The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a 2D side scrolling platformer by Nippon Ichi Software. You play as a clever princess, trying to deliver a kind prince safely to the witch of the forest.
Her secret, though, is that the princess is actually a fierce wolf. Monsters and humans can never be friends, so she can’t let the prince learn this terrible truth. She transforms between her wolf and princess forms as needed to keep her and the prince safe while they traverse the many terrifying obstacles of the forest.
Fairy Tale Perfection
A lot of games are beautiful. Art is entwined with game design, and the aesthetic value of a game is extremely important to players. The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince takes this to a whole new level. The art style immediately brings to mind Tim Burton’s work. The characters are cute and they don’t leave details out, down to the tiny fangs that the princess bares in her human form.
The cutscenes blend different art styles in telling the story of the princess and the prince. Each cutscene is meaningful and adds to the story. They’re simply charming; the game is telling the story of a sweet fairy tale, and it reads exactly like that.
One of the best elements is the character design. It bears repeating that the designs of the princess and prince are cute. Where the designs really shine though are in the uniqueness of the monsters and the witch. The monsters are clever; there are “goats” that completely play in opposition to what we think of as a goat, and more. It’s very creative, and good for a laugh. All of this design brings a depth to the world that you just want more of.
The story and missions build naturally together. Every few levels you get a new hazard or a new tool or functionality. These feel very logical; more monsters appear the further you get into the forest. You can do more things with the prince the more you learn to trust each other. This is a unique puzzle game as well, given that you have to brute force your way through some portions. The fact that you are responsible for leading the prince around by constantly holding his hand is a feature that works really well in this game. You have to balance leaving him on his own (where a stiff breeze seems like it could end him) to handle some obstacles on your own, but also letting him help you by picking up items or standing on buttons.
Challenging in the Wrong Ways
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a good game for all ages and levels. It is fun enough for someone who is really into puzzles and this style of platform game, but also very forgiving for beginners. There are many save points, and even an option to skip a level after a certain amount of time. For those more advanced players though, they aren’t going to feel challenged. The puzzles are fun, but not complex.
The most frustrating thing about the game is the small glitches in physics that often result in an unexpected death. Sometimes the prince can get caught on the edge of a platform and get stuck, or you’ll fall onto the safety of a mushroom but still die. While the frequent save points help mitigate this, there is nothing more frustrating in a puzzle game than having to go back for no reason.
The game itself is pretty short. There are some secret leafs and flowers that you can collect for completionists, but they aren’t usually too hard to find. The game is also fairly linear, so typically the next thing you see is the next thing you interact with.
Overall, this is a game for those who are looking for a unique and beautiful game and aren’t too concerned about game play mechanics. The physical copy will run about $40, which may lead to some people feeling they haven’t quite gotten their money’s worth (although it does come with some merch, if that’s something you’re interested in). The digital copy, though, is much more reasonable for the playtime at $20.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for The Liar Princess and the Bind Prince was provided by the publisher.