User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32

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  1. Dec 19, 2011
    10
    I have never played this game before but I watched a walkthrough on Youtube through one sitting and what I saw was a game with storyline too cruel- yet too beautiful- to go untold, and it massive use of symbolism and the perspective of a child in the cruel situation/life is what made me give it a 10/10
  2. Jul 11, 2011
    9
    Really, Rule of Rose is a perfect game when it comes to story, style, and visuals. It's also probably the most twisted game in existence - I say this primarily because it involves little girls being sadistic and cruel to each other, it's a world where there isn't just blood and violence, but there's humiliation for almost no apparent reason other than that the person being humiliated is lower on a list (the kind of list that young girls often make to rank the people around them). Such humiliation - as seen early on - involves rats on the end of a stick being shoved in someone's face, and at one point the rat is dead and rotting, covered in maggots. The psychology of this game really gets to you, and it's very surreal, and can easily be compared to Silent Hill (of course its not as great as Silent Hill, nor as psychologically frightening, but it is, in many ways, similar). I would say this is more unsettling than horrifying, but sometimes that's all a game with this kind of slow, yet brilliant pacing needs. However, the one single thing that stops this great game from being even greater is the freaking battle controls. Everything in the game is perfectly manageable all until you get to an actual fight. The girl you play as, Jennifer, is so very afraid of everything around her, which I love as a concept, but the fact that she's afraid to even defend herself and fights with little feeble attempts is extremely aggravating. At first I thought it was because I was using short range weapons like knives and her fists, but then I discovered the steel pipe. I was so excited when I found this weapon because I thought this meant that she would swing it around more widely, but instead she still does those simply wimpy jabs whilst covering her eyes in fear. This is the most challenging part, because even if you are the most skilled hardcore gamer you will have difficulty. Also she gets knocked down really easily, and though the labrador, Brown, that aides you along the way is great help in fights, it is only so much help as even though it looks like you're hitting an enemy, and you see your steel pipe or knife going through the enemy, it will act as though you missed it. I give this a 9/10 because it is a brilliant and outstanding example of style and story, plus it has the greatest "GAME OVER" screen in existence, as it acts as the end of a story, in a most twisted and devious way - "...And they all lived happily ever after." Expand
  3. Oct 26, 2012
    8
    Games that bring controversy with their releases are always intriguing releases, and Rule of Rose is no different. An independently developed game, published by Atlas in North America, Rule of Rose follows the story of Jennifer, a skittish young girl who - through a strange series of circumstances - finds herself in the 1930s English countryside, chasing a boy down a dirt road. This chase leads her to The Rose Garden Orphanage. But things take a turn for the bizarre: when she encounters a grave at the manor, she gets a horrible feeling, digging it up to reveal a coffin. She is then surprised from behind by some of the children, who push her into the coffin, and bury her alive.

    When she awakens, Jennifer finds herself in what appears to be a zeppelin. She is in the custody and care of a group of children, mostly girls, who call themselves The Aristocrat Club; they demand that you pay the club tribute in the form of monthly gifts of their choosing, the penalty for which not making your offering is death. Thus, Jeniffer begins to wander the zeppelin, searching for gifts, and experiencing what seem to be extremely disjointed scenarios involving her and the Aristocrat Club.

    Gameplay is your run-of-the-mill survival horror sort, wandering around with small, blunt, or generally ineffective weapons while little imp creatures chase you around. This makes running the most appropriate option in most situations, as Jennifer isn't the most competent battler you've ever encountered, haphazardly swinging her weapons around. The scenery (either the dark and seemingly abandoned orphanage or the metallic and eerie zeppelin) is exceptionally creepy, and the mood is set very well, with a great accompanying soundtrack. But navigating these environments can become cumbersome to traverse, as many of the corridors look identical, and it's easy to get turned around, especially when weaving between imps. Furthermore, certain chapters can be long with infrequent save points, meaning if you take an unlucky blow to the head from Billy the goat-headed ugly who wants to nom on your innards, you'll have to start from your last save, which can be time-consuming and just plain taxing.

    But for all the game's faults, it is all brought together by its fabulous storyline. The Aristocrat Club is anything but, making Jennifer suffer through verbal degradation and hazing rituals. And with the surreal environment of the zeppelin, with seemingly no adults taking care of the children, the kids rule in a Lord of the Flies styled dominion. Each chapter of the story is prefaced with a hand-drawn childrens' book that provides an off-kilter summary of the coming chapter. The entire story comes across as a haunting and visceral 9-year old's worst nightmare, and while the story may seem very disjointed and confusing, it gives you enough plot points to keep you hungry to see how it all comes together. And while it seems like this resolution may never come, a calming denouement after the climax of the plot offers all the answers to the questions that were brought about. If anything, this very rare - and at times, controversial - and unique release may not be the best game you've ever played, but certainly one of the most intriguing, and worth your time.
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  4. Aug 24, 2013
    6
    rule of rose isn't good and it is not bad the only good thing about this game that will keep you playing it is the story other than that it is horrible controls are bad game play repetitive and really difficult boss fights
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 44
  2. Negative: 7 out of 44
  1. Worryingly disturbing, but just as worryingly patchy to play. A masterpiece of oddness that makes for a malnourished and sluggish video game. [JPN Import; June 2006, p.62]
  2. 50
    While not the best example of the genre, "Silent Hill" and "Haunting Ground" fans would certainly find the story appealing and the gorgeous cut-scenes instil the chilling atmosphere that every horror game needs. It’s just a shame that the gameplay is what ultimately lets Rule of Rose down.
  3. Action junkies looking for the next Resident Evil might find the pace a little slow, and the core gameplay doesn't do anything wildly different, but this is still a wonderful psychological thriller that will draw you in with its bizarrely compelling narrative, atmospheric presentation and thoughtful story-based gameplay.