The name of the game is to be taken very literally.
There may be easier jobs than being a princess.
This game is evil, addictive, hilarious, dark, and just generally amazing.
It’s a turn based game where each turn is 1 week, and the goal of the game is to stay alive for 40 turns/weeks, until her coronation.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds. The game features 11 ways for the princess to die – assassination, stupidity, poison, swordfight, drowning, magic duel, etc.
Each turn, the player gets to choose 2 “skills” to improve on, out of about 100 – including things like court manners, public speaking, reflex, archery, internal affairs, history, medicine, and magic.
At the same time, the story unfolds event by event every turn (events range from invitations to birthday parties, to a full scale naval invasion). The outcome of each event is determined by “skill tests” of a few skills, and different outcomes lead to different branches of the story. Some events have far-reaching consequences that won’t be felt until many weeks after the skill test, while for some other events, the consequences are immediately felt (eg. it results in your death).
For example, one week the princess gets an invitation to a birthday party. If her divination skill is high enough, she will sense that something bad will happen on the way there, and, with high enough court manners, can politely decline without hurting anyone’s feeling (unpolitely declining the invitation lowers noble approval significantly, which will likely lead to a civil war later on). If she decides to attend, her group will be ambushed, and an arrow will be fired at her. If she has high enough reflex, she will dodge the arrow. Otherwise, she will be hit and if her knowledge in medicine is not high enough, she will recall hearing that she shouldn’t pull arrows out, and decides to push it in instead, killing herself. The game is full of dark humour… I don’t know who the target audience of this game is, but I’m hoping not little girls.
The game is designed so that you will fail most skill tests, and you just have to prioritize, and find a combination of failures that doesn’t result in your demise.
High replay value – it’s only possible to see about 30% of the plot in any given play-through because of choices and sacrifices the player has to make. There are many side stories that can only realistically be revealed on play-throughs where you don’t expect to win, because they require many points in skills that are otherwise useless, and to get them you’ll have to sacrifice more important skills.
“You don’t actually know how to ride, but the horse is well-trained, so all you need to do is sit up straight, look regal, and don’t fall off.” – how to do well in a mounted parade, if the princess has low/no horse riding skills, but high composure
Hilarious game. Hours of fun alternating between cursing and LOLing. Well worth the $10. Highly recommended.
Go get it! (on Steam, available on Linux, too!)