Rule of Rose - Review

Rule of Rose
Ages: Mature

A memorable game haunting from the very beginning when Jennifer, in an empty bus traveling down a deserted road, is given an unfinished story book The Little Princess by the other passenger. The bus stops, the young boy runs out and Jennifer pursues him into a dark and foreboding mansion. The dark atmosphere never lets up. There are many rooms, long corridors, little girls that appear from time to time and the over voice accuses her of being a bad and a very unlucky girl in need of punishment. Constant threats of punishment, cut scenes of violent behavior coupled with strange and frightening rituals puts this game plunk into the survival horror genre and yet it's captivating.

The designers paid attention to so many details the child-like scrawl and simple pictures in the books, chalk writing on the blackboard to keep track of items; the tittering sounds of children behind doors; the eerie music, classical cello and violin adds to the somber mood.

The orphanage, and the dirigible (you have to suspend logic here) is run by a clique called the Aristocrats of the Red Crayon and they are every bit and demanding and sadistic as the worst sorority you can imagine. Jennifer wanders about the dark interiors, opening doors and avoiding or fighting strange creatures while trying to find the offerings required for admission into the club. Her only true friend, a dog, is used as a means to navigate from point to point in the game.

What makes Rule of Rose so unsettling is how the game combine innocence with sadism, safety with exposure, trust with treachery, calm with impending doom, self with filth, children with violence -- welcome to the orphanage.

Reviewed by: Editor - 10/06

  • Rule of Rose
  • © Atlus
  • PS2
  • To Order: PS2 $46.99