The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince is a beautiful digital storybook. It tells the story of a wolf who deals with the consequences of her actions. She blinds a friendly prince with a swing of paw, and she spend the rest of the game trying to make it right, causing even more trouble in the process. I won’t spoil a single more word about the story, as it is the strong point of Liar Princess, and it’s told with mastery, each page unfolding quite literally on each cut scene, depicted with hand drawn graphics of such quality that really stand out and make you love the characters. Everything is accompanied by a wistful and somewhat hypnotic soundtrack and the storyteller’s voice acting that make you feel comfy, as if reading an old book in front of a cosy fireplace. I was also pleasantly surprised by the text in the unlockable illustrations being translated into English, allowing the reader to fully appreciate the details and the care that has been put into the preparatory work.
Unfortunately Liar Princess’ gameplay doesn’t make it justice. You impersonate the Princess who needs to guide the visually impaired prince to safety, by pulling him holding his hands, giving him simple commands to follow (carry this thing, go right, go left and that’s about it), and turning herself into the big but not bad wolf to slay the creatures that threaten the Prince’s life. It play like a sort of bi-dimensional ICO meets Limbo, but not as good. Levels don’t show any real inspiration of a journey through a mysterious forest, being quite flat and with an heavy tileset feeling. The action is composed by a well balanced mixture of platforming and puzzle, that however fail to convey a tangible sense of bonding between the two characters, mostly because it feels quite detached from the story featuring a basic selection of pull the lever and push the block puzzles, and lacks inventive or any sense of urgency and insecurity to spice up things. Sometimes the Prince dies usally because he falls from an undefined mortal height, the Princess cries a bit and then you are back for some more soporific action in an anonymous level design.
I have completed the Liar Princess in about 4 hours and it left me with the memory of a good tale, but haunted by a uninspired gameplay. I’ll still give it a pass, as I understand the idea of being a sort of interactive storybook, something that you could probably enjoy playing along your young children, but be warned that this lovely parent-child moment come with the burden of a gameplay which excitement is comparable to a hefty priced toddler activity book.
+ Nice story and cosy atmosphere
-gameplay is as fun as hoovering the carpet