Dark Parables: Curse of Briar Rose is a hidden object and adventure game with simple puzzles, taking place in an alternate version of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale where prince charming never kissed the cursed princess Briar Rose in her slumber, and she is still unconscious to the present day. The player assumes the role of a private investigator hired to find out the source of a vine infestation surrounding a castle in Scotland. The main objective is to explore the castle grounds and solve the many puzzles found on its locations, to open new pathways and reveal all the secrets of the place.
As in most point-and-click adventure games, the player moves between rooms by clicking on exit hotspots positioned on the edges of the screen, or placed over obvious features like doors and other openings. Objects collected are automatically stored inside one of the slots at the bottom inventory, from where they can be dragged and dropped on logical places to perform an action or complete a task.
Most of the required inventory tools have to be reassembled in the hidden object scenes, where the goal is to find and click on all the pieces and sections of an item. The hint button highlights the position of one the pieces, but takes some time to recharge after use. The castle has lots of self-contained puzzles, usually blocking a passage or locking a door, that have to be solved by direct manipulation of a mechanism of some sort.