Long Live the Queen – Review (PC)

Long Live the Queen title screen

When I was younger, many of the stories I was told were about princesses. According to those stories, princesses needed rescuing, attended lavish balls wearing elegant dresses, and had to get the guy in order to live happily ever after. None of the stories I was told as a child dealt with the abilities required to rule a kingdom, but Long Live the Queen does. Long Live the Queen is about a princess who must learn how to survive numerous threats and live to be crowned queen.

Elodie is the crown princess of Nova, a land whose influence and power have waned over the years. After her mother’s death, Elodie is taken out of school and brought home to the castle. Her father, Joslyn, is king, but in Nova the queen is the one in charge, so the crown is passed from mother to daughter. Elodie has 40 weeks to her 15th birthday, the day of her coronation. During this time, she has to learn skills that will allow her to rule wisely and will help her survive to her coronation. Many want Elodie to fail, and she is vulnerable during this time before her coronation. Nova has enemies outside and inside its borders, and Elodie never knows when a simple gift could be from an assassin.

Long Live the Queen is a life simulation game from Hanako Games. You are in charge of Elodie’s decisions. She has two classes a week, one in the morning and one in the afternoon; she can participate in one activity on the weekends. At the beginning of the game, Elodie is depressed because she mourns her mother. Her moods impact how fast she can learn certain skills. For example, being depressed gives her a bonus to Expression skills but a penalty to Royal Demeanor skills. Her mood changes depending on what activities you select for her to do on the weekends, and events can impact her mood as well, so you want to keep track of her emotions. If you select a skill and her mood penalizes the progress, then you would have wasted a week.

Mood screen in Long Live the Queen

You shouldn’t select skills for Elodie to learn randomly. Each decision you make influences the story. If you have her learn skills in certain areas, then she might not survive a trip to a friend’s birthday party, attending a tournament, or opening a gift. If Elodie is not skilled in Court Manners, she might inadvertently accept a man’s proposal of marriage. Every choice opens different options and closes others, so a lot of strategy is needed to navigate the intrigue. I ended up taking notes. When Elodie succeeds or fails, bubbles appear to let you know what skills were necessary for an event. The feedback is essential. I would write down what skills were connected to what events so I could improve the next time I played.

I started over many times. Why? Because there are many ways Elodie can die. Until the major events are revealed, a lot of trial and error is required. I got to week 36, confident that I was going to win, but my choices weren’t good enough, and Elodie died again. I eagerly started another game. Not only did I want to figure out how to win, I liked Elodie. She thought she had years before she would have to be queen; she is reluctant, but she understands she has a duty to fulfill. Elodie is in transition from child to adult; she still wants to play with her toys and sneak out of the castle, but she knows spending time at court is a necessary part of her royal education. Willful, playful, sad, angry—Elodie is a fully realized individual, a person I wanted to see succeed and reach her coronation day.

Elodie's Coronet outfit

Long Live the Queen surprised me by how much planning and strategy is essential to get Elodie to her coronation day. Equal parts frustrating and satisfying, the game forces you to seriously consider and contemplate each decision. Save often and take plenty of notes, so Elodie can reach her 15th birthday and hear the Novan people cheer, “Long live the Queen!”

Note: Hanako Games provided a review copy

About Michelle Ealey

Michelle Ealey is a freelance writer and part-time science teacher. She enjoys science fiction and fantasy books, movies, and television, and she’s been playing all sorts of games since she was a kid. Her work has appeared on various places on the internet, including her own site (http://michelleealey.me/). You can follow her on Twitter (@michelleealey) at your own risk.
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10 Responses to Long Live the Queen – Review (PC)

  1. Jay says:

    Thanks for the review, the game looks pretty fun. Do you (or anyone) have any comments on the presentation of the girls in the game? The title screen seems a touch fan-servicey.

    • Dejadrew says:

      My guess is that it’s the influence of the Magical Girl aesthetic? I swear I’ve seen Sailor Moon in pretty much that exact pose, more than once, even.

      Doesn’t necessarily make it non-iffy, though. I’d also be curious as to what someone who’s played the game would have to say about how the heroine is presented visually.

    • Ashera says:

      The NPCs are portrayed reasonably. You can unlock different outfits for Elodie that give her stat bonuses. The one in the title screen is called “Magical Girl” and is probably the most fan-service-y, most of the others are pretty good. In-game, all the outfits are paperdolled on a common base which you can see in the third screenshot. It’s a normal and non-exploitative pose, with her expression varying by mood. This is what Magical Girl looks like in-game (in a “Willful” mood): http://i.imgur.com/BJQUPIm.jpg.

    • Michelle Ealey says:

      The image for the title screen isn’t the best because it made me think the game was going to be lighter than it is. Like Ashera said, it is fan sevice-y, but the outfits are much better in the game.

    • marco says:

      I was going to somewhat mention what Dejadrew said. Even though I initially felt that it was fanservice-y, it did immediately after remind me of Sailor Moon (the manga), and I was more comfortable with it. But that’s also because of how open Naoko Takeuchi is about sexuality and empowering female characters (and that they can also enjoy sexuality how they like or don’t like without being stigmatized for it). I felt like it was an intentional throwback to that, but I can’t really say (and I haven’t played the game).

  2. Rakaziel says:

    Sounds interesting. How far can you play differnt builds of her, though – are her skillsets always the same at the date of the conoration or can you do some min-maxing to for example create a specialized diplomat or a lady of war?

    • There are many different viable builds and a lot of ending variations, but there are also many ideas that will crash and burn. Not every concept can survive.

    • Michelle Ealey says:

      Some skills only need to be leveled up a little to survive some events, others need to be at max; you can unlock outfits that will boost your stats in a skill set, which can help if you run out of time to max out the set. It’s a lot to keep track of, but I liked the challenge; it was like playing FTL again in a way. Once you figure it out and get her crowned the first time, it’s a great feeling.

  3. Alex says:

    This game sounds difficult but in an entertaining sort of way. I definitely need to check it out!

  4. Negative Kat says:

    This looks interesting! I have a soft spot for games that benefit from note-taking…

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