Monday 8 August 2022

Long Live the Queen Review (Switch)

Visual novels have found a place on most of the modern consoles but relatively few of them have enough to do to warrant interest from the wider gaming community. Long Live the Queen is perhaps the exception to this as it’s much closer to the choose your own adventure books of old and has a decent amount of numbers moving around behind the scenes. The Switch is also a great fit for it as the style fits portability perfectly.

The game starts with a young princess training to take her place on the throne after the death of her mother. The not-so simple aim is to keep her alive until the forty days pass to her coronation. Doing this is of course a lot easier said than done as insurrection, assassins, war and simple accidents are all waiting to send her to an early grave.

There are two main things the player can do to stop this. The first is simply in the decisions you make throughout the game. These range from deciding which courtiers to keep or events to attend to more dramatic decisions on strategy for war or how to deal with prisoners. Each decision sets in motion a chain of events which will need to be dealt with as you progress and keeping on the right side of the kingdom politically is a delicate operation.

The second thing you can do is decided what classes the princess takes each day. There are a huge range of things to study ranging from lore, politics or magic to horse riding, athletics or even singing. Each of these can be developed up to the level of 100 which will be needed to pass certain checks as the game progresses. But there is no way to train in everything of course so it’s important to think what might be around the corner.

How quickly you learn these skills is determined by your characters mood. For instance, if you are angry, you gain bonuses to military and fighting skills but suffer negatives to things like court etiquette, while depression will see you gaining bonuses to faith-based skills but lacking motivation for athletics. You can change the characters mood by deciding where the princess visits during the day and balancing everything together is vitally important or you will soon find yourself falling foul of one of the many ways to die.

Overall, Long Live the Queen is one of the better examples we’ve seen of visual novels on the Switch. Individual games roll by pretty fast which means it’s an easy one to go back to when you die (you can save as well but often you’ll be a long way down the wrong path by then). It also requires the player to be continually involved which makes it far less passive than a lot of similar games in the genre. It’s well worth a look if you are after something different or want to experience a new take on the choose your own adventure books of old. It also holds up remarkably well for a game that first game out way back in 2012.

Overall 7/10

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