The Liar Princess and The Blind Prince Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer:  Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.

Publisher: NIS America

Release Date: 12th February 2019

Price as of Article: USD $19.99, GBP £19.99

Game code provided by NIS America

Story

The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince starts in a forest where a wolf monster sits upon a rock and sings beautifully every night. One night, a Prince hears the singing and goes to investigate. Too scared to get close, he sits at the bottom of the rock and listens, and at the end, he claps. This happens for a few nights, until the Prince gets the courage to find out who is singing.

The wolf monster, scared that the Prince would see her true form, swipes her paw, scratches the Princes’ face and he falls. The wolf monster runs away. The king, who detests facial injuries, then imprisons the Prince. The wolf monster feels remorseful about what has happened to the Prince, decided to run into the forest to find the Witch who grants wishes. The wolf monster wishes to be transformed into a Princess, but the Witch wanted payment and the payment was her singing voice.

Upon returning to the Prince she takes him on a journey to see the Witch to heal his eyes. The wolf, scared the Prince would be scared of her true identity, lies and says she is from a neighbouring kingdom.

The ending melts my heart.

 

The Characters

 

The Liar Princess

After scratching out of the Princes’ eye, the wolf monster gives up her beautiful singing voice in order to help the now Blind Prince get his sight back. Throughout the journey she is dealing with remorse for what she did, the feelings she has developed for the Prince as well as the feeling of dread and fear that the Prince will one day learn of what she is. Out of the fear of the Prince being scared and hating her she carries on lying even though it hurts her personally.

 

The Blind Prince

The now Blind Prince has been locked away in the dungeon by the King, and has given up on being happy. Being unable to see the Prince, he must rely on the Princess in order to get his eyes back. He has to be taken by the hand and pulled towards his salvation. The Prince can also interact with parts of the world. He seems a little naive and very kindhearted. Will he find out the truth about the Princess? 

 

The Witch

The Witch is the third party in the journey, granting the wolf the ability to transform from a wolf to a Princess but at the price of losing her singing voice. As well as the final destination of the two travellers, what will she want for the Princess eyesight? Not much is known about the Witch but if you look there may be a way to learn more.

Gameplay

The Liar Princess and the Bind Prince is a mix of action-adventure platforming with puzzle solving and a little dash of fairy tale magic added. The game itself revolves around the Liar Princess making sure the Blind Prince (that she is responsible for) gets to the wish-granting Witch.

The Princess And The Prince

Through out the time playing The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, you assume the role of the Princess. Stricken with remorse, you have to help the Prince regain his eyesight. Therefore you are the Prince’s eyes. You have to take him by the hand by pressing Y in the Princess form, he will then move along with the Princess. This is going to be the main way of making it through the forest alive and together. By using the directional pad you can issue simple commands: walk forward, walk back, pick up and stop. The walk command will show a line as to indicate how far the Prince will walk before he stops.

The Princess is a wolf in human clothing and it is a good thing she is or else there would be no chance to make it through the forest with all the monsters that live there. By pressing X the Princess can revert back to her real form, this form comes with a few benefits, it can move faster, jump higher as well as can attack monsters and the Princess cannot be harmed. This comes in handy as plenty of monsters want to eat a tasty human. In Wolf form, the Princess cannot take the Prince’s hand but can still give commands.

As a human both the Princess and Prince can be killed from monsters with one hit as well as high falls.

 

Puzzles and Platforming

While traversing the forest there will be plenty of puzzles to solve in order to progress, some are simple while others require effort. Puzzles come in a few different types, pressing buttons, solving math problem and platforming to name a few. Most of the puzzles will utilise one or more of the pair’s abilities. One puzzle could be as simple as picking up the rock walk to a certain place and put the rock down, whereas others could see the Princess leaving the Prince and going off on her own as only she can jump so high as the wolf monster.  

Platforming is a big part of the game, from jumping to one moving lift to another, or jumping on mushrooms to get to higher places. The platforming is not complicated or convoluted, but there is one consideration, you need to make sure as you jump you are moving forward, the Prince will make some platforming sections a little bit harder. 

