Dark Parables

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Dark Parables
Genres Adventure, puzzle, hidden object
Developers Blue Tea Games
Eipix Entertainment
Publishers Big Fish Games
Platforms Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android (operating system)
First release Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose
March 11, 2010
Latest release Dark Parables: The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree
July 7, 2016

Dark Parables is a casual game series originally developed by Blue Tea Games, and by Eipix Entertainment from the eighth installment onwards. The games are distributed by Big Fish Games. They are available for PC, Mac OS, iOS and Android devices. The series features ‘Hidden Object’ scenes where, in order to progress through a game, the player must find all the pieces that make up a certain item to be used as a 'cause and effect' in another area of the game. Every game in the series is based around a different fairy tale, with some overlap between games, there is also some divergence from the series' continuity in storylines (especially after Eipix Entertainment took up the franchise).

There have been ten games in the Dark Parables series to date.[1] In each installment the player plays as "The Fairytale Detective", a detective who is dispatched to exotic locations to investigate reports of disturbances of suspected/confirmed fairytale nature. Although in the games the player is simply addressed as "Detective", the appellation "The Fairytale Detective" is used for the first time in the third installment, and again in the sixth and tenth installment.

History[edit]

Dark Parables was inspired by the amazing comic book series, Fables. Also at that time, the epitome of adventure hidden object game experience was Return to Ravenhearst. I wanted to merge the strong stories similar to Fables with the gameplay experience of RTR, while adding innovative features that makes our brand stand out. This is what became of Dark Parables.

the owner of Blue Tea Games, Steven Zhao[2]

Owner and creative director of Blue Tea Games, Steven Zhao, stated in an interview that inspirations for Dark Parables were the comic book series Fables and casual game Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst.[2]

Installments[edit]

Part 1 - Curse of Briar Rose[edit]

Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose is the first installment in the Dark Parables franchise and was released on March 11, 2010. Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the player takes on the role of The Detective to investigate and discover the true tale of the real Sleeping Beauty, and save her from the disembodied spirit of the evil sorceress who originally cursed her, and who now needs a new body and has her sights set on Briar Rose's.[3] After Briar Rose is reawakened, she tells you of the "fabled Frog Prince, who still walks amongst us to this day", setting up events for the following game, The Exiled Prince.

The bonus gameplay in this game is titled "The Spinning Room" and serves as a further teaser for the following game, The Exiled Prince, by introducing the fact that Princess Briar Rose had a sister named Princess Ivy, (who, in The Exiled Prince, is James the Frog Prince's first and one true love).

Part 2 - The Exiled Prince[edit]

Dark Parables: The Exiled Prince is the second installment in the Dark Parables franchise and was released on February 25, 2011. Set in Black Forest, Germany, the player as The Detective is sent to investigate the tale of The Frog Prince after the disappearance of the chancellor's daughter. It is revealed the fabled prince is still alive, cursed with Immortality, and now roams the deserted path in the forest, capturing unsuspecting visitors trying to find a solution to his curse.[4]

The bonus gameplay in this game is titled "The Frozen Lair" and was a teaser for the following game, Rise of the Snow Queen.

Part 3 - Rise of the Snow Queen[edit]

Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen is the third installment in the Dark Parables franchise and was released on December 2, 2011. Set in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, the player as The Detective must journey into the mythical Snowfall Kingdom and investigate the disappearance of several children. The legendary Snow Queen (actually Snow White, cursed by the "False Mirror", a nod to the mirror from Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen), has risen and has been terrorizing nearby villages with her supernatural powers in her search for the "Golden Child". The player must rescue the missing children and put a stop to the fabled queen's plan.[5]

The bonus gameplay in this game is based on the tale "Hansel and Gretel", revealing the origin of "the Golden Child" seen in Rise of the Snow Queen. You, the player, play as Hansel as he rescues his sister from a witch, releases a goddess from captivity, and is rewarded for having done so by being bestowed with the powers of a Golden Child.

At the end of the main game, after the end credits, there is a teaser that the next installment revolves around Little Red Riding Hood.

