Connect with us


Rose & Camellia Collection review – right royal slap fight-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

A fighting game that casts you as a Victorian aristocrat constantly slapping women in the face may be the strangest video game of 2024.

Rose & Camellia Collection review – right royal slap fight-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

Rose & Camellia Collection – throwing hands (Picture: WayForward)

A fighting game that casts you as a Victorian aristocrat constantly slapping women in the face may be the strangest video game of 2024.

There are many problems caused by modern video games being so expensive and time-consuming to develop. One of these is that it’s now far less common for major publishers and developers to experiment with new IP and unusual ideas. Although the issue is less severe in Japan, where the PlayStation 5 and Xbox are less dominant, the constant stream of peculiarly unique games, that used to appear on formats like the PlayStation 2 and DS, has long since ended.

That doesn’t mean they’re not still being made in some form though, even if it’s naturally more difficult to navigate the Japanese indie scene – which apart from anything is less clearly delineated than in the West. Which is another way of saying we’ve never heard of the Rose & Camellia games before, even though there’s been half a dozen of them since the mid-2000s.

In our defence, they started off as simple Flash games, with an equally simple premise of being a period version of Punch-Out!! Cast as an aristocratic lady, you navigate the stifling etiquette of the Victorian era by… trying to win arguments with other women by slapping them into submission. And no, we’re not making any of this up.

The premise is pretty much as simple as it sounds, although there are some visual novel elements to add context and to try and justify the constant brawling. There are five separate games in this compilation, including a crossover with the Spelunky-esque La-Mulana (there’s also a mash-up with The House In Fata Morgana that isn’t included here), although they’re all very short campaigns.

None of the games try to take the premise seriously, with the implication that, rather than being a last resort, slapping people to get your own way is perfectly normal in Rose & Camellia’s universe. The first game, for example, involves trying to claim the inheritance from your late husband by slapping all your in-laws into submission and then taking on his elderly mother, who lives in the attic and has magic slapping powers of her own.

It’s glorious nonsense that only gets more bizarre from there, as you control a maid on a world tour, trying to slap down the ambassadors from every country she visits, to having to defend your family treasures from evil ninjas trying to make the perfect slap-fighting robot. And that’s still the relatively sane parts of the game, before you get into the weirdness of the La-Mulana crossover.

The original controls apparently used a mouse but in the Switch version they take advantage of both the touchscreen and motion controls. That means you can use the Joy-Cons to slap or dodge, but you can also swipe left or right in portable mode, both of which hold their own amusement.

There is some nuance to the combat, since you can both feint and counter incoming attacks, with each enemy having their own tells to indicate when they’re about to slap – again, clearly influenced by Punch-Out!! In theory, the game’s not overly difficult but there’s a frustrating amount of lag between you initiating a slap and it being registered on-screen, which is very hard to compensate for.

Rose & Camellia Collection – remember, this is a real game that actually exists (Picture: WayForward)

Graphically, you can see the game’s Flash origins, but the character designs are great and the animation, while limited, is welcomingly reminiscent of 90s anime – especially given the fun soundtrack. The load times during cut scenes are annoying though and it’s hard to understand why they exist most of the time, given how technically simple everything is.

It’s a shame, because the script is pretty funny most of the time and clearly in on the joke. Only the first two games have ever been translated into English before, originally on iOS, but publisher WayForward has done a great job playing up to the absurdity and not making the whole thing seem too weird, considering the violence towards (but only ever perpetrated by) women.

More Trending

Read More Stories

Despite being five games in one, and despite the frustrating controls, you’ll get through everything very quickly and the game’s unlikely to last you more than an afternoon or two. Although there is a multiplayer mode where you can play as one of more than a dozen different enemies from the various games. This can be played using just a Joy-Con each, but there’s no online option.

Rose & Camellia is an amusingly bizarre idea but it’s just a bit too expensive to justify the cost, unless you happen to be an existing fan. A lot of effort has gone into localising the games, with some amusing English voice-acting and the new Switch controls, but it’s too much of a novelty and not enough a proper game. A bigger budget sequel, with more nuance and improved controls, would absolutely slap though.

Rose & Camellia Collection review summary

In Short: A wonderfully bizarre premise is spoilt only by frustrating motion controls, but this is definitely the best Victorian lady slapping simulator ever made.

Pros: The gameplay isn’t complex but it’s a decent clone of Punch-Out!! with some fun visuals and a great soundtrack. Amusing script, that has its tongue firmly in cheek.

Cons: The controls are constantly frustrating, making the game harder than it’s intended to be. Very short and quite expensive.

Score: 6/10

Formats: Nintendo Switch (reviewed) and iOS
Price: £17.99
Publisher: WayForward
Developer: Nigoro
Release Date: 16th April 2024
Age Rating: 16

Email, leave a comment below, follow us on Twitter, and sign-up to our newsletter.

MORE : Harold Halibut review – a life aquatic

MORE : Minishoot’ Adventures review – Zelda in a spaceship

MORE : Freedom Planet 2 review – sonic heroines

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at

To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

Entertainment – MetroRead More

Exit mobile version