Reviewed On: PC It isn’t easy being a princess. You have to attend classes, learn the history of your kingdom, become versed in military strategy and unfortunately deal with your mother, the Queen, dying long before you’re ready to take the crown. What is a princess to do in a situation like this? In Long Live The Queen by Hanako Games, the player gets to decide exactly what the fate of Princess Elodie will be. Well, sort of. Publisher: Hanako Games Developer: Hanako Games in affiliation with Spiky Caterpillar Platfroms: PC, Mac, Linux Genre: Indie, Visual Novel, Strategy Release Date: June 2, 2012 November 8, 2013 on Steam The game is done in a visual novel style. There are no controls to speak of, except using the mouse to select actions for Elodie. In order to make it to her coronation, Elodie must survive forty weeks of classes without meeting an untimely end. It sounds easier than it actually is. During a playthrough, Elodie can feasibly be skilled in only a few areas, making player choices extremely important. Gearing Elodie towards weapons and military strategy may work great if a civil war breaks out, but will do her no good if challenged by an enemy Lumen, the sorcerers in your kingdom of Nova. Likewise, training Elodie in the Lumen arts will stave off magical attacks and give her a fun way to deal with people who may try to attack her, but does nothing for her knowledge of foreign affairs or economics. Balancing Elodie can be quite a tricky feat, indeed. Players will have to know which situations to avoid due to Elodie’s weaknesses, while going after situations where she shines. Even when it seems like everything is going great, something is sure to pop up and take the player by surprise; possibly killing Elodie and forcing the player to start over. So many things to learn and not enough time. To train Elodie, players can select a day class and an afternoon class for her to train in. She starts with zero skill in everything and can reach a maximum of one hundred. How well Elodie does in a class depends on her mood. There are four mood progressions, each of which will add bonuses to learning one set of skills while penalizing another. Elodie can go from angry to afraid, cheerful to depressed, willful to yielding and pressured to lonely. [quote_right]“Long Live The Queen is extremely addictive.”[/quote_right]Her moods can be influenced by storyline events, as well as what activities the player selects for Elodie to do on the weekends. In addition to moods influencing how well she learns certain subjects, once the player gets Elodie to 25 in all three skills of a category, an outfit will be unlocked that gives Elodie bonuses to any skills involving that category. For example, Elodie can unlock a priestess robe that will increase her skill in faith; consisting of meditation, divination and lore. Who said that playing dress-up doesn’t have real-life benefits? Long Live The Queen is extremely addictive. There are many ways to develop Elodie, leaving players to want to try a multitude of strategies. Each failure to reach her coronation only makes the players want to go back with a vengeance and try even harder to make Elodie succeed. Even if Elodie does not die, there are other less than optimal endings to the game. One ending sees Elodie sneaking out of her kingdom under siege in order to marry a duke from an allied providence, with the intention of amassing power from afar to take her country back later. While it isn’t a total failure, Elodie still doesn’t make it to be queen. [quote_left]“Who said that playing dress-up doesn’t have real-life benefits?”[/quote_left]Unfortunately, as addictive as the game may be, the events that occur through the storyline do not appear to change between playthroughs. The game always starts with a visit from Elodie’s aunt, uncle and cousins. There is always a grand parade that Elodie has an option to participate in. Along the way, there’s always a grand ball. It can become extremely predictable. A side note to this, is that if Elodie succeeds at certain skills during cutscenes, optional events will be unlocked. The main story remains the same though, which is disappointing. For a game like this, it would work better to at least randomize when certain events happened or to include a larger variety of events so that playthroughs are different. It can lead players to “reverse-engineer” the game, in a way. They will figure out exactly which skills to train and which events to avoid, since they are static. After a while, it does detract from the game, addicting as it may be. Even a princess can’t get away with a comment like that. Elodie fails her Flattery check. The art and music of Long Live The Queen seem standard for a visual novel. The characters are all done in an anime style. There isn’t any animation to speak of, but the art and design of the characters themselves is nicely done. There is a decent amount of detail in the environments as well. The music is all done in piano and complements the situations Elodie finds herself in very well. That said, there is a lack of track diversity. One odd point to mention is the beginning theme that the players will hear at the title screen. Long Live The Queen’s title music is “America the Beautiful”. (A small edit: The song is actually “God Save the Queen”, or “My Country, Tis of Thee” as dubbed by the Americans after they re-purposed the song back in 1831. Thanks EmmyG for pointing this out.) Long Live the Queen ReviewOverall, Long Live The Queen is a great game to curl up on a rainy day with. Don't expect to beat it for quite a while. It's worth the challenge, not to mention the stories you'll have to tell your friends later about how you led a massive military invasion, but died to eating a box of chocolates. Hey, even queens aren't perfect.ProsHundreds of different ways to customize ElodieSimple, easy to learnMoods and outfits influence how well you learn, adding an extra layer of strategyConsStatic storylineAfter enough playthroughs, it becomes easier to "reverse engineer" the game to figure out which events to avoid and plan ahead3.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote) EmmyG > “America the Beautiful” … it’s “God Save The Queen” Iselia I was actually thinking of “My Country, Tis of Thee” which is the version America stole and re-purposed from Britain. I just get the names of my patriotic songs all mixed up. Thanks for pointing this out. It has been corrected. Blane Hahaha, too bad it’s in the Podcast now and forever!