Part 4 - The Red Riding Hood Sisters[edit]

Dark Parables: The Red Riding Hood Sisters is the fourth installment in the Dark Parables franchise and was released on September 21, 2012. Set in the forests of the Vosges Mountains, Eastern France, the player as the detective returns to defeat the fabled Wolf Queen. Centuries ago, the first Red Riding Hood, after being saved from the wolf by a hunter, established what came to be known as the "Order of Red Riding Hood Sisters", but now the newly crowned and nefarious Wolf Queen has entrapped the sisters and plans to unleash legions of ravaging Mist Wolves onto our world by fixing it so that it is always the night of the Full moon. The player must assist the Red Riding Hood Sisters- one of them is Briar Rose - to put an end to the queen's evil plan.[6]

The bonus gameplay in this game is based on the fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", telling the backstory of how the Mist Kingdom became over run by the Mist Wolves. You, the player, play as 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf', as he seeks to save his father from the Greedy King of the Mist Kingdom, rescues a mermaid from captivity by a witch, and bares witness to the downfall of the King and his Kingdom.

The end of the credits also reveals that the next installment, called The Final Cinderella, will feature Cinderella.

Part 5 - The Final Cinderella[edit]

Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella is the fifth installment in the Dark Parables franchise, and was released on May 23, 2013. Set in the Matese mountains of southern Italy. For decades, a mysterious witch, known as "Godmother", has been hunting maidens, in search of the legendary "Cinderella"; a pure-hearted maiden. Play as the fabled detective, venture into the mirror world to rescue this Final Cinderella alongside Pinocchio, from the evil Godmother's clutches, and stop her evil plans to steal the girl's pure soul!

The bonus gameplay is called "The Oriental Cinderella". It tells the story of a Chinese Princess, Shan Mao, a "Cinderella", who was turned into a nine-tailed fox by the Spider Witch, who is in fact her evil stepsister, Princess Chi. You, the player, play as the Prince, (whose marriage proposal Princess Shan Mao has accepted), as he goes on a quest to save Shan, with the help of Godmother (before she turned evil, showing how she met Geppetto), from Princess Chi.

After the end credits, it reveals that the next installment will center around "Jack and the Beanstalk".

Part 6 - Jack and the Sky Kingdom[edit]

Dark Parables: Jack and the Sky Kingdom is the sixth installment in the Dark Parables series released on February 6, 2014. Accompanied by a legendary and infamous Robin Hood-esq fortune hunter called Jack, the Fairytale Detective ventures up to the Sky Kingdom, (a mythical floating kingdom), after chunks of it have rained down upon a town in Alblasserwaard, South Holland, and discover the tragic history behind the chaos and stop the Sky Kingdom King and Princes' wreaking havoc and destruction! Into this quest, you learn that Jack, the only person to have ever ventured up to the Sky Kingdom and returned to tell the tale, has a secret past with the Kingdom: Ten years earlier, Jack and a team of friends, including his girlfriend, Emma, (a former Red Riding Hood Sister), stole up there in the search for treasure. When they were discovered and overwhelmed, Jack fled, believing that Emma and the others were right behind him, and when he made it down to the bottom of the beanstalk and cut it down, he realized that Emma and his friends had not made it after him.

The bonus gameplay is called "Rumpelstiltskin and the Queen". It tells the story of how the young Queen of the Sky Kingdom, (the miller's daughter from "Rumpelstiltskin"), as she rescues her infant daughter from Rumpelstiltskin. You, the player, play as young Queen of the Sky Kingdom, with the help of Tom Thumb, as she seeks the help of the Fairy Queen in putting an end to Rumpelstiltskin's evil shenanigans.

At the end of the main game, after the end credits, there is a teaser that the next installment will center around Rapunzel.

Part 7 - Ballad of Rapunzel[edit]

Dark Parables: Ballad of Rapunzel is the seventh installment in the Dark Parables series, released on June 26, 2014. As revealed on the game's Beta Demo, the events of the seventh installment are set at "the ruins of the ancient Floralia kingdom, (named for the kingdom's patron, the Roman goddess, Flora) on this mountain," Mount Sněžka, Czech Republic, in Central Europe, and the game is set 10-years after the events of 'Rise of the Snow Queen', as we see Kai and Gerda again. Along with Gerda and Prince Ross Red (Snow White's estranged fraternal twin brother), you explore to discover the cause of the waves of deadly pollen that is building to spread across the land.

The Bonus Chapter gameplay is called "The Thumbelina Curse". Following the events of The Ballad of Rapunzel, you the player play as Gerda, the Golden Child (descendant of Hansel, the first Golden Child), as she seeks to locate Kai, who disappeared at the beginning of the Main game. During the chapter, you meet up again with Prince Gwyn (Snow White's son) after 10-years. It is revealed that Flora, with the absence of Floralia's princesses, has become weakened enougth to succumb to the curse of an evil witch (Mother Gothel). Dubbed "Thumbelina" by fairies, Flora has been shrunk down to a height few inches tall by Gothel's curse, has forgotten her real name, and is besieged by Gothel's Winged monkeys.

