Review – The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince

NIS America is a company that releases games at an alarming pace, but unlike other publishers that focus solely on quantity rather than quality, the vast majority of their output ends up being pretty good and quite varied. Their first 2019 outing, The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, is a shining example that the company can do a lot more than just Disgaea games and bringing JRPGs to the West. This is a puzzle platformer not unlike Limbo or Inside, but there’s more to it than just its gameplay.

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Her Tinder pic.

The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is more of a playable Brothers Grimm tale than anything else. All of its simple but occasionally challenging gameplay is wrapped around a cute and saccharine story of a wolf that falls in love with a prince and after accidentally blinding him with a slash, begs for a wicked witch in the woods to turn her into a princess so she can get to know the little blind fella and escort him on a nigh-suicidal journey throughout a magical forest to try to get his sight back. Then it’s followed by all that happily ever after schtick you’ve been hearing ever since your mom read “Snow White” to you before bedtime as a young child.

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Her in real life.

The main gameplay twist in The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is that you can morph between a cutesy princess and a hideous wolf-like monster at the press of a button. The wolf monster can jump higher, attack enemies. and is impervious to damage; while the princess form is the only one that can escort the blind prince around by holding his hands. It’s diabetes-inducing sweet. The puzzles all revolve around the usage of these forms and their respective abilities in order to traverse gaps, open locked doors, collect hidden items, and so on.

There isn’t a lot of challenge in here, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. This game is all about its story without forgetting the fact it needs actual gameplay for it to be properly told in an entertaining way (looking at you, Gone Home), but if you get stuck in a puzzle or difficult platforming section, you can actually skip it entirely. Completionists haven’t been forgotten, either. The game features a vast amount of petals scattered throughout all the levels. Collecting them unlocks tons of really well-detailed concept art, so there’s at least some sort of replayability included in The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince.

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It’s so sweet it might give you cavities.

In order to maximize the feel that you are playing an actual children’s fairytale, the developers have gone the distance to come up with amazing hand-drawn visuals, as if they had been taken straight out of a fable book. Everything, from the sceneries to the characters, is just downright amazing to look at. The sound department does fairly well too, as the game features a neat assortment of fairytale-esque tunes, for the lack of a better description of its soundtrack, as well as a ton of voice acting. Sure, it’s all in Japanese, but the narrator does a good job of telling the story without the typical overdramatic dubbing that’s all the rage in anime or other Japanese games, for instance.

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“Next time we’re travelling to Aruba.”

Even though it doesn’t last for very long and it isn’t mind blowing when it comes to its gameplay, I fully recommend checking The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince out for its artistic presentation and interesting story. It’s far from bland, but also far from excessively melodramatic. It’s an ideal pasttime if you’re looking for a little relaxing title in between the avalanche of bigger and bulkier games that are being released at the moment.

 

Graphics: 10

Looks and feels like an animated children’s book. It’s just that gorgeous to look at.

Gameplay: 7.0

Simple platformer controls with slight puzzle elements like in Limbo, with some elements borrowed from Ico. It’s far from mind-blowing, but it works, even though the physics can sometimes be a bit odd.

Sound: 8.0

There’s a surprising amount of (Japanese) voice acting a some really adorable fairytale-esque tunes, even if they get a bit repetitive after a while.

Fun Factor: 7.0

It doesn’t last for long, but the art style, charming story and some of the puzzles are more than enough to keep you interested until the very end.

Final Verdict: 8.0

The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is available now on PS4 and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince was provided by the publisher.

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