There have been countless games inspired by Link's adventures over the years. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King may not be the most original take on Nintendo's classic but is it a worthwhile overhead adventure?
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King's story is a rather interesting one. Basically, a grandfather narrates the entire tale to his grandchildren Lily and Chrys. As you play through the campaign, you'll read both the children and the grandfather's reactions to various events which is a very clever and downright cute way to tell a story in a video game. The characters are adorable and there is plenty of humour that you're sure to at least crack a smile at. You play as the granddaughter in the form of Lily, Knight of the Rose who's on a mission to save the Kingdom of Blossom. The journey is filled with pixel-perfect visuals, a variety of detailed and animated environments, and a SNES-style soundtrack that suits the game world beautifully. Overall, Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King does a great job of offering a retro-inspired tale that manages to feel familiar yet fresh.
The core gameplay involves traversing an overworld map complete with the odd village and dungeon. You'll discover secrets along the way such as heart pieces, various collectibles, and cold hard cash. It should feel right at home for anyone who has ever played a classic Zelda game, especially the original Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past. As you progress, you'll gather quite an arsenal of items and weapons including bombs, a boomerang, a shield, and a bow and arrow. Although this has all been done to death already, the energy meter is a nifty new addition. Basically, instead of using up ammo when you use an item, it takes some energy away which automatically yet gradually replenishes afterwards. Anyway, equipping your favourite gear then mastering a dungeon feels awesome.
Speaking of dungeons, they're impressively large and intricate with tons of puzzles and challenges contained within each one. You'll find yourself solving tricky block-sliding puzzles, carefully treading through seemingly simple mazes, and shooting arrows through flames to clear the way ahead. After all that, you're sure to face a memorable and enjoyable boss. Heck, even the mid-bosses can be a blast. Figuring out how to take them down using nothing but your wits (and handy array of gadgets) is great fun.
Obviously, Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is very similar to The Legend of Zelda and unfortunately, it's a bit too much alike. Whereas the recently released and fantastic Ittle Dew 2 managed to be heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda while also crafting a unique formula, Blossom Tales simply doesn't do enough to forge its own identity. My only other complaints is that the game world is quite small with only five dungeons to master and some of the enemies are just plain annoying. Not only can they move in unpredictable patterns, many foes (bosses included) require far too many hits to dispatch. It's incredibly irritating to throw bomb after bomb at an enemy that you'd figure would die after a couple blasts at the most then it finally dies after what seems like a dozen bombs later.
If you're looking to play a cute indie version of The Legend of Zelda then Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King definitely fits the bill. Just don't expect it to provide anything particularly new and exciting.
- + Well-done classic Zelda gameplay
- + Cute story / great visuals and music
- + Lengthy and challenging puzzle-filled dungeons with very cool boss fights
- - It's a bit too similar to Zelda
- - Somewhat small game world
- - Some enemies and bosses can be very annoying damage sponges