Slay the Princess is a confusing game to write about. I’m not sure what to say and what not to say. It all comes down to how much I could talk about and how much I understood enough to talk about.
At first, the game is straightforward. There is a cabin in the woods, a princess is in the basement, and you must slay her. You’re told the world’s fate rests on this, but it becomes clear that what you’re being told might not be accurate.
This is an adventure game. You’re selecting from dialogue options and watching the story play out. There are also a large number of narrators, as well as a strange looping timeline and alternate dimension plot.
I wasn’t sure if I liked the game at first. It grew on me as the game went on, but there was something about it that I didn’t like. It has to do with the gameplay. It is a little like playing through a visual novel.
TLDR: Good Graphics, Simple Gameplay, Somewhat Confusing Story.
This is where things get a little messy. There are several parts to the plot, and things get very confusing because of the looping timeline. There are also too many subplots for me to talk about. I’ll go over the larger story and some of the smaller ones that I experienced during my playthrough.
The game starts with your character standing on a path. The Narrator explains what you need to do. You have to go into a cabin and kill a Princess. You get warned that she will try to manipulate you into setting her free. This is where the menu options start.
You can pick up a dagger before entering the basement to deal with the Princess. Depending on your actions, you’ll get a different outcome. It almost always results in you, the Princess, or both dying.
This is where the timeline starts to loop, and you get more narrators. These new narrators offer you advice, or they add to the confusion. Sometimes, they try to work out what is going on with you and the looping timeline.
You end up dying two or three times before you end up at a place called The Long Quite. Here, you meet an entity that is collecting the Princess after you’ve completed each cycle. A mirror represents this place. The Narrator is the only person not to acknowledge the mirror.
There are several endings to this game. You can “beat” it quickly if you kill the princess and don’t kill yourself. However, you miss out on all the creepy and confusing stuff in the game. You also won’t learn about what is going on in this world.
Overall, I like the story. It isn’t very clear at times, but I found it engaging. It does answer the questions you might have while playing the game, but you might need a few play throughs to get them all.
This is an adventure game. You have minimal control over your character, but you do control the narrative. All you’re doing is making dialogue choices, which change the story as you play. The goal is to deliver as many versions of the Princess as possible to the Shifting Mound.
At first, the game sounds easy. You can “beat” the game quickly if you slay the Princess and stay alive. However, you miss out on all the fun if you do this. The game has a lot of strange imagery to show you.
Slay the Princess has a lengthy list of characters. Many of them get added as you go through more loops, but three constants exist. Here is a list of them:
- Protagonist – Your Character, AKA Long Quite
- Princess – She is the Princess, and she takes on many forms, AKA Shifting Mound
- The Narrator – You meet many versions of him throughout the game. They lie to you quite a bit. AKA Echo
- Voice of the Hero
- Voice of the Opportunist
- Voice of the Paranoid
- Voice of the Cold
- Voice of the Cheated
- Voice of the Hunted
- Voice of the Stubborn
- Voice of the Broken
- Voice of the Smitten
- Voice of the Contrarian
- Voice of the Skeptic
Having this many characters makes the game somewhat confusing. They will debate your choices to an annoying level. At the same time, their interactions are usually funny, especially when they’re needling The Narrator.
There was a point where I had all of the voices talking to me. It got a bit much, but it still offered a few laughs. They sometimes help you but mainly act as advisors and argue with The Narrator, especially when you start dying.
What you have to do is deliver versions of the Princess to an entity called the Shifting Mound. What is the Shifting Mound? From what I can tell, it is the true form of the Princess, much like your character is really known as The Long Quiet. The Narrator, also called Echo, did something to both of you. I’m not sure what exactly happened to cause you to loop, but it does make for a fun game.
There was one spot where I thought the game forced me into a dead end. I didn’t scroll down enough to get to the only dialogue option I could choose. The more I played the game, the more I enjoyed it.
Overall, I like the gameplay. It isn’t as good as other games I’ve played this year, but it was fun. Seeing how your choices changed the story was enjoyable, and I liked going through the short stories I got in this game.
This is where I have the most problems with the game. Playing this game hurt my eyes at times. There were a few flashing images and flickering that were hard for me to look at. This won’t be a problem for most people, but it was for me.
With that out of the way, when I wasn’t getting a headache from the visuals, they were very good! The game has a great art style, and the different forms of the Princess are extremely creative.
There isn’t a lot of animation in the game. Most of the visuals are in the form of pictures. This is why I thought this was a visual novel, or at the very least, it felt like it at times.
The game is in black and white but will use red to highlight blood. It makes the game look very good! Near the end of the game, more colors are added, but that feels like a reward for beating the game.
Every time you make progress in the game, the visuals change. It is an excellent way to show that you’re making progress, even though you’re doing the same thing again. It is interesting to see how the Princess and the cabin change as you make different choices.
Overall, I like the visuals. I only had problems when the game started flickering and flashing, but it didn’t do that much. The graphics are very creative, and I like the majority of them.
8/10. I wasn’t sure if I liked this game while playing it. There were parts of it that I did like, while others left me scratching my head. It is fascinating, the story is good, and the game makes you work to find out what is happening. Slay the Princess does make you think, but I’m not sure it is something I would want to revisit.
- Good Story
- It can be funny at times
- Creative Characters
- Easy to Play
- Confusing at times
- Limited Gameplay
Writing this was a little difficult. I’m still not sure if I included everything I needed to. Given the time loops that make up the narrative, I wasn’t sure how many to bring up or if I should let people experience them for themselves.
I like the game despite some minor issues with flickering images and a minimalist gameplay style. The best comparison I have is Killer Frequency. In that game, you could move around and explore the radio station you were in. There is more freedom in that game, even though you’re still doing similar things.
While not a great comparison, they’re in the same genre of adventure games. They involve selecting dialogue options and altering the story based on your choices. Slay the Princess takes this further by having multiple stories, while Killer Frequency is a more linear experience.
Slay the Princess is a fun game. It has a simple gameplay style that lets the player focus on the stories the developer is trying to tell. While it can be confusing at times, you do get answers to some of the questions about what is happening.