Once upon a time, there was a kingdom surrounded by a dangerous forest full of monsters. No one dared enter for fear of being attacked. A witch was also found to live there, making matters worse. But the prince of this kingdom wandered into the forest anyway, and heard beautiful singing coming from a place he could not see. Clapping for the singer once she finished, he continued to return and became curious about who exactly was singing.
The siren of the forest was actually a monstrous wolf, who had taken a liking to the attention the prince was giving her. Though he hadn’t seen her, she knew he would flee if he saw her. Unexpectedly, the prince climbed up the rocky platform where the music came from to finally meet whomever it was. The wolf was surprised and slashed at his eyes, blinding the prince. Although he was rescued, but the prince was locked away in the castle since his parents were ashamed of his condition.
Feeling guilty for her actions, the wolf sought counsel from the witch of the forest, who gave a solution: I will transform you into a human if you give me your singing voice. The wolf agreed, and she turned into a princess. The wolf was also granted the ability to return to her true form when she wanted, and with that, she left to visit the prince. Since the prince could not see, he believed that the wolf was a princess and she helped him escape. Their plan was to visit the witch of the forest and restore his sight, while the liar princess has to conceal her true identity to the prince all the while…
Following this prologue, the game begins in the middle of a forest as the prince and princess trek through dangerous paths. You play as the princess, who can transform into her wolf form at will, taking the blind prince along by the hand. The gameplay is a bit unusual—if either character is hurt, you have to start over from a checkpoint. The game saves often, so it’s not a big deal, but it makes you feel cautious as there are many surprises as you continue forward.
As you move along, you solve minor puzzles to complete the area. At first, it’s pretty simple and I got through almost half the game quickly. I felt the obstacles were too easy to figure out since there weren’t many options to choose from. I would have liked more variety in the puzzles. For example, if you need to get to a higher platform, there is a button you have to stand on so a wooden mechanism would take you there. Only when I had to figure out a set of numbers was I stuck, because there were multiple sets I could input. Too much challenge, though, would have made the game less enjoyable for me.
Enemies will attack the prince or the princess if she is in human form. I really liked that as a wolf, you are basically the king of the jungle and no enemies can hurt you or even want to approach. Yet, I had to make sure the prince was safe because enemies will go after him instead! In this way, it makes you take the level seriously and not feel like it’s a breeze to just run through. Danger is literally around every corner; when you least expect it, an enemy will rush you and you must restart.
Graphics and Music
I am a sucker for beautiful artwork in video games. Reminiscent of Okami. The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince displays marvelous backgrounds and characters. Each level looks a little different, with its own enemies, music, and unique puzzles to match. The wolf has a unique appearance, as if someone just drew her onto the game. Thematically, the game resembles a children’s book; I felt like I was running through a fairy tail, and wouldn’t you know it that the deluxe edition comes with one based on the game!
For a beautifully animated game like this one, the music did not rise to the same level of achievement. The tunes have some nice instrumentals, but they became repetitive and boring at some points. I did, however, enjoy the Japanese voice-actress who played all the characters during story scenes. She reads the dialogue as if reading it to a child by their bedside. It was a change of pace and I looked forward to seeing how the two protagonists would discuss their journey.
It’s nice to see how much the princess truly cared for the prince. The feeling of guilt she carries throughout the entire game becomes heavier as she ponders her decision. What will happen when he finds out? Will he run away? Will he hate her for lying? What if something happens to him while going through the forest?
All these are valid questions that she has to deal with, as we all do when we make decisions. I once heard someone say, “Your life is the sum of all the decisions you’ve made.” Many times it’s the decisions of others that might lead us into a hole, but we continue to dig the hole deeper then want to blame everyone else for the mess. Like the princess, we have to stop and think about what we have done and decide to do the right thing, even if doing so is in turn challenging and painful.
I would definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for something short and somewhat challenging with gorgeous artwork. It’s fun, makes you think, and allows you to take your time to solve its puzzles.
Thank you NIS America for the review copy! God bless, and keep on gaming.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince can be purchased for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch.