Princess Breaker: Long Live The Queen

By Adam Smith on June 25th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

After gargling on Broforce! for a while, I had to sit down and look for something more sedate. Long Live The Queen is a game about being a princess, or bringing up a princess, I’m not entirely sure which. Am I the princess, I wondered as I prodded the demo with my cursor, or is the princess a sort of Tamagotchi that I am responsible for? Either way, the game is similar to the Princess Maker series, which I definitely didn’t play and become oddly invested in when I was fifteen. There are a number of hours in the day and the princess fills her time by advancing skills, either through training and practice or through socialising. And then, the trailer suggests, she dies horribly. No explosions though, honest.

Long Live the Queen is out now, available for Windows, Linux and Mac, and it’ll set you back $12.95. Perhaps try the demo first? It’s from the studio that brought you Magical Diary, which Mr Cobbett looked at on our behalf because we could not tolerate it, being keepers of Scientifick Journals.

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51 Comments »

  1. HorrifyingClown says:

    It looks interesting, and I’m saying that despite the fact that I still have no idea what it is, even after watching the trailer.

    • Tei says:

      Its not simple? you play as a princess and must balance your personal life with your duties, so you are not killed. Its exactly the same game has Tropico (withouth the sim city stuff) and Dictator (a old Commodore 64 game). Except I suppose you don’t win by escaping in a copter with a lot of gold and having your Swish account full of money.

  2. Chizu says:

    I already bought this a little while ago after I found it on greenlight (and got £9 off somehow I don’t remember).
    Though I’ve not played it much, since i got distracted by Dysfunctional Systems and then Xenonauts.
    Really must go back to it, not dead yet!

  3. fauxC says:

    “Either way, the game is similar to the Princess Maker series, which I definitely didn’t play and become oddly invested in when I was fifteen”

    Nope, me neither. Definitely not. Absolutely out of the question.

    Sigh.

    Home of the Underdogs stole so many hours of my life.

    • Tacroy says:

      Did you know that Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation fame was actually fairly active in the HotU forums? It’s true!

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        Whatever happened to that? I used to be “game host” of Dungeon Master, about 10 years ago (probably more) I wrote about 2000 words on it. I logged in a while ago to find everything I’d written removed and replaced with a shoddy review that mostly just ripped off the more obvious bits of what I said :(

        • Faldrath says:

          The original HotU died a few years ago when the site owner had trouble with cybersquatters and lost interest in maintaining it (she’s fairly active in Thai politics, I believe). Now there are a couple of sites that use the name, but they’re really shadows of what HotU used to be. Wikipedia has more details.

          • The Random One says:

            Wait, the main curator for what was once the reference site of abandonware games is a woman who’s active in Thai politics? Huh, I’d never have guessed I was living in a Neal Stephenson novel.

  4. Dominic White says:

    Yes, the game is out now. It was also out this time last year. Odd that people are only noticing that it exists now.

    • hanakogames says:

      We’re pushing a Greenlight campaign at the moment. (Despite what some people think, having one game already on Steam doesn’t mean they’ll let you jump the queue when you show them a game with pink hair in it.)

      http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=142369710 – I remain hopeful!

      • Anthile says:

        I thought that’s how it works. So if you were an indie developer with ten titles out there you’d have to run ten separate greenlight campaigns? That’s preposterous.

        • Tacroy says:

          It is, Greenlight is basically Steam’s gaping colostomy stoma at this point. Valve needs to either make major changes to the process or ditch it entirely.

          • Ringwraith says:

            It’s probably better than nothing, although it is obvious it has problems by this point, it would not be fair to its current users to just scrap it until something can be done.

  5. tomek says:

    Looks like a strong game.

  6. LionsPhil says:

    Is that header image…

    …it is, isn’t it. Goddamnit, Japan.

  7. 9of9 says:

    This… is…

    …totally my kind of thing -_- Hurray for long-tail sales!

  8. zeekthegeek says:

    It’s really quite an interesting piece, mixing terrible terrible death with what looks like an adorable girly game. Very roguelike in it’s brutality.

  9. Ureshi says:

    This looks a lot like The Princess Maker series from Gainax.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Maker

  10. Crosmando says:

    You know, there’s always something that just looks *wrong* about the art of Western devs when they try to imitate anime art-style. You can just tell by looking at it that the art isn’t by a Japanese artist. Perhaps you need some kind of Asian DNA to draw it properly, it’s worth investigating I think

    • hanakogames says:

      So tell us, in your expertise, what nationality WOULD you say the artist is? :) (Hint – the artist certainly wasn’t me.)

    • hanakogames says:

      Not saying that to harass you, but there’s an interesting phenomenon with people’s expectations on a lot of art sites, which tends to lead a lot of artists to adopt Japanese handles just to get better gigs, because for some viewers, the idea that it might be Japanese affects their opinion of its value more than the art itself does. And then people come around, see all those artists being apparently Japanese (even though they’re not) and nod and say “See, all the best artists are Japanese!” and the cycle reinforces itself.

    • top8cat says:

      I say it depends, I’ve met some extremely talented artist in my travels some of which can very easily mimic the Anime art style and some who’ve actually took up the language and incorporated it into their design(like many artist do). However, many of the people who I’ve met who do design professionally haven’t seem to keen on the Japanese design(even took a design class were the professor had an utter disdain for it), so taking out the people who aren’t professionals, adding in the professionals that don’t care for it, as well as the ones who aren’t good at it and you’re left with only a few who can properly pull it off, not to mention the ones who aren’t pleasurable to work with.

