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Long Live The Queen

February 8th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

You’re fourteen years old, and you’ve just inherited the throne after the unfortunate passing of your mother.  Your skills are lacking, your moods are all over the place, and you have no ruling experience to speak of.  To put it bluntly, you’re in a lot of trouble.  “Long Live The Queen” tasks the player in molding this new ruler any way they’d like in the hopes of one day becoming a positive footnote in the history books.  Before we start ruling the kingdom with a tempered demeanour or an iron fist, I’d like to thank Georgina Bensley from Hanako Games for providing me with a free review copy.

Long Live The Queen

Long Live The Queen (PC, Mac, Linux)

The main menu allows you to start a new game, load an existing one, view achievements, and adjust game options.  The achievements come in the form of a “checklist”, listing out all of the events you’ve experienced in your travels along with the many ways you may have died.  The options menu allows you to adjust audio sliders, toggle fullscreen mode, enable or disable various UI settings, check for updates, and assign a prefered renderer.  I’m not too savvy on how renderer’s work, but you’ll be able to choose between auto, software, and OpenGL.  I don’t know what OpenGL means (I’m old), but I do know that this option allowed me to adjust the size of the window and get Fraps to work.  There’s also a debugging console, in case you happen to know commands that make magic happen.

The storyline starts out the same way each time in that you’re an unskilled, depressed princess trying to fill shoes too big for her.  You’ll meet all sorts of characters along the way and how you interact with them will change the way the story unfolds.  Some game events require you to choose between various choice bubbles, again outlining the way the story takes shape.  Some choices will make people happy and some might cause wars to break out.  Some choices will either succeed or fail depending on the skill checks that result from it.  It’s like those “choose your own adventure” books that I used to read as a kid, except that I can actually improve my character’s chances by studying and improving various skills.

Long Live The Queen

How will you mold your princess?

The meat and potatoes of this game is the skills screen, which outlines fourteen different areas of study, each of them containing three subcategories.  The Royal Demeanor skill, for example, is broken up into Composure, Elegance, and Presence.  I’ve mentioned above that some choices require skill checks….the skills screen is where these events draw their success rate from.  An event that calls for you to lead troops into battle will check your Military skill, which is made up of Strategy, Naval Strategy, and Logistics.  Some events can’t be predicted (unless you’ve played the game many times before), so sometimes you’ll fail the check.  Most of the time, failed checks result in missed dialogue opportunities, though there are rare occasions where they can kill you.

Each turn lasts a full in-game week.  Before the week begins, you’ll be able to choose two subcategory skills to study (one for the morning and one for the evening).  Your current mood will dictate what positive and negative modifiers will affect certain areas of study.  After picking two subcategories to study, you’ll see the results and watch the respective skill bars fill up.  After that, you’ll be able to choose how you spend your weekend, which will alter your mood in some fashion for the following week.  Since your mood changes based on how you spend your free time, the areas of study that have positive and negative modifiers will constantly be changing.  It’s usually a waste of time to train in a skill with a negative modifier and of course, training in a skill with a positive modifier is generally a good thing.

Long Live The Queen

Skills determine how you fare in world events.

Besides having the ability to choose classes, you can pick an outfit that provides a boost to a particular skill, export your progress to a log in your web browser (which you can copy and paste to a Word document), and save your game.  You can view your mood at almost any time, and the modifiers on the skill menu are clear and easy to read.  Each mechanic is connected to each other, but it’s easy to look at your mood, look at your skills, and then pick your classes accordingly.

Overall, “Long Live The Queen” is an incredibly engaging game.  At first, I dubbed this game as a leveling simulator, but it turned out to be much more than that.  Once I started getting into my tenth week, I became invested in my character and really felt for her as I watched her struggle to pass skill checks.  Having so many skills to choose from allowed me to mold my character into a regal, animal loving, combat savvy strategist with a crippling social disorder.  My cunning on the battlefield and knowledge in medicine helped me to prevail in a civil war I faced, but I often offended everyone I came across because I lacked the social graces.  I was eventually assassinated by way of poisoned chocolates…I didn’t think her death would affect me too much, but I was surprised to learn that it had.  I highly recommend this game to those who enjoy an interactive story and have played (and liked) life simulators that require you to level up in order to succeed.  There is a demo available via the official site (link below), should you wish to try before you buy.

Final Verdict: 6/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Long Live The Queen” by visiting the official website:

http://www.hanakogames.com/llq.shtml

You can view a spoiler-ish (I warned you) wiki page that outlines the weeks, skill checks, and etc., here:

http://longlivethequeen.wikia.com/wiki/Long_Live_the_Queen_Wiki

You can view video play sessions here:

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