- Price: $12.30 / £8
- Release: Out now
- Developed by Hanako Games
Long Live the Queen is both a beautiful and interesting story based visual novel, providing a complex stat system with clever and well executed random events. The Queen has recently just passed away and it’s up to you, the 15 year old princess to learn the ways of the court and survive your way to the coronation in 40 weeks time. The way you will rule is up to you, however you must remain thoughtful, as almost every decision you make will come back to either help or haunt you.
As a first play-through the game you will probably panic and have no idea what choices to make. while there are many classes which boost your stats, each of these can be changed by the mood your princess is in. Teaching your queen the right skillset is very important to finishing this game. Every day you can pick her morning and afternoon classes, these can range from: Conversations (flattery), Athleticism, History, Military prowess, or Lumen (magic). Depending how your princess feels, she may learn better or worse in some of these subjects. If she’s feeling angry she may feel less inclined to increase her royal demeanour, whereas she may be more inclined to learn how to swing a sword or fire a bow.
It’s important to know that these statistics are incredibly important in your queens survival, you can’t simply focus on levelling up athletics while not improving her history or economics, as when it comes to trigger events she may heavily fail on learning a vital piece of knowledge about her country. Or vice versa, where she may know all about the economy of her people, but that won’t save her when an arrow is about to kill her while she knows nothing about it. These trigger events will happen constantly and at very random moments, however some can be avoided depending on choices you make. Just try and remember that some people don’t wish for another queen and attempts on your life may frequently happen.
A fun little addition to the game are outfits which you may equip onto your princess, these will give bonuses to specific stat areas which you have levelled up to a certain par, experienced players of the game will know how to get certain outfits quickly, thus benefiting them for later parts of the game which they may know will come up in the story, saving them from an inevitable death otherwise.
Concerning death itself in the game, there’s such a variety of ways that you can die, ranging from being impaled, stabbed, blown up, and especially poisoning from a random event involving chocolate coming from an unknown person ( I mean come on, how stupid does your princess have to be eating chocolate from a person leaving no name or identification!!). But naturally as you continue to play the game you will notice your mistakes and attempt to avoid them in future attempts.
The game itself isn’t a matter of completing it (although you do get a great sense of satisfaction when you actually complete it) it’s completely about HOW you go about completing the game. While some players may go about the game focusing mainly on learning the history of the land and its economic powers, others may believe that mastering all the weaponry could be the key to finishing the game. Personally I loved trying to level everything up averagely when initially trying the game, this was a horrible mistake, everything failed and I ended up being assassinated (go me!). It’s completely a matter of opinion of what road you wish to go down, there are so many options to discover.
As great as this visual novel is, it does suffer from the unfortunate problem of repetition. After hearing your father (the King) explain the outline of the story 7+ times, you understand why there’s a ‘skip story scene’ button. Especially when it comes to a point where you have pick 1 of 3 choices, and you know how all of them will turn out, and instead it becomes more of a game where you think ‘do I wish to be a gracious ruler, or more like King Joffrey’. But if you skip through it quickly you may make some mistakes and then be incredibly frustrated, followed by dying for no apparent reason. The upside to this provides a lot of playthroughs that can result in laughter or frustration.
If you want to be really bad, you can simply use cheats and suddenly be the greatest queen in the country, and if you ever have someone complaining about the game to you about how it’s pointless and a terrible story, they have clearly failed the game horribly at every section and you can silently smile to yourself.
A nice story simulator that will take up more hours than you originally anticipate as you pour your heart into the perfect princess, only to have her killed for tripping over her feet. The artistic anime style is pleasant to look at, and the constant music loop is very calming and cheerful to listen to. It’s a little bit expensive for what it’s worth, but it’s time well spent! However after a while the story becomes repetitive and you’ll play it for completion over enjoyability.