The Nardio Review
IS Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King WORTH YOUR TIME?
WHAT SHOULD I PLAY IT ON?
Steam PC only.
Steam Store Page Description:
About the game:
Explore a vast open game world in classic action-adventure fashion as Lily, Knight of the Rose! Slash your way through monster-infested dungeons to save the Kingdom of Blossom from eternal darkness. Collect unique weapons, spells, and more during your journey to take down powerful bosses and solve clever puzzles.Be part of a vivid, dynamic story passed down from grandfather to grandchildren by influencing the course of events yourself!
- 15+ hours of gameplay
- Huge, diverse game world with many different locations
- 5 challenging dungeons
- Various items impacting gameplay and fighting style
- Fun, charming storytelling
WHY IT WORKS AND HOW IT PLAYS:
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is a love letter to classic gaming that not only hits those nostalgia buttons, but manages to be a damn good game on its own.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is a retro inspired and designed game that brings you those classic Zelda feelings and gameplay while managing to be a damn good game. The gameplay trailer for Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King was awesome and the gameplay looked really interesting. Thankfully, Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King lived up to its own trailer hype and was the first game all year that I truly savored.
The starting experience.
It didn’t start off on the right foot. Horrible lag plagued the beginning experience. I uninstalled and reinstalled and restarted my system a couple of times. It stuttered so horribly and the screen shake bothered my eyes enough I almost gave up. In the end, I wanted to give this game a try so badly I forced myself to deal with the problems. As the game progressed the screen shake and lag disappeared.
The only reason I kept playing was thanks to the interesting intro experience. Ultimately, Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King turned into a damn fun experience. Cutting the grass to earn gold and getting my first few upgrades all felt great. The enemies were annoying, but not too cheap and the world was beautiful. The more I played the more I fell in love with the experience. I think my first game session with Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King was about six hours straight.
Now I didn’t binge this game. I had so much fun during my first playthrough that I wanted to take the game slow. A few hours here, a few hours there. Little by little I made headway into the world and it’s cute little story.
Similar to The Princess Bride movie a grandfather tells the story of Blossom Tales to his grandkids. This really didn’t work for me. As soon as a text box popped up from grandpa or the kids it would rip me out of the experience. I think the story, world and hero journey in Blossom Tales hero was more than enough to stand on its own. In fact, the developer could have paid a bit more attention to fleshing it out than forcing in some banter between grandpa and the kids.
There was one part of the game where you could choose who to fight, but I never felt like I wanted to see the other fight badly enough to play through the whole game again. Instead, I found myself wondering if I would have a chance to fight that enemy I missed again or ultimately lose this experience. Overall the story of Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King was nice, but I think it could have been a bit stronger. That said, I think this is a game aimed at younger audiences and people like me who just want a light-hearted game, but challenging game to relax to. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King succeeded there. I had a smile on my face throughout the adventure. Hopefully if the developers make a sequel they will tell a more traditional story and build a lasting world.
I found myself falling more and more in love with the world.
Little by little the enemies got harder. More were added in as the game went on and the pacing was perfect. Although they looked simple, I still took the time to stop and admire each one: cute pirates, cute ogres, cute bats. It’s a light-hearted world meant to entertain. Each new enemy brought about new challenges and if you were smart you adjusted your play style accordingly. Some did feel cheap. The bats especially had an annoying tendency to randomly dodge attacks that should have hit them. That said, I never felt under-powered in the game. Quite the opposite, I felt like the conquering hero. I found new weapons, quests to power them up and plenty of time to experiment with different play styles. The weapons all felt fun and, for the post, part useful.
Blossom Tales was not a hard game per se. I never died during my entire 18-hour play through. I got a little close here and there, but I was good about paying attention to my health bar and stocking up on supplies. Now I’m not mad that I didn’t die. I’m actually proud of myself for it. While most games nowadays foolishly tout their overly punishing game design, Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King encourages players to take their time and think things through. Early on you will meet an NPC who tells you how uncool it is to play smart and fight from a distance, and instead rush in sword first and eat enemy attacks. I thought this was a clever way to tell players to play smart and don’t be stupid. I can see younger and impatient gamers dying often here, but I was never really fearful of dying.
