Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 44
  2. Negative: 7 out of 44
Buy On
  1. Once seen to completion, Rule of Rose is unquestionably memorable, but as a game it comes well short of current expectations.
  2. Basically, the game is offbeat, which fits considering that these are the same people that developed Chulip, a game about kissing people, but unfortunately it didn't do anything to put a scare into me.
  3. 70
    Looking at the game as a whole, the music and atmosphere are easily the best parts of Rule of Rose, while the controls are the weakest element by far.
  4. Despite the unabashed creep-out factor, there is an interesting story to be found. It's a fairy tale as scene through a looking glass mirror. My biggest gripe is that it just isn't very fun to play.
  5. If the story doesn't grab you, then you can probably pass on Rule of Rose. Its other elements aren't nearly as satisfying.
  6. Your typical survival horror, with sub-par gameplay but excellent style. Underneath, you’ll find a twisted story that takes some time to digest, one that doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending.
  7. But if what you’re after is a good twisted mystery and a game that will creep you out, in deeper ways and beyond “boo, I jumped out of the closet”, then you should consider checking-out RoR.
  8. With sub-par control, a story that could be great but gets lost in a sea of loose ends, and very uninspired, tedious, and infrequent combat, Rule of Rose falls well shy of the intended mark.
  9. Play UK
    It's not exactly scary going on fetch quests for some snooty, snooty wee girls, nor fending off eyeless monkeys with a kitchen knife. [Issue#146, p.92]
  10. Games Master UK
    Some genuinely disconcerting moments, but not half as scary as you might imagine. [Jan 2007, p.74]
  11. 65
    A decent addition to the survival-horror/psycho-horror genre and at its best, is an intense thrill-ride experience. However, to get to these moments, you have to endure a flawed presentation and design elements.
  12. Rule of Rose wants to be the next Silent Hill, but for now it's only achieving Relatively Quiet Hill status.
  13. Game Informer
    Difficult to control, slow, and(as the game goes on)more and more arbitrarily forced fights suck fun directly from the player. [Oct. 2006, p.100]
  14. If you’re desperate for a story driven horror game then this might be up your ally but otherwise wait for the barrage of new titles hitting this fall.
  15. If you’re a survival horror fan looking for something that doesn’t involve zombies, genetically engineered mutants, aliens, or any of the other usual cliches of the genre, Rule of Rose might interest you with its 1930s setting, creepy children, and unsettling atmosphere.
  16. 60
    If you can accept that nearly all the engaging moments come from non-interactive movies, and much of what the player is allowed to take part in is more frustrating than terrifying or exciting, it could also be worth playing.
  17. There's no denying that Rule of Rose is extremely pretty, atmospheric and disturbing. Unfortunately, it fails on just about every other level. The gameplay is tedious, the scares are nonexistent and Jennifer is such a cringing, passive non-entity that you'll likely identify more with her malevolent (but strangely endearing) tormenters.
  18. It's not terrible by any stretch, but it's not exciting enough for survival/horror fans, and it's a little too old-fashioned for the adventure fans out there.
  19. 60
    The story may be unique, but the overall game design, as represented by the combat model, is one characterized by laziness masked as tradition. It's accepted that survival horror has lame combat, boss battles and fetch quests, so Rule of Rose has all those things, too.
  20. This survival horror game trades typical zombies for a pack of sadistic children, but its compelling premise and creepy atmosphere only partly make up for the mostly bland gameplay.
  21. It's at that point in Rule of Rose, when combat becomes a dominant factor but the provided elements simply don't hold up, that frustration sets in.
  22. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Blends the stuff of nightmares with stylish sound and graphics. Sadly, the developer should have spent longer on the gameplay. [Dec 2006, p.90]
  23. The story in Rule of Rose is an amazingly twisted macabre tale that you won’t find on a daily basis in your local game store. Unfortunately, the design team appears to have been so focused on the story part of the game that they forget to actually put a game in it.
  24. Unless you can’t seem to get enough games about demented children and ghoulish babies with poor combat and stupid-proof puzzles, then I suggest you steer clear of this one and save your money for "Silent Hill 5."
  25. PSM2 Magazine UK
    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]
  26. Rule of Rose definitely delivers the chills from beginning to end and although the stories from chapter to chapter can feel a little detached, you will find yourself continually anticipating what will happen next.
  27. With its creepy cast and giant flying machine, Rule of Rose manages to scare up some real suspense. But too much of the game feels like a chore for me to recommend this survival horror experience.
  28. 55
    The premise is fantastic and the visuals really do draw you into the dark world this game presents; it’s just a shame that so many vital aspects of it are broken or Rule of Rose could have easily given Silent Hill a strong run for its money.
  29. 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.
  30. Unfortunately, more often it's a frustrating experience that often muddies what would have been an atmospheric, wildly imaginative peek into the darker side of misguided children.
  31. PSM Magazine
    Health items do almost nothing, and being killed by a boss means another go-round of fetch. Skip it. [Dec. 2006, p.82]

Awards & Rankings

#14 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2006
#16 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 103
  2. Negative: 2 out of 103
  1. Dec 19, 2011
    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 tooI 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 Full Review »
  2. SnakeC.
    Sep 26, 2006
    A worthy adventure.
  3. Jul 11, 2020
    The game is amazing, just like a good horror game makes you uncomfortable, scared, disgusted and scared. The only bad thing is the combat,The game is amazing, just like a good horror game makes you uncomfortable, scared, disgusted and scared. The only bad thing is the combat, however, the game has some moments when it is necessary to fight something. This game is revolutionary for the year that was released, very bad that at the same time there were people so dumb that they couldn't understand what the game wanted to go through. People who took the game out of context, making false news in the newspapers and in the media at the time. The critics of that time were also idiots. And with all said, I hope that one day they will make a ramake of this game, I wish that I would be responsible for the work, I really wish. Full Review »