Very much in the spirit of trying to branch out, I have tried a visual novel. Unknowingly (at first), the visual novel is also a dating sim. Friends, I’m going to cut straight to the point. Slay the Princess was NOT for me. I’m fully aware that this game has been getting rave reviews across the board elsewhere, and I really did try. But to no avail. Let’s just get right into it.
What is Slay the Princess?
Slay the Princess is a choice-driven horror visual novel from Black Tabby Games. It’s pretty simple really. You’re following a path through a woods, and at the end of the path is a cabin. The cabin has a basement, and inside it is a Princess. The titular princess that you’re on your way to kill. Of course, you can choose to attempt to free her, or even romance her.
There are also a few different endings, and a lot of time looping. The whole game is fully voice acted, however I personally didn’t like the voices. That is absolutely nothing against any of the voice actors, they all do a great job. The voices just didn’t click for me. Audio options do allow you to totally turn off volume for voices, so that’s what I did for my playthroughs. The music is pretty chill, and matches the vibe of the game overall.
Art wise, Abby Howard did a truly fantastic job. The whole game has been hand drawn traditionally using paper and pencil. That is the one thing I genuinely enjoyed about the game. We all know I’m a sucker for a good art style, and I have 100% fallen in love with Abby Howard’s.
Slay the Story
I do understand why Slay the Princess has gone over so well for fans of this kind of game. There is a full narrative there, and a winding, expanding experience. However, it just did not click with me. The dialogue didn’t capture me, and the options just didn’t feel right. There were a couple of lines over the course of my runs that made me laugh, (including a “viva la revolución”) but overall it felt a bit stale.
Like I said above, the one thing that did win for me was the art style. It is truly great. The environments are nice to look at, and the different forms of the princess are well executed. I highly recommend checking out more of Abby Howard’s art, you will not regret it! That was just where the good ended for me.
The romance was fun to try at first, but it lost its charm pretty fast. Again, that came back to the dialogue. It just didn’t flow the way I would have liked.
I do need to stress, this is all very much personal preference. I do not click with visual novels. Genuinely, I really wanted to like this game. I love the art style, and that frequently adds to my enjoyment of a game. This time around, it just wasn’t enough.
Undeniably though, I firmly believe people who enjoy the visual novel genre would enjoy this. It just wasn’t for me.
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