This is Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King, it's an upcoming adventure game with more than a passing resemblance to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. As somebody who still thinks 16-bit Zelda is the best Zelda, you better believe I'm all over FDG Entertainment's newest game. I know you have a lot of questions, so let's crib this.
Wait ... you like 16-bit Zelda best?
You heard me. For as much as I enjoy and admire what Nintendo has been able to do with the 3D Zelda games, none of them have affected me more than A Link to the Past. I think it's the simplicity of the overhead world that sucks me in, which is why I was so excited to try out Blossom Tales, a game that embraces everything I loved about those old Zelda games.
Much like The Princess Bride, this upcoming adventure game is narrated by a grandfather telling his little ones a bedtime story. We're introduced to a young girl named Lily who is having the best day ever. She was just knighted and successfully completed her very first mission. Everything seems to be going her way. That is, until she stumbles upon the evil Wizard Crocus leaving a deadly curse on the King. This sends Lily on an adventure to find the ingredients needed to break the curse and bring order back to the kingdom.
Does the narrator play a large role?
In fact, he does. One thing I like about Blossom Tales is that the grandfather is constantly breaking in with funny quips. And it goes beyond that, with the narrator stumbling around while making up the story as he goes. In one early bit, the grandfather has to choose whether to include archers or golems, ultimately leaving the choice up to you. This is a concept rife with possibilities, and I hope we see a lot more of that in the full game.
What else does it do differently?
For as much fun as I had with this preview build, Blossom Tales certainly covers some familiar ground. Lily plays almost exactly like Link, even equipping weapons and items pulled straight out of the Zelda series. Not that this is a bad thing, since A Link to the Past is one of the greatest games of all time. But I'm hoping that Blossom Tales evolves into something more original, especially when it comes to the power-ups and weapons.
On that note, there are some subtle differences that I really liked. For one thing, I like that we have an unlimited amount of bombs, which can make certain parts of the game feel more like Bomberman than Zelda. I also really enjoy the enemy design, especially in the first dungeon. In fact, the entire game looks fantastic. I'm a little less enthusiastic about some of the more obtuse puzzles, but that's par for the course with this style of game.
Even though I still have a few concerns, Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is definitely headed in the right direction. I like the way it's narrated, the throwback visuals and the likable hero, though wish it was a bit more original. The game will be on display at PAX South this weekend, so you may be able to play an even newer build if you're in the San Antonio area. Everybody else will have to wait for the finished game, heading to computers later this year.