Rule of Rose

If you've watched a horror movie or two, you know that creepy kids are pretty much about as disturbing as it gets. Rule of Rose takes that to heart, putting you in the shoes of a teenage girl sent to an infernal orphanage, forced to bow to the whims of a group of strange children who make her fetch them presents. Where does she nab them? From the heart of a monstrously large zeppelin she's been trapped in.

Yeah, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense. But like Silent Hill, it's all down to the atmosphere. Rule of Rose takes place in England in 1930; that the girls in the game are all so proper looking is what lends it the creepy edge it needs. These girls, who call themselves the Aristocracy of the Red Crayon, force heroine Jennifer to search for gifts to placate their desires. The story is strange, but the atmosphere is incredible, led by the creepy cutscenes showing the girls interacting.

The game is more or less a key-and-item hunt, with plenty of puzzles that get in your way. Of course, monsters start filtering into the dark and moody nooks and crannies and you have to fight them off... you've done this before, though. No, we're not excited because of the gameplay. We're intrigued by the story and won over by the visual style.

The idea of a game that makes children your enemy - that forces you to deal with the demented demands of power-drunk kids - is totally unique, and the quality of the storytelling should help sell such an unusual tale. We're looking forward to finding out what happens... and with several endings, it should take plenty of time to find out just what that might be.