make good on threats to kill her.

As she explores the blimp and tries to curry favor with the Aristocrats, Jennifer will eventually be helped out by a friendly, horribly mistreated dog named Brown. The fragile-girl/dog dynamic has earned Rose a lot of comparisons to 2005's mediocre Haunting Ground, but while the dog in that game did most of the fighting, Brown just helps out with the puzzles. He's especially good for finding things that are connected to other things; give him a cookie tin to sniff, for example, and he'll find you some cookies. Anything or anyone else you might be looking for can be similarly tracked, so long as you've got an object with the right scent. It's an interesting feature, and it saves a lot of aimless wandering around the huge airship.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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