Review: The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince tells a simple, but sweet, story
Sometimes, games are more about telling a story than anything else. The mechanics and elements revolve around the things the developer needs to make the title come to life. Enter The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince. People from two very different worlds meet, an unfortunate incident binds them together and the player goes through levels that highlight their newfound bond and interactions.
Once upon a time, there was a fearsome wolf who liked to sing. No one every really paid much attention, until a human prince discovered her. She was going to eat him, but he actually appreciated and applauded her performances. One day, he climbed up the hill she was singing on. She lashed out in fear, destroying his eyes, instilling a fear of monsters in him and causing him to be a disabled liability his father would lock in a tower. The wolf felt horribly, seeing him locked up. She went to the forest witch to trade her voice for a human disguise, so she could go back to the prince and take him to the forest witch so she could heal his eyes.
The whole of The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince follows the duo’s 2D, monochromatic journey into the forest in what is basically one long escort mission.
The whole of The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince follows the duo’s 2D, monochromatic journey into the forest in what is basically one long escort mission. The princess must lead the prince through each stage by the hand, though eventually a level of trust will be built up and allow someone to direct the prince to move to certain places and perform certain actions by "speaking" to him. It is a dangerous place to be, filled with puzzles to solve and monsters to face, but the princess has a trump card. She can switch between her human and wolf forms. As a princess, the prince trusts her and she can hold his hand or collect flowers to give to him. As a wolf, she can attack and scare away enemies, jump higher and fall from great distances without dying.
Players generally have to get from the left side of the stage to the right. Early on, this can be fairly simple. It might just involve flipping some switches or defeating some monsters. The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince gradually introduces new elements, like flowers to collect for the prince that unlock lore about the forest witch, teleportation portals, fire lanterns only the prince can hold to cast light or illuminate switches and mushrooms that allow characters to jump higher and enjoy a safe, soft landing from otherwise deadly heights. The game gradually gets more and more challenging, taking what you learn and expanding on it. Sometimes, there are hit and miss moments where you think you timed jumps just right or arranged positioning well, then find you’re off by an arbitrary amount and ended up killing the prince somehow. Still, more often than not, it works well.
Between all of these The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince continually tells players a story. We see how the princess and prince get to know one another. We see them become close and enjoy each other’s company. She eventually worries about her true nature and whether he will really accept her. He seems to want to do more to help, not just the princess, but others they meet. They influence each other for the better.
What is great about The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is how it builds on the relationship as you play. The prince doesn’t start out immediately trusting the princess. It takes a significant number of levels before you can start directing him to take actions or ask him to follow your voice. There is also a nice twist quite a ways into it where twists around the escort mission-based formula a bit while also advancing the characters’ relationships and giving us a chance to see some more involved progression and increased tension.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince even shows how important the story is by giving you the option to forgo the actual adventure so you can continue it
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince even shows how important the story is by giving you the option to forgo the actual adventure so you can continue it. If someone is feeling overwhelmed, there is a skip option in the menu. This allows you to abandon the level you are in, retaining any flowers or petals you may have found, and lets you go ahead on to the next level. Eventually, it will require you to wait a bit, preventing someone from continually skipping through levels to see the entire story in the span of a few minutes and perhaps forcing people to at least give an area a go before moving on.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a heartfelt sort of game. While it can occasionally be challenging, it is never trying. Paying close attention to what is going on and being aware of the human and wolf limitations of the heroine is a good way to constantly succeed. If it ever does get to be too much for you and you just want to see what happens, the game gives you that option too. The adventures of this duo and their developing relationship is what matters most here, and the game never lets you forget it.
Questions? Comments? Talk to us on Twitter or Facebook!