RWP 2024 – Slay the Princess (Phuc)

I got the chance to play Slay the Princess earlier with Jenny.

For those who are not familiar with the game, Slay the Princess is a unique narrative-driven horror game with a strong emphasis on choice and consequence. The game’s storyline revolves around a player who is instructed to slay a princess. As the narrative unfolds, the player navigates complex moral dilemmas and psychological challenges, with the story branching based on the player’s decisions. This leads to multiple endings and an evolving storyline that reflects the player’s choices. Slay the Princess is available on PC (Microsoft Windows), and MacOS. The game is developed by Black Tabby Games.

As for first impressions, I really liked the narrator’s voice. It was smooth and sounds sophisticated?? The voice acting enhanced the eerie atmosphere and his sly remarks made it fun to navigate through the narrative. I also thought the art style was also striking. Its dark and haunting aesthetic complemented the game’s tone and the black-and-white style with the handdrawn lines creates a sketched out story which really matches the choose your own adventure style of the game.

I thought the chapters/game flow was also very unique. Going from chapter 1 where you head into the cabin and talk/slay/save a seemingly normal and innocent princess to revisiting the cabins in the subsequent chapters where the setting/princess changes and you collect new voices based on the past events was an interest turn to the game. When I first played I questioned everything the narrator said because I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I grabbed the knife and headed down to the basement. I actually opted to drop the knife and talk at first, but after awhile I decided to listen to the narrator and “slay the princess”. This led to the death of both of us, as the princess was concealing a weapon, afterall. From here, I unlocked the voice of the cheated, which was fun to read about, especially in contrast to the voice of the hero. Through these choices, I ended up getting a princess that was fully made out of swords. After dying by her hands several times, I had many voices that were speaking to me. It was an oddly satisfying experience when they were silenced and it was just me and the princess. This led to the final chapter where I learned I had to meet more versions of the princess. I opted to “wait forever” which caused the game to shut off for me. I thought that was crazy and when I reloaded she said “welcome back”.

I realize that I am just rambling on about my experience, but I felt that Slay the Princess was a very absurd and odd game. It had many twists and turns, which adds to the appeal I think. In terms of other game elements, I thought that creating a stronger role for the narrator was effective. Having the narrator have their own agenda allows for the player to question their actions more, but it was also (fun) to see the narrator overturn some of my actions for their own goals. For example, in the run where I decided to save the princess, the narrator intervened and forced me to slay the princess regardless. While the choices are vast, I have also noticed that despite certain choices, I end up in the same spot regardless. For example, when I walk away from the cabin, I wind up there anyways. This creates for a more programmable game but still gives some illusion to choices. I appreciate the branches and the game is set up in a way that made me motivated to explore every route.

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  1. It’s great to hear about your experience with Slay the Princess, Phuc! Your detailed account really brings out the unique aspects of the game. The narrative-driven, choice-heavy format sounds intriguing, especially with the moral dilemmas and psychological challenges it presents. The voice acting and art style you mentioned seem to create a perfect atmosphere for this kind of story.

    Your description of the game flow, with the evolving chapters and changing scenarios, reminds me of some of the narrative techniques in games I’ve explored for my journalism projects. It’s fascinating how the game’s structure keeps players engaged and questioning their decisions. Your experience with the different outcomes based on your choices, like encountering the princess made of swords and the narrator’s interventions, adds to the game’s unpredictability and depth.

    I can see parallels between the strategic decision-making in Slay the Princess and the analysis required in games like TeamFight Tactics, which I also find intriguing. Both games seem to reward players who are willing to explore different paths and adapt their strategies.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It’s always exciting to hear about games that push the boundaries of storytelling and player interaction. If you have any other game recommendations with a strong narrative element, I’d love to hear them!

  2. Hi Phuc!
    I played the game with you so I was intrigued by what you thought about the game! I agree with you about the voices – at first they were kinda funny and cool to read and hear about but after a while I also wanted them to shut up (which I’m glad they did). It’s funny that you call Slay the Princess an absurd game (and I agree), but I also think it was not too absurd to be like “What the heck is going on”, which makes it a great game to play. Great post!

  3. You’re so right about the Narrator’s voice (both audio-wise and writing-wise) making it more fun to navigate through the game! I adore this sort of snarky storybook-esque writing style and often found myself tempted to choose options just to see what everyone would say in response, regardless of whether I thought it was the “right” choice for the route I wanted. your comment about ending up in the same spot regardless of choices is also interesting– I’m interested in how this game was able to take an extremely constrained setting and cast (which, in theory, should make a game easier to program) and make it feel far more like a feature than a limitation.

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