Hey gang, I know it has been a while since I’ve contributed anything but the process of moving house tends to eat up all your free time to the point where you’re left with like 10 minutes to sleep in between packing and moving sessions.
Well, I decided that I’m going to skip the sleep session tonight and write a review of a game I’ve been playing in the car on the way to and from my new apartment. So, without further ado (not to be confused with the french word “adieu”, which means “good-bye”) I bring you my review of Long Live the Queen.
To start, Long Live the Queen is a life simulator of sorts. You are a princess, and your goal is to survive a year until your 16th birthday, which is when your coronation will take place. There are some quirks that make this game enjoyable, and some that really annoy me. I’m a really nitpicky person though, so perhaps there is some bias there, but I will do my best to be fair about it.
Each game turn spans 1 week, where you have your choice of a morning class and an afternoon class, which is how you develop your skills. This is usually followed by a story event that usually presents you with a princessly decision to make (which in the beginning tends to involve a choice between prison or beheading…), the result of which will affect your mood to some degree. After each week, you spend your weekend doing an activity, choosing from 8 different ones to start. These activities, along with story events, affect your 4 “mood sliders”, which determine your overall mood. Each mood has bonuses and penalties which affect how fast you learn skills. These skills serve only to pass various checks that pop up during story events. Still with me? I know it’s a bit complicated at first, and believe me it did take me a while to learn how things affect everything else, and to what extent they do so, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. To sum up a turn, choose 2 skills to level up -> story event -> weekend activity.
So that’s how the game works, let’s talk about the game itself. Let me preface this by saying I completed this game in both possible ways, magic and non-magic. There are various “endings” (more like slight changes in dialogue) that depend on decisions you make, but ultimately there are really only two ways to play the game, because those other decisions really don’t matter for the most part. Your decision of who to marry, for example, does not affect your ability to complete the game. The only thing that can affect whether or not you can complete the game is your skills. I’m not even kidding, you see, during story events, various checks pop up that compare your skill to the required threshold to “pass” the check. In the early game, most of these checks seem inconsequential at first glance (like when people talk about neighbouring countries, if your “foreign intelligence” skill is too low, your character won’t really know what anyone is talking about), and for the most part, that holds true throughout most of the game. You definitely do NOT need to pass all checks to complete the game, in fact you will have to fail most of them in order to ensure that your skills are high enough to pass the checks you DO need to pass.
I will say that my enjoyment of the game comes from trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Considering there are at least 11 different ways to die and a vast list of various achievements, and 8 different epilogues, this game will definitely challenge your mind and your patience. I enjoyed every minute of it that I’ve played and definitely recommend it. I still haven’t seen everything this game has to offer, and I definitely want to. I’d have liked to have seen more weight placed on the decisions beyond things that minorly affect dialogue. There are some hidden stats that are tracked, like public opinion, but I haven’t yet encountered a situation where that matters. Though, judging by the achievement list, it is possible to face a vote of no-confidence, so I suppose I just have yet to see it.
These types of games aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for something slow-paced, but still requires you think a bit, this game is definitely for you. It isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be, it’s still fun.