Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

A Rose In The Twilight

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 2 - 2017

A little girl and her Golem friend try to escape a dark and broody castle.

 
While the Vita may never have quite reached the heights of success in this country, its continued popularity in Japan ensures that, for owners, there is a constant stream of strange and often wonderful games being brought over. Some of the strangest, and most interesting, come from developers Nippon Ichi. This brings us to A Rose in the Twilight, a puzzle platformer involving a young girl, a stone Golem, and lots of blood.

 
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Players begin the game as a young girl named Rose who awakens in a dark and foreboding castle. Being stuck in a creepy castle is not where Rose’s troubles finish, as she also happens to have a thorn stuck in her back. This thorn gives her a power that will be needed to be used time and again to find her way out of the castle, and also discover the story of why she is there. Rose is very vulnerable, and the castle is a veritable death trap, but quite quickly she will come across an ally in the form of a stone Golem to help her through the trials that face her.

 
Perhaps one of the highlights of A Rose in the Twilight is the atmosphere that the game sets. There is an almost monochrome colour palette used to create the world, with the only real contrast being the brightly coloured blood that plays such an important role in the game. Still, the castle environments are unsettling, something which is amplified by the games minimal soundtrack. Add to this that Rose and the Golem move quite slowly, and some of the events of the game, and the atmosphere really ramps up to something quite disturbing. It is easy to become invested in the plight of this young girl, despite the slow drip of story, and A Rose in the Twilight becomes a very memorable little game.

 
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As for the story, the player is given very little to go on. Little snippets of the story are hidden throughout the levels for the player to discover, but the main source comes from the bodies of those who have fallen. Rose’s special ability comes from the use of blood, and on finding a corpse she is able to extract the blood and trigger a cut scene that further hints at what is going on.

 
The core use of here ability however, comes from extracting or imbuing objects with blood. Rose is able to effectively carry one dose of blood with her, which is indicated by the red rose on her clothing that changes from white to red when blood is being carried. Red objects in the environment can have the blood removed from them to freeze them, while regular objects can be imbued with the blood to bring them to life. This simple mechanic will form the basis for the majority of the puzzles in the game, gradually getting more complex as the player has to negotiate various rooms and different components.

 
The other main puzzle component comes in the form of the Golem. Players can freely switch control between Rose and the Golem, making use of both Rose’s blood ability and the Golem’s near invulnerability. The Golem can wade through hazardous areas, such as those overgrown with thorns, while carrying Rose and keeping her safe. He can also pick up objects and throw Rose onto higher platforms that she could not reach otherwise. There is a thoughtful pace to most of the game that will allow players to survey and area and then plan their switches, but there are a couple of moments in the game when quick changing between the two characters will be required.

 
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The most shocking moments in the game come from Rose’s blood ability. At times, the way forward will be blocked and Rose will have to make the ultimate blood sacrifice to proceed. Different means of execution will be present and Rose will have to effectively kill herself in order to bathe the blockage in blood and clear the way. Of course, Rose will respawn none the worse for wear. But still, watching this cute little girl put her head in a guillotine, or through a thorny noose, is quite disturbing, especially as the animation shows that even Rose is hesitant about what she has to do.

 
A Rose in the Twilight is only a short game, lasting maybe a half dozen hours depending on how long the player spends on the puzzles. However, there is a certain amount of exploration involved to find blood stains and trophies, so there is a good reason to head back in and extend the game.

 
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A Rose in the Twilight is another quirky game from Nippon Ichi on the Vita. The slow and steady pace, along with the quite brutal things that the player is expected to inflict on this cute young girl, will ensure that it is not a game for everyone. However, if you fancy some puzzle platforming in an interesting setting on Sony’s under supported handheld, A Rose in the Twilight is a great little game that is well worth a look.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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