Game: Princess Farmer
Genre: Puzzle, Visual novel.
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, PlayStation & Xbox)
Developers | Publishers: Samobee Games | Whitethorn Digital
Age Rating: US Teen | EU 12+
Price: US $14.99 | UK £11.99 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: (US) March 31st, (EU) April 5th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Whitethorn Digital.
Princess Farmer is a match-three puzzle game in a visual novel style. The game has been developed by the wife and wife team of Samobee Games. I’ve been following the game’s progress for a while on Twitter, so I was delighted to get the chance to review the game. So let’s find out what it is all about.
Rabbit Pretty in Pink
In Princess Farmer, you are a rabbit dressed pretty in pink. Princess Farmer was just an ordinary rabbit until one day while pulling vegetables from the ground for the local village; she pulled up a lipstick. Later that night, in her dreams, she meets Mother Gaia, who informs her the mysterious lipstick is, in fact, a Royal Lipstick of Strength, and it has chosen her to be the next Princess Farmer.
It is certainly a different story than most games where the princess gets snatched away by the baddy. I appreciate the twist in the storyline with the royal lipstick of strength that makes such a change from it being a sword of strength.
Mother Gaia explains the mechanics of the match-three play in the game and that Princess Farmer is now the guardian of the earth. Princess Farmer has a big responsibility. You see, she is in charge of ensuring the bounties of the land are enough to provide for all. The story is cute and charming, and as you play through the game, you’ll uncover the mysterious happenings within the land.
The match-three mechanics are easy to learn, though different from the average match-three boards. First, you manipulate the match-three board from above by pulling the vegetables out. Then you add those vegetables back to the board as needed to make columns of three or more vegetables match. There are also rocks on the board that can smash together, and you can score big if you smash them into the board.
Each match-three board has different requirements for scoring, such as making diagonal lines within two minutes or scoring as high as you can in thirty moves and many more. The match-three isn’t overly difficult to complete, and the game is quite forgiving. There is no real punishment; you only get less of a reward for not having a high score.
There are many quirky and cute characters to meet, and some have requests for specific vegetables they would like. The requests are carried out by playing the match-three game and gathering the correct vegetables to fulfil the request. I love how much variety there is from one challenge to the next on the match-three boards.
The game is split into episodes with nine in all and a quick play mode. Additionally, choices do have to be made during conversation scenes, and your choice of dialogue affects your relationship with the character; if they like you, they will reward you with a gift.
Personalise your Playstyle
You can personalise your play-style to suit yourself, from Action Bunny, Puzzle Bunny or Balanced Bunny; each offers a slightly different difficulty level. Once you have collected enough heart coins from harvesting vegetables for the locals, you can visit the Hare Dye shop to collect different hare dyes. It doesn’t add anything to the gameplay, but it is a nice touch for those that like to collect things.
Visuals and Controls
Visually the game looks great with all the little details added to the characters’ sprites and background designs; it sure is bright and cheerful. The happy chiptune music is a good addition to the game, and it pulls it all together, making it the complete package.
The game controls well using the joy-con on the Switch; during the match-three puzzles, you only use the stick to change directions on the board.
Princess Farmer’s match-three play has different level goals to keep you on your toes and bring a fresh approach to the genre. The game is a charming, relaxing romp through a very colourful world, with plenty of characters to meet along the way. It wouldn’t be every gamers’ choice of genre, but for those that like a match-three game incorporating a visual novel style, it is an enjoyable casual game.
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot