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Penny-Punching Princess

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 23 - 2018

Buying off your enemies.

Money solves all problems. While that may not be entirely true, being able to throw money at a problem certainly goes some way to making things better. This is a fact of modern life, and the core theme of Nippon Ichi’s Penny-Punching Princess, which is available now on the Nintendo Switch and the Vita.


While my Switch stared at me accusingly from its dock in front of the TV, I had to dust off the Vita to play Nippon Ichi’s latest princess adventure. Still, it was nice to give the near forgotten Sony handheld some love.

Penny-Punching Princess is, at first glance, your standard dungeon crawler brawler. It seems easy to understand and nothing new, with players having to work their way through various levels, defeating all of the monsters and traps along the way. There is a solid combat system in place, with a standard attack, a strong attack and a dodge roll that can all be used in combination to different effect. There are various special abilities that can be unlocked to keep things interesting, but it is not the deepest system, so most players will be able to pick things up and plow through the enemies without any trouble.

Well, they would if it were an easy game. Problem is that the difficulty spikes quite early, and before long simply punching your way through enemies just won’t cut it. The mobs become larger and the traps become trapier, and it becomes easy to get pinned down and overwhelmed. Thankfully, players are able to throw some money at problems to make them go away, or rather switch sides.

Money is the theme of the game, and it begins with the story. The Princess’ family got so far into debt that they lost everything. As a result, the Princess got a little attitude and now wants revenge on those responsible, specifically the Dragoloan family. I can understand where she is coming from, and her road to vengeance will involve working through all of those levels, beating up everyone and pinching their money.

You see, when you beat on an enemy, they drop money. Get them to “break” and they will drop even more money. Even better, find chests and they contain money without any beating. So the player will start filling their coffers, but it is what the money is used for that is interesting.


Nearly everything in Penny-Punching Princess can be bought, by which I mean bribed to change sides. Slip them a few coins and any enemy will switch sides and fight for the Princess, for a while at least. Even the traps can be bought to harm the enemies instead of the Princess. The boss battles are a different matter, but we wouldn’t want it to be too easy, would we?

The process is fairly simple. Everything has a price and bringing up the on-screen calculator will allow the player to tap in the price and then tap the enemy, or trap that they want to bribe. It is a simple system, but it is made more complicated by the small screen of the Vita, the fact that the calculator covers part of the screen, and the fact that things can generally get quite chaotic on screen. Bribes need to happen quickly and it is not always easy to do that with any precision.

Enemies and traps that have been bribed get added to the players collection, which can then be used for the likes of new armour or even upgrades. This will generally require the player having bribed a certain number of a certain type of enemy, so there may be some back tracking to ensure that they are all found. Some further variety is added to the game with a second playable character, Isabella, who can be unlocked after a couple of hours. Isabella handles a little differently to the Princess, but the combat system remains simple.

Otherwise, Penny-Punching Princess is a nice looking game on the Vita screen. The spites stand out well amidst the general chaos on screen. The levels themselves are fairly bland and don’t exactly lead to much by way of exploration. However, the games biggest problem is the repetition. It is pretty much moving from one fight to the next, occasionally going back and redoing fights to become powerful enough for a boss.


Penny-Punching Princess is another quirky game from Nippon Ichi. The core game is fairly standard, but then there is a very interesting bribery mechanic thrown in. Bribing enemies and traps is a little awkward, but can be very satisfying. However, even this unique mechanic doesn’t save the game from becoming repetitive and having some quite harsh difficulty spikes. Still, Penny-Punching Princess packs a lot of content, and players who are so inclined will find themselves bribing enemies for many hours on the Vita.




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