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Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 26 - 2017

A retro action adventure game with more than its fair share of charm.

 
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is the latest game from developers Castle Pixel for PC. Take on the role of Lily, Knight of the Rose, and save the Kingdom of Blossom from evil in a retro, classic styled adventure filled with exploration, puzzles and combat, with a healthy nod to the Zelda games of old.

 
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The influence of those classic Zelda games is more than obvious in Blossom Tales, and the developers are not ashamed to show it off. In fact, very early in the game, reference is made to Link in a tongue-in-cheek manner. There is no denying that Blossom Tales is a Zelda clone, packing in much of the gameplay and mechanics that fans of the series would recognise and feel at home with. But the care with which Blossom Tales has been made, and the self awareness that it is a clone, ensure that there are no bad feelings here and raises the game up as one of the better clones out there.

 
The story in Blossom Tales is told as a grandfather telling a tale to his grandchildren while sitting by a log fire. It’s a nice set up, and makes the game easy to relate to for the younger players out there. It also allows for a couple of choices to be made in the game by the grandchildren themselves.

 
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Anyway, the tale told revolves around the magical Kingdom of Blossom. Players take on the role of a young girl called Lily, who wants to become a Knight. However, as so often happens in fantasy Kingdoms, evil has taken over by putting the King into a deep sleep and it falls upon Lily’s shoulders to gather the ingredients for a cure and vanquish this evil once and for all. It’s a fairly simple story, and one that we have seen plenty of times before, but it has a certain amount of whimsy and gives players exactly the excuse they need to start exploring.

 
The ingredients are hidden in dungeons that can be found around the decently sized game world. Each of the dungeons, of which there are five, have their own flavour and challenges. The dungeons are filled with puzzles to overcome and enemies to defeat, and can be quite lengthy. However, none of the puzzles in the game are especially taxing, so won’t hold the player up too long. In fact, I would say that the game leans more towards the easy side, at least until near the end, perhaps revealing that the game is aimed more at the younger players, something which has already been hinted at. Either way, the difficulty of the game doesn’t mean it is any less fun to play.

 
Outside of following the main story and moving from one dungeon to the next, there are plenty of distractions for the player, and some nice rewards. There are stores to visit and stock up on healing items and the like, and there are ample side quests to take on, although the majority of these are fetch quests. However, the rewards are often quite worth it. Then there are the secrets hidden throughout the Kingdom, tempting the player to keep on exploring.

 
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The combat is straight forward and comfortable. The player has a sword that can be swung in various ways for a simple attack. As they progress, further weapons are added to the roster, such as a bow and even magic spells. The classic heart container is used to keep track of Lily’s health, and can be increased as the player works through the game. The combat moves slightly quicker than perhaps what would be expected in a game like this, but it keeps the action exciting. Boss fights offer something of a challenge, in that they have to be approached in a certain way, and working out how to defeat the boss is probably more difficult than actually doing it.

 
The pixel art style is just lovely in Blossom Tales. The bright colours and simple animations cater both towards the younger players and to those who have fond memories of a time when this would be cutting edge. That nostalgic appeal, of both the visuals and the gameplay, really is the highlight of the game. Even the soundtrack, although not as varied as it could be, raises warm feelings of nostalgia.

 
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Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is not a massively long game, clocking in at 10+ hours for most players. But it is a game that has been lovingly created and ticks many nostalgic boxes. While it is fairly easy, for the most part, the moment to moment gameplay with all of its exploring, fighting and puzzle-solving, make it thoroughly entertaining. For younger players looking for some action adventure, or older gamers reminiscing about Zelda games of old, Blossom Tales comes highly recommended.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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