The teaser at the end of the credits reveals that the 8th installment will center around The Little Mermaid.

Part 8 - The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide[edit]

Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide is the eighth installment in the Dark Parables series. It is the first sequel developed by Eipix Entertainment. The Collector’s Edition was released on November 13, 2014 for PC and Mac, with an iOS version released afterwards. The events of the eighth installment are set the Island of Crete, off of the coast of Greece, in the Mediterranean Sea. As the Detective, you, the player, must investigate the "Legendary Sunken Kingdom of Prasino" (under the patronage of the ancient Greek Goddess, Thalassa), after reports of a Purple Tide approaching the coastline, killing all marine life in its path and flooding a coastal village. According to a village Elder, something like this had happened centuries earlier, although not on this scale and there have been several sightings of mermaids in the area. As you gain entrance to the Kingdom, you cross paths with an older Pinocchio (now all grown-up after the events of The Final Cinderella).

The deep will rise in the wake of a wrathful power that threatens to drown the world above. A disaster of unimaginable proportions hits the coastal towns of Crete when the purple tide floods the land, followed by the emergence of the ancient temple that leads into the legendary underwater realm. Step into the shoes of the renowned detective as you investigate the harrowing corridors of the deep. Can you uncover the reasons behind the temple's emergence and the secrets of the sinister power that keeps the sunken domain in the clutches of a terrible curse?

The Bonus Chapter gameplay in this game is called "Trusty John and King Bluebeard". A scene near the end of the main game hints that the next installment will center around Beauty and the Beast.

Part 9 - The Queen of Sands[edit]

Dark Parables: The Queen of Sands is the ninth installment of the Dark Parables series, once again developed by Eipix Entertainment. The Collector’s Edition was released on May 21, 2015 for PC and Mac, with iOS and Android versions to be released at a later date.

In the (fictional) town of Montafleur, provincial France, the streets are overrun by a purple mist created by the "Queen of Sands", transforming all of the townsfolk exposed into nightmarish creatures. Two Red Riding Hood Sisters, Ruth (an old friend and the sisterhood's leader) and Brianne, have already been called in to investigate, but they've got their hands full chasing a ferocious leonine Beast-man last seen along the outskirts of town. Explore the lush French countryside as you team up with Ruth and Brianne to uncover the dark secrets behind Montafleur's world-famous perfumes: Learn the cause behind the imprisonment and corruption of the Sandmen's leader, Mab, at the hands of the town founder, the late Baron Hubert de Montafleur, for the use of her sand in his perfumes; recruit and aid his son the current Baron Eric de Montafleur (Brianne's love interest), who is under a curse as the Beast; and save the people of city of Montafleur before the "Queen of Sands" regains her full power and spreads her dark mist out over the world. A teaser following the end credits of the main game reveals the next instalment will be based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The fact that the spoon in Goldilocks's hand turning to gold suggests that the myth of Midas and his Golden Touch is involved.

The Bonus chapter is centred around the Parable of The Seven Ravens, revealing the origins of Mab, the Queen of Sands/Keeper of Dreams/Leader of the Sandmen as the sister who sought to free her brothers from their cursed states as ravens; while she was able to gain a cure for them with the help of a Sandman, she-herself was not covered by the cure, which was soon to effect her, so the Moon Goddess blessed her to become the Leader of the Sandmen, the "Keeper of Dreams", so that others would never suffer the same sleepless nights and nightmares that she had in her quest to rescue her brothers.

Part 10 - Goldilocks and the Fallen Star[edit]

Dark Parables: Goldilocks and the Fallen Star is the tenth game of Dark Parables franchise. The CE was released on November 19, 2015. The Kingdom of Barsia has been invaded by mechanical beasts that are attacking its citizens. You’ve been called in to investigate these attacks and discover the origins of a mysterious artifact. Can this artifact save the kingdom or will lead them down an even darker path? Only you can help Queen Valla discover the answers. Find hidden objects and solve puzzles to further your investigation and uncover the dark secrets lurking just beneath the surface.

A cinematic after the credits of main game teases that the next game will be based on the story of the ballet Swan Lake of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Part 11 - The Swan Princess and the Dire Tree[edit]

It's the 11th game of the Series, which is currently on Beta on Big Fish Games. It was released on July 7, 2016 as Collector's Edition version.

Part 12 - The Thief and the Tinderbox[edit]

It's will the 12th game of this series , which is currently on Beta on Big Fish Games on July 26 ,2016...


Reception[edit]

References[edit]