Release Date: February 12th, 2019 (Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4)
Genre: Adventure, Platformer
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
ESRB: Everyone 10+ (Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood)
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince was just recently released here in the West on the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. This game has a hand-drawn art style storybook feel, and to that point plays as an interactive storybook. The story is based around a powerful witch who lives deep inside the Dark Forest, which humans rarely venture inside of due to a particular monster that lies within. A beautiful singing voice is heard from a large wolf whose appearance is designed to be abstract, with both eyes drooping to the side of her body while still remaining appealing to gaze at. As it turns out, she can pierce the darkness of the Dark Forest with just her singing. This led to a series of events that caused a prince from the nearby kingdom to become blind and locked up in a tower. As the plot plays out, the player may get vibes of The Little Mermaid in the way some of the story beats are resolved.
When the backstory ends, the game kicks into gear and the player gains a bit of control of the wolf. The player’s basic controls are using the left joystick to move while pressing the (Y) button to claw at enemies while in the wolf’s body and the (B) button to jump over and through obstacles. The (X) button will be used to transform the player’s character while the (Y) button is used to keep hold of the prince’s hand while in the human body. Most of the game will be played with both characters hand-in-hand after the first chapter. Lastly, in regard to controls, the (A) button is to interact with various parts of a level as needed. All of these are simple enough and feels fluid to the player as they progress through the game. There is also an auto-save function that will give the player some piece-of-mind while they get lost into this fantasy-based story.
Some of the creatures featured in The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince look very Tim Burtonesque – with their big eyes and their dark design feel. For example: the witch’s design is very detailed, with her heart-shaped chest and her bird-like face. When she wears a witch’s hat, she becomes a creature of the dark. There are many creatures of the dark in this game and while many of them are trying to kill you, there are several that are also trying to help you. There are even some turtles for the player to ride to help get across areas that are hard to pass! In addition to the helpful creatures that are encountered, certain things in the forest will save the player’s life, like mushrooms. Mushrooms can catch the player from a high fall and can even be used to jump higher. If mushrooms do not stop a big fall, the player will die immediately
I like so much about this game, including the design, music, storyline, and the all-around cuteness. One of the cutest touches is being able to pick flowers and gift them to the prince to boost his happiness. The game itself is very well done, with the narration of the game being very animated while presenting the characters as adorable and chibi-like – which if you like anime and the design of anime, this game has you covered. In all honesty, when I first started this game, I went in with a closed mind because this is not something I normally play, as I am more of a fantasy/action/fighting girl. With that in mind, The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is definitely a game the player can get super addicted to playing.
Review copy provided by NIS America.