A Rose in the Twilight, originally known as “Roze to Tasogare no Kojou” in Japan, is a puzzle platform game, filled with challenges. And trust me, you will die. Many sad, tragic deaths.
Rose awakes in a world without color or time. The only obvious color is red; the color that restores time to the objects around her. Furthermore, where did the thorn and rose on her back come from? Why does she have the power to absorb time from the objects?
What makes this title unique is that the story telling isn’t done through dialogue, but through cut scenes demonstrated in crimson backdrops and black cut-outs. To delve further into the story, you must read the scrolls in your collection. Reading the scrolls gives you a better insight as to what Rose is thinking and feeling as you pass through each dungeon.
This is perhaps one of the darkest stories I have played through so far. Rose dies numerous times, in some of the darkest ways (hanging, guillotine, and much more), in order to move to the next level. I almost couldn’t believe something so dark could be published in the United States. However, each time Rose sacrifices herself, you learn more about what is happening to her and watch the story unravel.
A Rose in the Twilight takes on a gothic hand drawn art style, with monochromatic level designs and blood-red colored objects. The visuals place you in a tragic fairy tale and the paper-cut out cut scenes create a story book theme. The overall art style is a main staple to the game play mechanics. You will need to observe everything in order to solve the puzzles and move on to the next dungeon.
Rose and her Giant are both very endearing characters. Whenever Rose trips or is carried around by the Giant, she is portrayed as a clumsy, fragile, and delicate young girl; much like the rose she carries on her back. The giant is bulky and sturdy and the perfect guardian for the young girl.
A creepy but yet childish music tone is one of the best parts of A Rose in the Twilight. The soundtrack doesn’t overpower what is visually happening, but yet enhances the feel of the game. As I said before, it is a dark story, so of course the game would have a dark, gothic tone of music. Much like the art style, the music places you into the morbid fairy tale. Audio is subtle throughout the game, but it’s a great soundtrack and fits the title completely.
If you’re like me, you are TERRIBLE at puzzle games. A Rose in the Twilight was almost infuriating! But not impossible. The goal of the game is to get Rose and the Giant to the end of each level. You must control each character since there are some obstacles Rose cannot get through and obstacles the Giant cannot overcome. Rose has a limited jumping range and is very delicate so she can be crushed by pretty much anything; even falling from distance that feels somewhat short. The giant is sturdy, but unable to reach some places that Rose can. Rose must absorb red and transfer it to the proper objects and the Giant must carry it and place it where it needs to be. You definitely have to pay attention to the level and take advantage of the objects you can interact with while utilizing the skills each character posses.
Of course, as the game progresses each puzzle becomes more difficult to solve. While I found some puzzles so frustrating I wanted to hurl my Vita across the room, it was rewarding when I completed a dungeon. Not only to get more in-depth to Rose’s tragic story, but to show that a darn game can’t beat me!
A Rose in the Twilight was a beautiful game. I am a sucker for dark, gothic, and fairy tales so of course I was immediately drawn to the title. However, this is a puzzle game through and through. As a novice puzzle game player, I found the title frustrating. However, I think more seasoned puzzle game players will appreciate the challenge each level provides.