Game Review: Long Live the Queen

Game Review Long Live the Queen


By James L. Boyle

2 ½ Stars: Above Average

Never let it be said I’m unwilling to step outside my comfort zone…

The fair princess Elodie of the magical kingdom of Nova has just received the tragic news of her beloved mother’s passing; and so she must study and train to become the best queen in the whole wide world. It’s such a shame then that everything from nefarious nobles to mythical monstrosities seem hell-bent on killing her in various nasty ways.
The classical piano soundtrack, pastel colours and animé-esque art style of the game extend to the illustrations of Elodie’s demise; creating a feeling of dry, often dark, humour beneath a veneer of sweetness, like a piece of iced fruitcake.
Much like fruitcake however, the actual gameplay is rather insubstantial. As the game is a hybrid of role-playing game and visual novel, the extent of the player’s input is deciding which subjects Elodie should focus on in order to determine what sort of ruler she’ll become. Seems simple enough; unfortunately Elodie must have spent all her years at boarding school simpering over pin-ups of Prince Charming. She seems to have absolutely no knowledge of the basics of ruling a nation, or even common sense. Case in point, when our adorable princess fails a flattery skill check against a gold-digging noblewoman:
“My, what large breasts you have! Are you showing them off for any particular reason?”

Someone was paid to right that…

The sheer number of skills is utterly mindboggling. You can learn everything from religion to economics, weapon skills to court etiquette; and further specialise in accounting, fencing, listing items etc. This setup encourages the player to try a variety of different approaches; leading to a great deal of replay value. The problem is that there is no way to know what skills will be relevant to your playstyle, as you need a rather eclectic mixture of skills to succeed:
“Oh dear, those economics and foreign affairs skills were useful for defusing that territory dispute but they’re a fat lot of good against an arrow through the chest, aren’t they? Better start again!”
As mentioned previously, there is a good deal of replay value to justify the annoyance; including seeing more of the ridiculous ways to die: from stabbed in a duel, to drowning at sea; to being blown to smithereens.
Despite the fact that a pot plant would probably make a better monarch than Elodie initially would, Long Live the Queen manages to be an intriguing role-playing experience whose charming presentation helps to makes up for its problematic design.} else {