We all remember hearing bedtime stories as kids and hearing tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” It’s something else to play a video game inspired by the fairy tales that we grew up with and to find ourselves engrossed in a sad yet heartwarming story.
“The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince” is a puzzle video game by Japanese game company Nippon Ichi Software. The game was released in 2018 for Japanese audiences, which in turn was localized by the American branch NIS America this year for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game has been met with positive reviews from critics and gamers alike for its intriguing story, unique storybook visuals and challenging gameplay. However, before you start the game, it’s best to start with a little story.
In a monster-filled forest, a wolf with a beautiful singing voice sings to the night, which attracts the admiration of a young prince who applauds the singing. Fearful that the prince would reject her on knowing her identity, she accidently claws out his eyes in an attempt to cover them when he tries to meet her. Feeling guilty for causing the prince to be shamed by his parents for his injury, she resolves to make amends by bringing him to the mysterious witch that can heal his eyes. Earlier, she lies to him saying that she is a princess. She trades her singing voice to the witch to transform between her wolf form and a young princess to escort him. Together, the princess and the prince embark on a journey though monster-ridden forests, harrowing obstacles and bond with each other along the way.
As the wolf, the player must balance playing as a wolf in fighting monsters and escorting the prince as a princess through a variety of areas from mushroom forest and caverns with riddles. The player will have to be careful not to let the prince get hurt or, as the princess, not fall from such great heights. Besides fighting monsters and leading the princess, the wolf solves puzzles such as using flowers that shoot projectiles, breaking platforms, balancing on breakable paths, activating buttons, using portals and solving challenging riddles. Eventually, the player will be able to order the prince to move to various locations or carry items such as a heavy rock or a lantern. The player will get a nice challenge from each puzzle, without feeling frustrated on the difficulty of the game.
In terms of graphics, “The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince” has a hand drawn feel combined with an imaginative look. The environments have a 2D look to them, giving the player immersion to a really creative and mysterious forest. The cutscenes and character sprites show influence from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, giving players the feeling their reading a classic fairytale. There are also little character details that make the game feel unique such as the wolf brushing herself when turning back into a princess or both the prince and princess smiling when they walk holding hands.
With a run time of about five hours, the game could be completed in an afternoon or evening. Despite the run time, the player can replay levels for a variety of collectibles such as petals and flowers that the princess can find and give to the prince. This can unlock concept art for the characters and environments as well as learning about the in-game fairytale about the mysterious witch of the forest. The music in the game is also very beautiful, with a whimsical sound that makes the environment feel like an animated movie.
In conclusion, “The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince” is a heartwarming adventure through familiar archetypes of fantasy stories while challenging players with creative puzzles and delivering a fun narrative that is reminiscent of a good old fashioned bedtime story that will delight you and gives the player a sense of nostalgia. If you’re interested to see if the wolf princess and the prince will live happily ever after, then be sure to find out in this harrowing tale of love and lies.
“The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince” is available on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 for both digital and physical purchase. The game is rated Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood.