For a knight, the greatest accomplishment is to rescue a Princess from whatever cursed prison she's been placed in, and the bonus is she's so happy about her escape that she supplies a happily ever after. In Mad Princess, a defense strategy game originally created for the "You Are the Villain," themed Ludum Dare 25, creator Jussi Simpanen has given the Princess a neurotic twist. Instead of looking for her gallant knight she's killing them off little by little with the help of caltrops, bombs, crossbows, and swinging spiked balls. You can access these weapons by either clicking them or by using the - keys to select from your given arsenal then placing them on the floor. The traps will turn green if they are able to be placed and will remain red if they can't be put down. Blood is the currency that you will need to collect in order to purchase your death traps and with diligent placement and timing it is up to you to prevent the knights from reaching the Princess.
Whether you find it awesome or maniacal that the princess is a sociopath it's easy to appreciate the twist on the overused damsel in distress plot. It's not hard to see how the idea would translate perfectly as a defense game and the traps given are amusing to say the least. Having a finite amount of traps and revealing them quickly without any chance of upgrade keeps the game tiptoeing a fine line between difficult and repetitive but fortunately it handles the balancing act well. Strangely, even in the moments of repetition the game doesn't lose its allure to help the fearsome princess maintain her freedom from a fairy tale ending that isn't of her choosing.
Graphics: very nice
Sound: pretty good
Actual fun: well... none. And I'm not even sure why this is, since it has a lot going for it. I quit after four or five levels because it completely fails to capture/hold the attention.
Agree with the above. There is something about not being able to control any trap and needed pixel perfect precision to make it work that is frustrating. I know they are short levels, but it's a pain to have to start over and over because the crossbow didn't hit the right enemy this time or the bomb didn't blow up at right time.
Too much luck, not enough strategy.
Wanted to like this, but the money supply is so tight and enemies so numerous that each level seems to have only one configuration that will work. Gameplay is a frustrating trial-and-error to get to that one configuration.
Also annoying is that you have zero time between the beginning of a level and the first wave. Maybe that'd be okay after all the mechanics are introduced, but how is anyone supposed to read all the tutorial text on the screen when they're in the middle of trying not to die??
Trick for beating most levels:
Put a wall or a crossbow at the top edge of a slope. Most enemies will attack it, then slide down to the bottom. Drop bombs down at the bottom to hurt several at once. The main difficulty will be the sneaky guys who can walk past crossbows. Get them with extra bombs or with another crossbow.