If you’ve ever played one of the earlier Zelda games by Nintendo then this nostalgic and yet modern top-down adventure game Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King by producers FDG Entertainment and developer Castle Pixel will definitely capture your attention. In Blossom Tales you play as Lily, a newly appointed knight intent on saving her kingdom after the grand wizard betrays the king and casts a spell putting him into a deep sleep. However as Lily, your story is not completely your own. Blossom Tales incorporates a narrator into the game who we only know as “Grandpa”. In the beginning of the game Lily’s Grandpa sets the scene and story through his narration of a bedtime story to his granddaughter who, no surprise is also named Lily. After this small intro, you set out on your adventure to confront numerous dangers and puzzles that cross your path as you search for a way to cure the king!
In terms of the playability of Blossom Tales, I found it to be very engaging especially when it came to exploring new zones and discovering the hidden areas, vendors, and caches of loot. The mechanical skill aspect of Blossom Tales also offers for a decently challenging game—this certainly being true when progressing later into the game where a player must combine timing, aim and puzzle solving skills in order to progress past a certain area. Speaking of puzzle solving, the game offers what was in my opinion challenging puzzles which take a bit of searching and reasoning to solve. In addition the narrator will at times chime into the story and provide a little bit of information as to what ”happened” in this story. This means that along the way Grandpa may “bring to your attention” that it was at this point that Lily encountered dragons—subsequently dragons will spawn. These interactive narrator spawned encounters offer a bit of a twist to the playstyle of an atypical dungeon style action-RPG. While others may dislike the effect this has on game immersion, I found that it was quite comical and really added to the evolution of the storyline, which made my gameplay more enjoyable and kept me alert as I never knew when the next encounter would be.
The many different zones themselves are also very enjoyable to explore. Each zone offers its own unique challenges to overcome along with new NPCs and other monsters to fight against. Some of the zones are enchanted forests with druids, others stony dungeons with rock monsters, swirling maces on chains and falling platforms. The variations in NPC abilities and zone encounters makes the game much more dynamic than having similar puzzles and NPCs just on slightly harder difficulties. By changing things up throughout different zones, it not only keeps the gameplay refreshing but also makes for much more enjoyable gameplay and utilization of different items Lily has. For example throwing bombs might work for some puzzles and monsters, but later on without any real instruction, the player must learn to utilize a bow and arrow to solve certain puzzles that the bomb cannot. In addition there may be clues hidden throughout the dungeons hinting on how to complete puzzles. But even finding out how to uncover these clues isn’t very obvious. At times some puzzles can be frustrating as there isn’t much guidance on the developer’s behalf. However I found that half the fun was using the process of elimination and testing different hypothesizes for solving puzzles was actually a very rewarding feeling!
The graphics in Blossom Tales are as to be expected, very pixelated. If I could say anything negative about this game, it would have to be the graphics. However, in this regard it is important to remember that the graphics are very nostalgic of older 2D-action RPGs from “back in the day.” In addition, while some people may be critical of the game and deem it under par or unappealing because of this, I would argue that this genre offers its own unique challenges due to the limitations of the engine it runs on. While it may not have the crisp realism associated with many newer genres today focused on aesthetic appeal—it does in my opinion more than compensate in terms of depth of gameplay, difficulty and the overall enjoyment I had while exploring and playing this game. With that being said, I would one-hundred percent recommend to anyone that has played a similar game in the past, as well as someone who hasn’t to give Blossom Tales a try.
Either way, if you’re a newbie to 2D-action puzzle games or a seasoned player, Blossom Tales is a blast from the past that is sure to entertain and puzzle you for hours! All things considered I happily give Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King a solid 9 out of 10 ratings.
Here is the official Blossom Tales Steam Announce Video:
Blossom Tales will launch for PC on Steam Q1 2017.