Whoops, forgot to add the cut. Lo siento. Inside: PrinceLess, Oneshot.
This was a really cute and wonderful sendup of the major problems mainstream comics have when it comes to women, girls and POC. It’s a kids’ comic at heart, so it’s light and fluffy and heavyhanded at times, but it’s really a breath of fresh air. The art is wonderful, the points need to be made even if they aren’t particularly subtle, and it’s just nice to have a comic out there for girls that is just brimming with genuinely positive messages. The thrust of the story is that in Fantasy World, young princesses are put in towers as a way for suitors to prove their worth. If a suitor can defeat the guardian of the tower and rescue the princess, they get to marry her. The protagonist doesn’t want to be rescued and doesn’t want her whole life to be about getting married, so with the help of her little brother and mom she decides to “save herself,” escaping with her dragon guardian as a friend and fleeing her home for all kinds of misadventures. It really brought a smile to my face.
It can be tough to find, though. I went to several shops a bunch of times before one had it, and sometimes it’s with kids’ stuff and sometimes not, so you have to be kind of vigilant.
This was a cute game that shined in the innovative way it told its story.
You are… well, you’re you. The protagonist is some little cat dude named Niko (oh, I just got it…). Niko wakes up one day in a strange world, where a robot thing tells him he’s the messiah meant to revive their sun, which is a lightbulb. He sets off on a quest to save the world. The gameplay is simple– Niko walks around, pick up items, and combine them into things you can use in innovative ways. The puzzles were logical and clear without being too easy, and I was satisfied every time I put 2 and 2 together. The world is nicely absurd, with characters such as a dude whose head is a six-sided die, and I thought the dev had a really excellent grasp of color and how to use it to create mood, as well as which colors worked together and in what ways. The pixel art was pixel art. Good for what it is, but still pixel art. The CGs were very pretty, though.
The really neat thing about the game, though, is that it takes advantage of its platform in a kind of incredible way. It pulls your name off the computer, and you are treated as an entity from another world who is “god,” which of course is true. The other entities in the game use your computer as a computer– a way to deliver hints, for example. At one point you have to go find a file with a code in My Documents; at another the background on your desktop changes. It’s not even breaking the fourth wall, because you and your world are fully part of the game. There is no fourth wall, because there’s never any attempt at a divide. It’s really incredibly clever and very well done.
The biggest thing this game needed was a goddamn in-game map. The maps, especially the first one, were really big– too big, IMO– and it was really hard to figure out exactly how things fit together. And then sometimes I would remember the NPC I had to talk to but have absolutely no idea where they were and wander around in circles forever and it was super-frustrating. The gameplay experience would have been exponentially improved for me if there was even a crude map that Niko “updated” with locations of NPCs, major buildings, etc. Being able to fast-travel was nice, but there was no way of knowing what the names of each region were beforehand, nor if a given region was the one you actually needed to go to.
It’s hard to say how long it was since I played it sporadically, but it was a sweet game and if you’re into the rpgmaker scene, check it out.