Battle Princess Madelyn Review
PCAlso available on Nintendo Switch, PC, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One
You may well have heard of Battle Princess Madelyn, you see while being an indie game isn’t unusual nowadays, having a seven-year-old at the helm definitely is. This is a game kickstarted back in 2017 and has started Madelyn Obritsch - the aforementioned seven-year-old – in a career where it seems she could be pretty successful if she wants to be.
Battle Princess Madelyn is an action platformer reminiscent of the classic Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. The game has you leaping around, collecting new weapons, and taking down the various evil nasties that are threatening your kingdom. While the game is a little more forgiving than Ghouls ‘n Ghosts it is only by a little bit. While you still have armour disappear as you get hit, if you die you get resurrected as long as you have mana, it makes the game a little easier to deal with.
The story itself starts with a modern-day Madelyn in bed sick. There she sits on her tablet playing games when her Grampy comes in. He wants to tell her a story, she isn’t all that interested until she finds out it’s about a princess who also happens to be called Madelyn. This feels like it was inspired by the opening of the classic film The Princess Bride and it is one-hundred percent guaranteed to charm you if you’ve seen the film.
These cut-scenes are told with beautiful cartoon visuals that help to add to the charm that the game oozes throughout. The visuals of the game itself are just as good, a wonderful retro feel is present constantly and is only aided by the audio design. You can choose to have the full orchestral soundtrack - which is absolutely sublime – or you can switch to the arcade version to get a retro feel the music too. There are lots of little touches clearly here to delight older gaming fans.
When it comes to actually fighting off the hordes of evil things are pretty simple to begin with, simply chuck an infinite supply of spears at everything until it explodes into a pile of loot. The enemies to begin with a fairly easy to deal with, just don’t expect that to last as the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly. What starts with enemies shambling along towards you quickly becomes archers with a preternatural accuracy and a penchant for predicting where you’re going to be. The game never feels completely unfair, but it definitely comes close.
The boss fights are the highlights when it comes to combat. With weak points aplenty and attack patterns to learn it really is just like the ancient times, times long before digital games. The animations of the bosses are by far the most entertaining too, with enemies visually freaking out during certain attacks and adding a smile to your face just before hitting your hard enough to wipe it straight off. The satisfaction of beating these behemoths is the reward for the intense battles and makes it feel worthwhile.
Overall Battle Princess Madelyn is an incredibly enjoyable game, it isn’t breaking much new ground, but it does everything with a lot more charm and optimism than you might find elsewhere. The controls are clean, the sound and the look of the game are great, and the characters are incredibly likeable. This is a great game to dip into if you need an action-platformer in your life. It’ll be fun to see if Madelyn goes on to make any more games with her Dad, but this is a damn fine first go at it.