      As someone who’s dabbled in Japaneses design the styles are not that hard to mimic, it’s essence of the culture that’s hard to implement. That’s where I believe most artist get hung on, that or they use cookie cutter designs instead of understanding what makes that style that way and in turn creating something that’s all their own. Doesn’t hurt that like some western counties with Disney, the Japanese grow up with that style, doddle that in class, implement it in sketches were as the west has pickup on a style that the Japanese been used to since birth.

    • bVork says:

      I think there are several things that contribute to the perception that only Japanese artists can do good moe-style art. (I’m using that term because that’s really what it boils down to. “Japanese-style art” or even “manga-style art” is too broad since it would include artists like Naoki Urasawa, most of whose output is fairly similar to that of American artists like Darick Robertson.)

      Only the really good Japanese art seems to propagate across English-speaking websites. If you plumb the depths of pixiv, you’ll discover a lot of truly terrible artists. Naturally, this stuff doesn’t spread, because nobody enjoys looking at bad art.

      There’s also the tendency to remember bad art more if there’s a distinguishing feature in it. An immediate reaction of “oh, that’s bad art” becomes “oh, that’s bad moe-style art” which becomes internalized as “Westerners are bad at making moe-style art.”

      This probably isn’t helped by the large hordes of really awful teenage artists on Deviantart who, rather than actually learning to draw by studying anatomy and perspective and reality in general, try to learn to draw by copying their favourite manga panels. This ends up looking like what it is – a cheap copy made by somebody who doesn’t understand what made the original art work in the first place. These people exist in Japan too, but you don’t see them because they’re hidden away on imageboards and non-English art sites and out of view.

      For what it’s worth, I think Long Live The Queen’s art looks great. It’s definitely a far cry from the unsteady lines and pencil crayon colouring of Cute Knight.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Nice post. I understand why you don’t say Japanese style or Manga style, but where does moe come from?

        • bVork says:

          Wikipedia can explain it far better than I possibly could: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moe_%28slang%29

          I’m using it because it seams like the least-worst way to refer to characters and artwork designed to be super cute and appealing, which is the specific style that the vast majority of bad (and good, for that matter – this game’s art is moe through-and-through and I quite like it) Western artists seem to copy when they do “manga-style” art.

  11. RedViv says:

    As long as I can turn the princess into a mad scientist, everything is fine. Can I do that?

  12. Deviija says:

    Haha, that trailer is really great, actually. I love a lot of the titles out on Hanako Games. If people here enjoy Princess Maker/Royal Sim games, Hanako also made Cute Knight and Cute Knight Kingdom. Very similar to the formula, with enjoyable tweaks.

    I think I’ll be picking this one up soon.

  13. destroy.all.monsters says:

    BUT THERE ARE NO GAMES FOR WOMEN WHO WANT TO GAME!

    Sorry I just had to get that out. Similarities to Tropico, Crusader Kings mit clothing options seems like an obvious win. Great video.

    • Tagiri says:

      Right, no woman would ever want to play an action game, and no guy would want to play a game with a young girl in the leading role!

      • drinniol says:

        Can I play as a prince who likes to dress up as a princess and is also transgender (he identifies as a third, new gender; snozwizzle) and kinda gay but only for scots, and is also black and asian and martian?

        If not, should we start a Twitter campaign?

        • Tagiri says:

          It is really baffling and upsetting to see so much backlash and negativity toward people who want to see themselves represented more often in games.

          • Tacroy says:

            But if we don’t denigrate them at every turn, how will they know to stay in their place?

          • JamesTheNumberless says:

            Chain them up. You chain the women to the kitchen sink, that one’s obvious. Other groups are trickier to classify although you can often just chain them to each other and give them some unpaid work to do.

  14. pupsikaso says:

    Could have been a pretty interesting game. I’m usual impartial to “anime” style, but this in particular looks disgusting and repulsive to me.

  15. JudyCrews37 says:

    just before I looked at the check four $4624, I be certain that my friend was realie erning money parttime from their computer.. there neighbour had bean doing this 4 only about twenty months and by now cleared the loans on there condo and bourt a top of the range Citroλn DS. this is where I went, BOW6.COM

  16. Haplo says:

    Picked this up sometime last year and promptly threw 20 hours at it trying to get an ending where I didn’t die horribly. It’s actually really hard.

    Thematically, I’m pretty sure this is what happens if you have a raising sim brainstorm session a day after Crusader Kings II came out.

  17. Harlander says:

    Why do people think this is anything like Tropico?

  18. Joe-Gamer says:

    Quite the sneaky game here, I played a bit of the demo and thought it might be a nice game for my daughter…./sigh

    Needless to say after buying the game and actually playing through a couple endings, well, she won’t be playing this one for a few more years yet. I enjoyed it some but I did feel that it has a bit of “difficulty through obscurity” where the game just doesn’t give you the information you need.

  19. Wulfram says:

    The demo is kind of short. All that seems to happen is that you fail at a bunch of checks on stuff that you had no real opportunity to get any good at, then it ends. Also the music is annoying

  20. Serpok says:

    I was expecting something like FTL, but I was wrong.

    Events are not random but are tied to dates – the game, I feel, requires me to fill out a calendar spreadsheet with what skillcheck are required by what date, and calculate optimal training schedule and optimal moods for training (similar to planing training schedule in EVE with changing stats and implants).

    Not a semi-random roam, but a grindy excersie in data gathering.

    Disappointing. But I see how it could be someone’s cup of tea.

    • SaVi says:

      Played the demo once and thought it was too much like the overly complicated and fun killing slot machine part from FTL. So it isn’t even that, boring.
      Can’t these game hint early enough about things to be prepared of? And why not reward players with decisions they made instead of punishing them for those they didn’t? Or making failure fun in it’s own way like Rouge Legacy and Braid do.

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