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The Princess Guide

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Princess Guide Game Poster Image
Fantasy adventure needs to go back to "knight" school.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There are a few basic themes of teamwork, as well as teaching/mentoring others, but those are fairly diluted and unimportant to the overall plot and gameplay.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The four princess characters have widely diverse personalities, but all seem generally shallow and don’t ever show much in the way of character development beyond their initial presentations.

Ease of Play

The gameplay, while using simple controls, are much more complex than they seem at first. There’s a steep learning curve, especially due to the game’s sometimes vague explanations of how its mechanics work. Once you do learn the gist of it, though, it quickly becomes a repetitive routine.

Violence

There's a lot of frantic combat, with fighting monsters and enemy soldiers being the focus of the game. While the action can get chaotic, the violence is presented in a cartoonish and overexaggerated manner, with lots of explosions and flashy effects instead of blood or gore.

Sex

Some female characters are portrayed wearing low cut outfits showing off an extreme amount of cleavage, as well as showing their breasts bounce in an exaggerated manner.

Language

There are a few suggestive lines of dialogue, and the word “bitch” appears in the dialogue as well.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Princess Guide is a fantasy action/role-playing game available for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Players take on the role of a veteran warrior tasked with passing his knowledge of fighting to each of four princesses. Players explore the land and fight against a variety of fantasy creatures, monsters, and enemy soldiers using melee attacks, medieval weapons (swords, axes, etc.), and magical spells. The violence is presented in a cartoonish way, with no blood or gore. Some female characters are presented in an exaggeratedly sexualized manner, with heavy amounts of cleavage that “bounces” in animation. There are also a few suggestive lines of dialogue, as well as occasional use of the word “bitch.”

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What's it about?

THE PRINCESS GUIDE is a tale of a warrior whose greatest exploits might be behind him, but not the experience he’s gained along the way. When a mysterious evil begins to make its presence known and the Relic Islands once again fall to war, you're called upon to help teach the princesses of the four kingdoms in the ways of combat, transforming them into true princess knights capable of defending their people. Of course, warrior training isn’t exactly a correspondence course. You’ll need to choose one princess at a time to hone into a fighting machine. You follow your pupil as she and her armies explore the region and fend off any threats. You'll also guide her as she commands her forces, choosing to praise her progress or scold her into reaching your lofty expectations. The fate of the Relic Islands lies in the hands of your pupils. Do you have what it takes to teach them to be heroes?

Is it any good?

Class is in session at this fantasy school of hard knocks, but unfortunately, this is one class that, much like your four royal pupils, struggles to make the grade. On the surface, The Princess Guide has the makings of something different and fun. The art style, though a bit cheesy at times, has a cute and colorful anime-meets-retro vibe. It’s quirky enough to stand out from the usual fantasy fair, with a decent amount of silly humor to get the occasional chuckle. But once you try and look beyond the surface, it’s hard not to see a game that seems to be more focused on style than substance.

It’s once you get into the gameplay that The Princess Guide’s GPA (that’s “game” point average) takes a major hit. For starters, the combat system seems like it should be fairly simple, especially since most of your party acts of its own accord. But it’s such a convoluted system of issuing commands, activating your princess’s abilities, and making strategic use of the scold/praise system, that it’s hard to sort out what’s actually going on. Making matters worse, the in-game tutorials are all but useless, which is ironic for a game whose main plot point involves teaching. Once you get the hang of things though, the fighting eventually just devolves into an almost rhythm game style, where you’re just going through the motions of pushing the same buttons with the same timing over and over again. Thankfully, most battles are over quickly, but there’s always another just around the bend. It’s a repetitive mess with a bright and shiny coat of paint, making it less of a master class in adventuring and more like the class clown.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how women are portrayed in media. What are some of the ways that women are objectified in some games? How have other titles worked to break the “damsel in distress” stereotype, and what are some positive female heroes in gaming?

  • What are some of the positive ways to pass knowledge to a newer generation? What are some positive ways to encourage progress and learning?

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy

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