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Tragedy of Prince Rupert Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Between the heart-pounding action and the emphasis on exploration, Tragedy of Prince Rupert is one of the year's very best shoot-em-ups. I love the way it looks, the quick gameplay, the impactful sound effects and how the story unfolds based on your discoveries. Whether you're looking to soar into space or go 20,000 leagues under the sea, this is one shooter you definitely shouldn't miss. Rating: 85%
Tragedy of Prince Rupert
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Tragedy of Prince Rupert Tragedy of Prince Rupert Tragedy of Prince Rupert Tragedy of Prince Rupert
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Prince Rupert has a problem. He heard that the Turkish Sultan was going to marry off his beautiful daughter to a man with a flying machine, but the moment Rupert showed up in his unusual paper balloon, the Sultan turned his navy on the prince. And just when it looked like things couldn't possibly get any worse, more suitors joined the fight in hopes of winning the bride's hand in marriage. That's the tragedy of Prince Rupert, a hopeless romantic who now finds himself the star in one of this year's best shoot-em-ups.

So try and get this straight: Tragedy of Prince Rupert is an arcade-style action game straight out of the 1980s that is heavily inspired by the 1958 Karel Zeman film The Fabulous World of Jules Verne, which in turn was largely based on the 1896 book Facing the Flag. You take control of Rupert's balloon and dodge bullets while shooting down other suitors. The problem is that you only have one life and not much health, so it quickly becomes all about staying alive for as long as possible.


The story of Prince Rupert is not only tragic, but also full of surprises. At first it looks like just another dual-stick shoot-em-up where getting a high score is the only thing that matters. But as you explore the open world, you discover that there are missions to complete and treasure to find. We're given a book that outlines the different quests found around the Sultan's castle, but the fun comes in figuring out how to complete these missions.

What makes Rupert's balloon so cool is that it will not only soar high above the earth, but can also dive deep into the water to look for treasure. This is where the game becomes more about exploration and problem solving than shooting down bad guys. Every quest you complete will open up a new page of the story, giving you a slightly better idea of what the prince is going through.

As a shooter, Tragedy of Prince Rupert is fairly simple. You fly around with one analog stick and shoot with the other. To add a little depth, you'll be able to pick up explosive barrels from the destroyed ships, giving our lovesick hero an extra attack. You can also get gobbled up by a large fish in order to explore the ocean's depths. There's a little more going on than you might initially expect. That said, I do wish there were actual power-ups and different weapons to choose between.

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I worried early on if the somewhat small open world was going to be enough to hold my attention, but it turns out that there really is a lot to explore. This is a world filled with surprises, and the different missions do a good job of getting you to explore areas you might have otherwise missed. On the other hand, I do wish there was more going on above the water. It would have been nice to fly over a city or something more exciting than a giant rock.

One thing I can't complain about is the visual presentation. From the black and white graphics to the underwater landscapes to the full-motion prince, every inch of this game is dripping with style. It also has some of the best shoot-em-up sound effects I've ever heard. My only complaint about the presentation is that there isn't enough music.

Between the heart-pounding action and the emphasis on exploration, Tragedy of Prince Rupert is one of the year's very best shoot-em-ups. I love the way it looks, the quick gameplay, the impactful sound effects and how the story unfolds based on your discoveries. Whether you're looking to soar into space or go 20,000 leagues under the sea, this is one shooter you definitely shouldn't miss.
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