Renegade's Sleeping Beauty
This is Renegade's Sleeping Beauty. Why is it important that you know this point-and-click parody is Renegade's version of the classic fairytale? Well... Once upon a time, there was this cheerleader. She wasn't invited to a friend's birthday party, but, whatever. She doesn't even care. She's not going to look like a complete spaz about being snubbed, though, so she just sends some junky old sewing machine she found in the attic as a present. Cue our heroes, Brad and his little brother John, who are asked to look in on a princess who was supposed to meet someone, only the gates of the castle are covered in thorns and the people in the nearby town are somewhat... less than helpful.
Renegade's Sleeping Beauty is very wordy; there's a lot of dialogue going on, and a fair chunk of it is there for comedic effect. Fortunately for those of you who would rather just play the game itself, when you first begin, you're given the option of selecting either the full experience, or just essential dialogue. The game is easy to play; just click on people or objects in the world to interact, and click on the tabs at the bottom to access your inventory or options. From time to time you're given a choice of dialogue options from either Brad or John; just click to select the one you want. The game uses cursor changing to show hotspots you can interact with, so just keep an eye out and explore. Please also note that this game lacks a save function, so you won't be able to leave and come back to where you left off.
Your goal is clear; get into the castle and find out what happened to the princess. Unfortunately, the path is blocked by rather militant secretaries, shopkeepers who will do anything to make a sale, and Brad's love/hate relationship with his little brother... mostly "hate". It's up to you to find the right tool for every job by exploring the environment and poking things with sticks, crowbars, and whatever else you find laying around.
Like you weren't going to do that anyway; I know you never pass up a chance to poke someone with a vegetable.
Analysis: If you have a younger sibling, then I am sure I do not have to tell you that it is your solemn duty to confuse and misinform them about absolutely everything until they get old enough to question you. Which, of course, is why this strange little point-and-clicker bears a lot of resemblance to the sort of "improvised" fairytales I used to tell my baby sister, and why she now fact-checks everything I tell her. The writing occasionally feels like its trying too hard to be funny or sarcastic, and as such occasionally winds up a bit crude, but for the most part the whole thing is very silly. As long as you don't stop to question why certain things are happening, or why everyone is so exceptionally strange, it works more often than it doesn't, even if the humour tends to be of a very sarcastic sort that might not be everyone's cup of Earl Grey.
The downside is that there are definitely times when the game clearly feels like its coasting along on its oddball characters and dialogue rather than the gameplay. The puzzles here all mostly revolve around figuring out which item to bring to which person, and since the logic in the game is, um, weird, to put it mildly, this can be more than a little difficult. It's fairly easy to wind up wandering back and forth, trying to figure out what to do next, especially since the game offers very little hand-holding. You might also wish the presentation was a bit more "active"; the art is fine, but the static expressions and lack of animations, combined with the absence of a soundtrack, sort of let down the writing a bit by missing a chance to add even more colour to the world.
Frequently funny and definitely original, Renegade's Sleeping Beauty is a game with a lot of personality that gets tripped up by awkward logic and a slightly clunky interface. If you're looking for something different, and don't mind thinking outside the box (like, way outside), then Sleeping Beauty will provide.