A Rose in the Twilight Review
What seems like an innocent game about a little girl and her monster companion is actually a deceptively twisted adventure filled gruesome blood offerings. As Rose, you find yourself waking up with a cursed thorn sticking out of your back. Using your abilities control blood and time you must figure out how to escape an ancient castle.
A Rose in the Twilight puzzles are broken up by different rooms in the castle. For the most part, each room has obstacles that require you to manipulate different objects that are either obstructing your way or will help you advance. For example, there will be a platform that you repeatedly have to freeze by absorbing the blood on it. Once that object stops in the correct position, you can jump on it and proceed.
You also enlist the help of a giant monster who is also looking to escape the castle. This monster will help you carry heavy objects, get through thorny areas that would kill Rose, defeat enemies, and throw Rose to areas that she wouldn't be able to access on her own. Rose in the Twilight does a great job balancing gameplay between the giant and Rose. There's never a time where you feel that the either character becomes a burden.
The overall pace of the game is pretty slow. Rose doesn't walk very fast, but once you have the giant helping you, you can use him to carry her around. Before I knew that the giant was in the game and I was only playing as Rose, I felt that the speed of the game was going to be something that I didn't enjoy. Luckily, this feeling subsided after about 30-45 minutes and it never really crossed my mind again. Rose in the Twilight is also very somber. There's no dialog and only a few vignettes that give you some insight on what's happening. I think that a lot of gamers might not even know what's going on which may leave something to be desired.
For the most part, the puzzles in A Rose in the Twilight aren't too difficult. You will run into a few that will require some thinking, but I never felt like I was ever stuck. At times you are required to revisit areas that you've already explored to unlock blood memories. These memories are actually required for you to advance with the story, so there is a tiny amount of backtracking using a simple fast travel feature. The best (or worst?) part about these blood offerings is that you get to see Rose killed in some surprisingly brutal ways.
A Rose in the Twilight took me roughly 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours to complete. The whole time I was playing I was constantly reminded of Limbo, which is never a bad thing. If you're looking for a fun puzzle-platformer with a decent amount of blood then Rose in the Twilight is definitely worth checking out.
4.25 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NIS for providing us with the code.