Flowers, Petals and Trophies

Early on in the journey, the discovery of a flowerbed is made, and it becomes apparent that the Prince loves flowers. So the Princess picks the nicest flower and gives it to the Prince. Within certain levels, there will be a flowerbed with a flower to give to the prince. Doing so will not only brighten up the Prince’s face, but it also unlocks lore about the witch. Within the 27 levels, there are 100 petals to collect doing so will unlock the profiles of monsters, characters and the forest. 

Last but not least there are 24 Trophies to collect for completing different actions for example, defeating your first enemy.

If you are like myself and love lore in games then finding all the flowers and petals is a must.

Skip Stage And Stage Select

The developers at Nippon Ichi Software had a stroke of genius when they added a skip stage feature into the game. I am sure while playing puzzle based games we have all been at the point you have wasted hours upon hours on a puzzle you can’t solve. Then you turn off the game in a rage and will either never go back to and never see how the story goes first hand or sometimes the answer comes to you and you have wasted hours on the puzzle. With skip stage, you can bypass the whole stage if you are stuck on a puzzle, but only after being in the stage for over 10 minutes.

Now some of you will be thinking well what if I want to try it again or I may have missed a flower? Do not despair, at any time on any stage you can go to Stage Select located in the + menu and go to any stages that have been completed or skipped.  Also, once a stage has been completed it will show you on the stage select menu what stages have a flower as well as how many stages you have still to collect petals.

In my opinion, I feel this is a good addition to any adventure puzzle game, more of them will be finished and enjoyed for a small sacrifice of a puzzle being missed. There will no doubt be a small number of players who will think about abusing it and skip loads of content but they will never get the full story or any collectables. As most players have elected to buy the game it makes sense that some form of puzzle or stage skip could be utilised in order to enjoy the game to its fullest. 

Finally

I enjoyed all my time with The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince even though the game took me just over 4 hours to finish, it was paced well, not much repetition and looked beautiful. The downside with a game like this is there is next to no reply value outside of the collectables – that’s it.

The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a simple enough game to get to grips with mechanically, but what it does do it does it so well that for me I didn’t mind that I was escorting the Prince everywhere. For the most part, I detest escort missions, here it was so fluid, the controls where so tight and the Prince had an in-game use rather than something to be killed. It’s one of the only escort games I have liked. 

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Audio

The soundtrack is beautifully constructed and is playful, sweet, caring, sometimes sorrow filled, and even a relaxing affair depending on what is happening on screen. It is really well done and not overpowering to the art style.

The in-game story elements are all voice acted in Japanese, with accompanying subtitles.

The sound effects are all well done; from the changing to a wolf and back again, to the thump of falling on to a mushroom, they are all well done. 

Overall the audio is excellent.

Visuals & Performance

Visually The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a masterpiece of art. It is all pen drawn analogue style graphics, making the whole game feel as if you are playing a Grimm fairy tale. There are many elements on screen that blend beautifully to come together to make the whole, from the foreground and the background to the characters on screen and the current stage. The whole game is done in 2D throughout, from the smile on the faces of the two travelling together through to the fence of moving through a living breathing monster-filled forest, with each part moving to give the feeling of size and progression. 

Throughout the cutscenes, you will be treated to more beautifully drawn images that appear to be on the pages of the book. The whole art direction is simply stunning.

As performance goes I didn’t notice a single issue in either handheld or docked.

 

Value

Coming in at a decent price of USD $19.99, GBP £19.99, for a game that is only in the region for 4 hours long seems a bit steep. The art style, the music and the story; add in that there is a decent amount of lore to find and pictures to unlock, the price is ok, I still would have liked to see it at 14.99 but there are games out there with less to offer and around the same price or more.

Pros

P

Art Style

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A story that should be a fairy tale

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Level skip and retry feature 

Cons

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Short

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Slightly over priced

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Not much reply value