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Rule of Rose review

Terrified of little girls? Have we got a horror game for you

There's fighting, too, but it's a frustrating hurdle that's meant to be avoided. Every so often, packs of imps - horrid little goblins who carry pushbrooms and knives - will creep out of the woodwork to try and murder you. Most of them look like ghost-faced toddlers, but plenty of them sport disturbing animal heads, and a few even wear giant bird-shaped costumes to deal out massive damage. Whatever their form, they're more unsettling than scary, and bashing or stabbing them to death is easy even for a cringing wimp like Jennifer. The bosses aren't a lot better, making the monster quotient pretty disappointing.

In fact, if you're expecting horror from Rule of Rose, don't. Granted, the kids are creepy and their pranks on Jennifer are horrific, and some pretty grisly things happen from time to time. But even with the Silent Hill grain filter, the dark halls and the taut string-quartet soundtrack, any suspense just falls flat. Maybe it's the sluggish pace, or maybe it's that you revisit the same places so many times, they eventually become familiar. Or maybe it's just impossible to be frightened when the only things that lurk in the shadows are comical, short and easy to outrun and outfight.

More Info

DescriptionThis creepy horror game puts you in the shoes of a teenager trapped in a zeppelin and forced to fetch presents for psychotic children. Yep, it's weird.
US censor ratingMature
Release date12 September 2006 (US), (UK)


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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