Nekomura Games’ latest title in the dating sim genre, Princess Battles, is looking to shake up the tried and true otome formula. It’s doing this by combining elements of a traditional dating sim/visual novel with those of a collectible card game. That sounds a little ridiculous, right? Well, according to Nekomura it’s a more natural fit than we might immediately suspect. By adjoining these two types of games, Princess Battles looks to emphasize mainstream strategy and a deep narrative.
Princess Battles stars heroine Princess Lillian as she sets out to prove her worth for the throne by mastering a card game called Prima. In the midst of conquering Prima, Lillian must also court an appropriate love interest. Unfortunately for the young princess, her rival, Olivia, is something of a local hero whom the King and Queen are considering to replace Lillian as their successor. In order to prevent this, our fair maiden must best her brash opponent at the renown Prima tournament.
The card game aspect of Princess Battles is a large focus of the title, with gameplay that is said to be easy enough for anyone to figure out, combining challenge and fun for an accessible strategy experience. Players are tasked with keeping track of three stats primarily: intelligence, charm, and refinement. By using these, folks have to reach max stats before their foe does in order to come out on top. Stats are essentially affected by cards, which require money or energy to employ, and are subsequently categorized into items, lessons, work, attacks and defenses. Princess Battles also includes a free play mode as well in which the player can freely select opponents, cards and outfits to practice their dueling skills.
But Princess Battles isn’t all about that sweet, sweet card action; it’s equally about the dating sim aspect. The ending and suitor with whom Lillian ends up ultimately depends on which answers to questions in the dialogue are chosen, what locations the player decides to visit at certain times and also her stats.
By taking this approach of strategy and dating sim, Princess Battles is looking to mix up the genre a bit. Will the combo pay off? That’s what we’re most interested in knowing. Be sure to check out the video below for a peek yourself.
Princess Battles is available now for PC for the price tag of $20; a demo can be checked out for any interested parties.