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The House at the End of Rosewood Street

by Michael Thomét profile


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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Good narrative, interesting although repetitive game experiences, October 28, 2013
by streever (America)
I enjoyed this game--in particular the daily tasks of my character, reading the paper, my brief interactions with neighbors, etc... the writing was good, the characters seemed (mostly) well-written, and the actual game had me hooked.

The ending was a bit of a let-down: I found two endings, but wasn't entirely sure what was going on, and was left uncertain about my characters future.

All in all, I enjoyed this game, and am hopeful of reading other (spoiled) reviews with different impressions of the ending.

The game ending and full plot spoiler below--

(Spoiler - click to show)
Were you satisfied with either ending?
I don't really understand what happened.

A vampire moved onto my street, and forced me to kidnap and murder a young woman at the opening? The vampire seems to be sexually attracted to my character, but I don't understand why, or what he wants from me.

The neighbors were interesting, although limited, they mostly felt real and different from each other.

In the "good"? ending, I gain my soul back from using Elisabeth's mirror--I think--and my character wakes up in the hospital bed post coma. But, I apparently murdered a woman and then failed in suicide, so I'm not sure how good this is.

In the bad ending, I think I wake up as a newly created vampire, and slave to the new neighbor--so, definitely not good.

Any other thoughts? Did I misread those?

Comments on this review

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Christina Nordlander, December 4, 2013 - Reply
Another point that struck me just a few minutes after posting my first comment on your review.

(Spoiler - click to show)It seems clear to me that all the "normal" residents on Rosewood Street represent facets of the PC's psyche. That is why the final puzzle involves using the mirror (which is referred to as containing your soul) to "collect" the souls of the other residents before the PC can wake up.
streever, December 5, 2013 - Reply
ohh--just discovered this academic essay on the game by the author--fascinating.

Obviously, a total spoiler.

(Spoiler - click to show)
You're right--Caius isn't a vampire. He's modeled more on an incubus. It seems Elizabeth is the girl who has been killed by Caius.

I thought it was interesting that if you show the mirror to everyone (beside Caius) Elizabeth gives it back to you and you wake up from your coma. I imagine that--for whatever reason you are in the coma--it was done by Caius, so waking up is probably a more positive and hopeful ending than I thought at first.

The author also says he'll try to make it more clear that Caius was the murderer, which I'd appreciate, but it seems that you got that on the first go-around. It would make the ending stronger & improve the game for me if he does that!

Christina Nordlander, December 4, 2013 - Reply
Your guess is as good as mine. I might have to play it through again to see if there were some clues to the overarching plot that I missed, but here is my impression on my first successful playthrough (liberally sprinkled with theories from other reviews).

(Spoiler - click to show)I didn't see Caius as a vampire (though "he smells strongly of earth and pine" *may* be a non-horrifying way to hint at undeath - pinewood coffin?), nor that the PC was involved in the murder of Lisa Kaiser, though I do believe that the PC is identical with the comatose scientist mentioned in the newspaper. I'm not certain, but I think they are.

If you ask Janice (who seems to have some sort of weird inkling of what exactly is going on) about Caius, she says the word "Cage", and if you ask her about Elisabeth, she says "Free". In the final puzzle, if you show the mirror to Caius, he causes the game to reset itself, trapping you on Rosewood Street for another week, "Groundhog Day"-style. My theory is that Caius represents something like the PC's desire to stay in the coma dream, while Elisabeth represents his/her drive to wake up. (Note however that Janice has the same response to "Caius" and "Rosewood", so I might be reading too much into it. Rosewood Street itself is clearly a cage keeping the PC trapped.)

Elisabeth's name seems to hint that she has some connection to Lisa, but I'm damned if I can figure out what.

So there are my musings. Not very illuminating, but might be interesting.
streever, December 4, 2013 - Reply
ahh, clever--you've read into it a little more than I did!

I also found the author's recent post on it a bit illuminating--

(Spoiler - click to show)
On his site he says the game is a bit of an homage to Nosferatu and the Cabinet of Dr Caligari, so I was going to look up the plots to those two--somehow I have missed watching them so far!
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