Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch, PC)

This game starts out with a grandfather telling his two grandkids a story.  So they kind of act as narrators in the game.  You play as Lily, a new knight recruit.  When the king’s evil wizard brother casts a sleeping spell on the king, it’s up to Lily to search for ingredients to a potion to reverse the sleeping spell, and then find and defeat the evil wizard.  Blossom Tales looks and plays nearly exactly like a 2-D Zelda title, and it’s available to download on Nintendo Switch and PC (Switch version reviewed here).

So yeah, this game plays A LOT like a 2-D Zelda game, especially ones like Link to the Past.  You can even hold down the sword button to do a spin attack, and use items like arrows, bombs, and boomerangs.  Although you don’t use up items like those in this game, it just depletes a magic meter kind of how things worked in A Link Between Worlds.  They even make reference to Zelda in the game, as well as other classic titles.  For instance, the first boss is a giant moust who throws bombs at you, and you must toss them back.  HMMMMM!  The game is a bit more straightforward and linear, even the world map and dungeons are like that.  But goals and objectives are always clear as they highlight where you need to go with a yellow square, even in dungeons.  But there are still plenty of unexpected secrets to find if you go off the beaten path to complete a sidequest or explore a cave.  And your rewards are more than just typical heart pieces, as you may come across cool magic spells that let you create earthquakes or summon bees!

The game has a few problems, but they are very minor.  The game mixes 8-bit and 16-bit graphics, and it can be a bit jarring sometimes.  Boss fights are a bit imbalanced in difficulty.  Some of the beginning bosses are like, Ys hard, but then later you fight ones that are embarrassingly easy.  Play control isn’t bad, but it does feel slightly off in places (like picking up bombs), but I think that has more to do with how similar it is to a Zelda title, so players would more than naturally compare the two that way.  And with only four main dungeons, the game is a bit short.  I beat it in about five or six hours.  But I enjoyed every bit of that time, so if you want a mini-sized 2-D Zelda adventure, you can’t go wrong with Blossom Tales!

Kid Factor:

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You can swing swords and other weapons and magic at enemies, but they just explode into pixels when defeated.  What’s funny is that many games have ESRB descriptors of blood, and I don’t notice any blood in them, but there are some games that I do notice blood but didn’t get an ESRB descriptor as such.  This is one of those games.  Later on in the game you fight orcs who have swords with blood on them.  But the graphics are so pixelly it isn’t that bad at all, I just thought it was interesting.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may need help with the more challenging sections.

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