Platform: PlayStation 4
Review Date: 2/18/19
"The Liar Princess And The Blind Prince" is a charming, but tragic fairy tale in the vein of Hans Christian Andersen. When a wolf accidentally blinds a young prince with her monstrous claws, she feels guilty and asks the witch of the forest to heal him. The witch agrees, in exchange for the wolf's beautiful singing voice, which is what attracted the prince to the wolf in the first place. The witch also gives the wolf the ability to change into the form of a human princess so that she can guide the prince through the dangerous forest. An innocent romance blooms between the liar princess and the blind prince, but tragedy strikes when the naïve prince discovers the princess's awful secret and the witch extracts an even heavier toll from the wolf.
It's a simple escort game with light puzzle and platform elements. For the most part, the gameplay is very easy and straight forward, but the difficulty ramps up considerably right at the end and requires some extra focus and dexterity. There's also one oddly out-of-place brain teaser puzzle that's so baffling that the game gives you the option to bypass it altogether. Even after reading the solution online, it still doesn't make any sense.
Where the game really shines is in its beautiful hand-painted artwork and adorable character design. The princess is super cute, and the joy that plays across her face when she picks flowers and holds the prince's hand is genuine and heartfelt. She guides the prince with enthusiastic glee, and I never grew tired of her playful and wistful personality. The plot progresses in storybook fashion and is narrated by a soft and gentle female voice (in Japanese, of course). The voiceover work is astounding and perfectly fits with the presentation of the story. The music score sets the appropriate emotional tone, although it tends to get a bit repetitive after a while.
The game takes about six hours to finish, but you can go back and collect any flowers and flower petals you might have missed along the way. This offers an extra challenge that unlocks concept art and additional story elements. Overall, I enjoyed "The Liar Princess," even though I found the prince annoying and the controls were occasionally confusing. The slow and thoughtful pace allows you to really appreciate the artwork and soak up the atmosphere. It's not for everyone, but fans of art games will certainly find something to like about it.