Long Live The Queen is a text adventure that follows the story of a 14-year-old princess. After the tragic death of the queen, Elodie must be prepared for her coronation in a year’s time. Starting the game as understandably depressed, it’s the player’s job to choose how she develops each week. However, many parties want to take advantage of the changeover of power and kill the would-be queen before she is crowned. But is Long Live the queen a royal pain in the butt, or a jewel if the crown of gaming. Here are my first impressions of Long Live the Queen.
At first glance, you’d be forgiven if you thought this was one of the many anime dating simulators on steam. Thankfully, the characters keep their clothes on and costume changes stay relevant to the story. Originally released on Steam in 2012, it has taken 10 years to make the leap to consoles
Long Live The Queen is a game about choices. Each week, you choose classes for the Princess to attend. There is a large class list to choose from covering various topics including history, weapons, animal care, and military strategy to name a few. The player chooses morning and afternoon classes that increase different stats that make up your character’s personality. Each week, your skills are tested through various dramas at the palace. One week it might be a surprise family member or even a murderer possessed by a demon. Each task requires different skills to overcome and you will find yourself winning some, and losing others. Periodically you will so need to fend off assassinations from poisonous snakes to explosions.
It’s up to you what kind of queen you become, from a power-hungry military general to an eloquent diplomat, skilled in resolving conflict through negotiation. The classes you choose shape the story and ultimately the outcome. However, if Elodie isn’t in the right mood, she won’t learn a thing. The mood is based on five sliding scales that can be manipulated at the weekend through a different set of activities. Attending a service lifts your depression whilst playing with toys makes you happy but also lonely. Throughout the story, new options appear and you are able to visit the dungeon, sneak out of the castle or talk to friends and family to discover more about the magical abilities that you have but have been kept from you, as they were the cause of your mother’s death.
Essentially, the game moves between four screens, the classes, the activities, the mood, and the picture book. The story is told through text, which can be skipped, sped up, or ignored. Every so often a big decision is needed and you might fight a neighboring country or attend a festival. Long Live The Queen is strangely addictive and as the story develops it’s easy to rinse and repeat the steps to see where you end up. To complete the game, you need to survive 40 weeks to reach your coronation. In the end, you see what kind of Queen you turned out to be.
Long Live The Queen isn’t going to be for everyone, but the idea is good. I think the mechanic might also work for a President/Prime minister game which would be quite interesting. The graphics are basic and upscaled to fit the screen so the whole experience feels a little dated. As it is only a text-based game, it would have been nice for you to be able to choose your name and create your own princess, in the beginning, to help make that personal connection. At $10 or £7.99, it’s ok, but if you can pick it up on sale it is worth playing if you are looking for something a little different. Hats off to Hanako Games for making the leap to Xbox, with 14 similar story titles on Steam, perhaps this is the first of many.