With the release of big AAA titles such as Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts III, and games like Devil May Cry V and Far Cry New Dawn just around the corner, 2019 is certainly having a very strong start this year in the gaming industry. In the middle of all these highly anticipated AAA titles, there are several other titles releasing on the same time period, some of which that shouldn’t definitely slip under your radar. The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a “hidden gem” that serves as a perfect example, as it delivers an engaging and charming puzzle-platformer experience.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince tells a beautiful story with storybook-style cutscenes. The game is set in a forest overrun with monsters, and among these monsters there was a wolf with a beautiful voice who loved to sing. One night, the prince of a nearby kingdom heard the voice of the wolf and goes deep into the forest to find who the beautiful voice belonged to. Despite loving his presence while singing, the wolf always avoided any contact with the prince by staying hidden atop a cliff, as humans and monsters are enemies. However, one night, the prince curiosity led him to climb the cliff to find out who was singing. This caught the wolf off-guard, and in her attempt to cover the prince’s eyes, the wolf accidently blinds him and knocks him off the cliff.
The prince was eventually found by the kingdom’s guards, but the wolf felt guilty for what she had done to the prince and decided to seek help from the witch of the forest. The witch told the wolf that she can grant the wolf the ability to turn into a princess so that the wolf can speak to the prince without him realizing she’s a monster, all in exchange for her beautiful singing voice. The wolf accepts, and the witch adds that should the princess be able to guide to prince to the witch, she would be able to regain the prince’s vision. And so, it begins the journey of a princess lying about her true identity and a blind prince.
The princess can switch between her human and wolf forms at will. In her human she can take the prince’s hand and guide him through each stage, however, she’s vulnerable to monsters attacks, and can die if she falls from great heights in this form. While in monster form, she’s invulnerable to any damage, whether it’s from monsters or falls, can jump higher, and can attack and kill monsters. The prince is just as vulnerable as the princess, so you must always be on your guard and switch to wolf form whenever an enemy appears. Initially, the prince won’t do anything on his own, but as your progress through each stage, the prince will eventually start to help you carry objects, and walk short distances on his own.
Like I said before, there’s more to the game than just guiding and protecting the prince, as puzzles are also a big part of The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince. However, don’t expect to be frustrated with the puzzles, as these are, aside from two or three later in the game, simple and straightforward. While you may think the formula might get boring after a while, the game keeps adding new mechanics every three or four stages to keep things fresh. For example, like I mentioned before, initially the prince won’t do anything aside from being guided by you, but as you progress, you can ask him to carry stones and place them in switches in order to open doors or activate raising platforms. When the prince starts walking short distances on his own, this introduces sections where the two are separated and he needs your help to know where to go, or situations in puzzles where the prince needs to step on a switch at the right time while you are doing something else. A few other examples include a torch that is necessary to light your way in darkened paths, situations when the moonlight makes the princess turn into a wolf, and other gameplay mechanics. Overall, the gameplay remains enjoyable without any dull moments as there’s constantly something new added to mix every few stages.
This doesn’t mean that the game doesn’t have it’s own share of problems and issues. For starters, the game doesn’t make it very clear what exactly in the maximum height from which you can fall off, which often leads to frustrating deaths after jumping off what seemed to be a safe height. The camera doesn’t help in some situations either, as it often doesn’t allow you to see if there’s something below you that will lighten the fall. Thankfully, the game is very forgiving when it comes to checkpoints. On a few occasions, I also ran into an issue where the princess would let go the prince’s hand while mid-air after a jump for no reason, something which would often result in his death. But overall, these are just small problems that in no way hinder the charming experience the game delivers.
Another small problem the game has is its length and replay value. The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince features a prologue and 21 stages, with each stage taking around 5-10 minutes to complete. This means that you looking at a game that takes around 3-4 hours to complete. While it’s true the game features a few collectables, there really isn’t anything else to do in the game once you finish it.
One of the game’s strongest aspects is without a doubt its gorgeous visual style. Whether it’s the colorful storybook-style cutscenes, or the detailed and vibrant characters and stage backgrounds, The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince comes across as a visual masterpiece with a unique charm. The visuals are also supported by great job with the soundtrack that manages to nail the mood of every situation almost perfectly.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is beautiful and charming puzzle-platformer experience that definitely shouldn’t pass by unnoticed. Although it has its issues, these are easily overlooked by the game’s strongest aspects. With an emotional story about forgiveness and sacrifice, engaging gameplay that constantly adds new mechanics to keep things fresh, a stunning visual style, and an overall relaxing experience, The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is gem that fans of the genre shouldn't miss.The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince was reviewed using a PS4 Digital Copy provided by NIS America. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|Charming and emotional story.|
|Engaging puzzle-platform gameplay.|
|Beautiful and stunning visuals.|
|Small issues that lead to frustrating deaths.|
|It’s a really short experience.|