Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What do you think of when you think of the color lavender? I personally think of hair, as mine was just lavender (I actually dyed it back just the other night). Or, maybe I'll think of Lavender Town. I am a big fan of Pokemon, so it only makes sense. I definitely, however, don't think of a horror RPG game about a fairy tale. But, here it is. Hello guys! Horror Rater here, and today I'll be playing Lavender.

I encourage you to play the game first! You can find it here: Lavender

Detailed spoilers on trigger warnings below (highlight text to reveal):

"This game features:
- Blood (1 CG)
- Body Horror: separate human eye (no in-game removal from the eye socket)
- Bugs/insects: earwig (dead)
- Gore: bleeding from visible wounds 
- Nudity (barbie-doll type)

All of these (except for blood) apply to character-sized sprites only."

The last two images in my review contain blood! 

Now, onto the game!

The Game
The title screen really threw me off. It is very beautiful and soft, familiar piano music is playing in the background. Before beginning, I attempted to see the extra, but it was locked. To unlock it, I need to find and input the grey painting's name. Alright. Let's keep an eye out.
You know a game is going to be good when you get this warning before playing.
This game is cute. I love the monochrome style. Usually games will do full color or black and white, so this difference sticks out and it nice to see. Today is Lavender's birthday. For her birthday, she receives a beautiful comb from her mother. Unlike the tale of Rapunzel, she does not appear to be stuck in the tower as far as I can tell. Within the first minute of having her new present, Lavender drops it out the only window in the place. How is anyone able to do that? I leave through the trap door to go get the comb.

Downstairs, my eyes are instantly drawn to three pots on a table. From what I can tell, the goal is to grow all three plants without allowing any of them to wilt. It took a while to figure out, but essentially they must all bloom at once. To achieve this, I did the flower on the left then on the right once, then in the middle. Then, I did the one on the right and went back and forth in a straight line until they had all bloomed, making the one in the middle grow every other time. The door unlocked and I entered the next room.

Unlike the last room, which was purple, this room is a pale blue. I assumed I needed to level up the pawn to another piece, so I began to play with the four chess pieces I had. I placed the pawn in front of the king, and the queen went beside the rook. I then moved the queen over to the left corner and the pawn down one. I then moved the queen up two and the pawn down again, and there was a click. I accidentally solved the puzzle. Whoops.

The third room was very simple as well. There were scales with three five different animals set aside. I just moved the animals onto the scales and switched the rabbit over with the squirrel and the rhino to the right side. There was a click, and the next door was unlocked. In each room so far, there also appears to be pink hairs. 
In the next room, which is a sort of olive color, the music changed to a somewhat darker tune. It is a simple block sliding puzzle, which I solved very quickly. The hair was slightly more difficult to find this time, but I managed to find it wrapped around the rope in the corner.

The next room was very simple as well. It was just like a puzzle with pieces that only fit in certain slots. The hair was on the contraption, so I continued to the next room.

You know, human eyes. They're just common ingredients.
The hint in the book for this room states that "An embryo is forming, a flower blooms inside, two insects crawling over, the fruit of life that grows. Now, these eyes will open, each limb grows one sharp blade, when these all mix together, they're finally complete."

Using this hint, I proceed to mix together everything in order. The door unlocked, and I entered the next room.

The next room was slightly more confusing. It was an honest guess from me this time. Still, I got it on the second try (I mixed up the blonde and the raven hair dolls), and continued on after attaching the hairs to the tree. 
Instead of going through the trap door, I decided to do the outside ending first. Mom caught me outside, and we both headed back in. The End. 
Next, I reloaded my last save and headed to the basement. It was eerie and silent in there, and I was almost immediately put on edge. I headed down the stairs and came to a hall containing three doors. I tried to save only to discover I was unable to before I headed in the first door. 

Room one contained nothing but a cage. Room two contained a painting labeled "Present", and a key on a table. Instead of taking the key, I left to check the third door. It was locked, so I headed back to the second room and took the silver key.

I headed into the third room, which appeared to be full of cages, a little blood splattered about. 
As I head further into the room, I find a book. Lavender's breathing seems to pick up at some point as well. 
This time, I got the secret end. In hopes that the hairs would change something, I went back and chose not to place them on the tree, though that just meant the trap door wasn't revealed. I goofed around a little more to see if there was another end, but I couldn't find one. 

Visual: It was an RPG pixel style game with pixel art and monochromatic color styles throughout the different puzzles. I thought it was pretty nice how each level was a different color. That added something special to the style of the game. (8/10)

Audio: The game began with soft, beautiful music, though at times it went silent to create the perfect ambiance. The sounds were the usual free ones, but the breathing in the basement was by far the best part. (10/10)

Plot: I loved the plot, but the ending was missing too much. I didn't really understand the secret ending, which was kind of disappointing for me. (6/10)

Simplicity: The controls were just the usual ones. They were simple and easy to understand. (10/10)

Atmosphere: It was not really scary at first, but it developed slowly s we progressed lower into the tower. The bottom level had me on edge for sure, but it wasn't very scary overall. (7/10)

Fun: I really enjoyed the different puzzles on each level, and they would have taken quite a bit of thinking if I had actually read the books in the corner. (9/10)

Total: (8.3/10)

Overall, the game was pretty good. I especially enjoyed the color schemes of each floor. Sure, the ending was disappointing, but the rest was a lot of fun.

Please remember to support the creator. The game is free, but you can give a donation before the download. If you can't, still remember to help spread the game around!

I hope you guys enjoyed, and I hope you decide to try out the game for yourselves. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time!

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