That said there were some parts of the game later on, especially in the final castle, that just felt cheap. The areas with the crumbling platforms and fireballs that knock you back were a huge forced cheap time sink that felt needlessly punishing.
Thankfully, this area was only a small part of the game, but it felt like filler meant to slow me down. Unfortunately, the rest of the final area including the final boss felt simple in comparison. With that said, I have to praise the final area. Besides the platform areas, it really did feel like a culmination of all the bad I had to face in the game and it had an epic feel to it all because of it.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King had plenty of challenging puzzles that helped break up the action and provided a sense of accomplishment. Most were perfectly on the line of challenging, but not infuriating. Others, unfortunately, were totally random and I only passed them because I kept smacking things.
There were about three instances of straight up wonky broken-seeming puzzles. Thankfully those puzzles were few and far between. The majority of them are fun and made me feel good every time I beat them.
Area’s felt distinct and the dungeons were fun and interesting. I read some reviews of people complaining about the lack of dungeons in the game and I have to wholeheartedly disagree. There is enough to do in the game and you are left with a satisfied feeling of accomplishment when finishing the game.
I also found myself addicted to backtracking to look for hidden areas and more power ups. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King pretty much demands this of you, but it never felt too tedious.
Now I said “too tedious” because Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King has two huge problems that seem to come from it’s retro inspiration.
The first problem is the game world map. It’s quite possibly the worst I have ever had the extreme displeasure of using. This made backtracking a huge pain. It took me several play sessions to begin to make sense of the horrible map design. It’s weird because Blossom Tales is oozing with detail and love. Having such a lazy pixelated map is a huge disservice. It wasn’t until my final few hours that I started having a faint idea of where the shop was in the starting kingdom. If there is a sequel to this game I really hope the developers implement a better map system.
The second huge problem for Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is the quest/story log. It’s basically useless. Now, this is horribly annoying when trying to remember what you needed for a quest or who to deliver something to after taking even a short break from the game. I found myself again wondering if the spartan log system was an ode to classic design or just an oversight of game development. Either way, it was a huge annoyance that made finishing quests harder than need be.
I regret that I finished Blossom Tales without even finishing all of the quests because I sort of gave up after a while. I know someone needed a bunch of ingredients, but there are a lot of NPC’s in the game and none of them really stand out. It’s a shame because I wanted to 100% this.
Is it worth it?
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King was a magnificent experience that, despite its problems, still had me hooked. I loved spending hours looking for hidden secrets or areas, unlocking new areas and finding goodies. The additional weapons and power-ups were a great touch as they allowed me to adjust my play style accordingly. I loved that the game was fair enough I was able to conquer it without dying yet still managed to offer a challenge. Sure, some things here and there felt cheap and it wasn’t 100% perfect, but it was perfect enough that I can consider it a modern day classic.
It is totally worth its asking price. In fact, I think $14.99 is a steal for this!
Growing up, I never played Zelda (the game this is based on) because I was too poor. Because of this, I feel like I appreciate IBlossom Tales: The Sleeping King that much more. I had so much fun with it that I can honestly see myself gifting this to friends and family I care about. This was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to share it with people.
I Wholeheartedly recommend this.
I wish there was an arena area that unlocked after I beat the game to challenge myself. It would be nice to have a place where I could flex my skills and take advantage of my crazy powers. I found myself a bit sad when the game ended because I really wanted more to do in the world. It was just that fun.
- At least 15 hours of gameplay
- Great for kids and old school gamers alike.
- Publisher: FDG Entertainment GmbH & Co. KG
- Based in Munich, Germany
- Developer: Castle Pixel
- Based in Pittsburgh, United States of America
NARDIO RECEIVED A FREE STEAM KEY FOR THIS REVIEW.