Sunday, July 19, 2015
The Adventures of Prince Ivan
I really do enjoy playing visual novels and there are some I have played more than once not just for unlocking all pictures of a gallery. The lead of those is definitely taken by “The Adventures of Prince Ivan” which, apart from being a really fun game, is also for free. Also take a look at the other games on that side - Morgan Hawke makes good and fun games. Try “The Visitor” while you’re there.
The game is so high up my list because it doesn’t have the usual graphics of a VN, copying the Japanese anime style. Instead, Morgan managed to create characters (the first one which are not heavily photo-shopped photographs) which look fresh out of an illustrated Russian fairy tale. That’s only fair, since the story is basically motifs from several Russian fairy tales rolled into one and turned into a new story. The graphics are bright and the photo-shopped backgrounds blend in nicely enough with the drawn characters. It’s a highly enjoyable mixture.
The game itself tells the story of Prince Ivan, youngest of the three sons of a Tsar, and Princess Elena, oldest daughter of another Tsar and on a quest to find a suitable bridegroom. Elena, who insist on not being Elena the Beautiful, but Elena the Wise, is disguised as a man, so she can travel safely, making good use of a hat given to her by Baba Yaga, who happens to be Ivan’s great-grandmother on his mother’s side. Ivan is in possession of a feather which shows him the truth, also given to him by his great-grandmother. He starts plotting his ‘happily ever after’ the moment he first lays eyes upon Elena - proving his family wrong, since his father and his brothers see him as dumb and slow in the head.
When Elena and Ivan fail to capture the fire bird stealing golden apples from Ivan’s father, they manage to keep a feather. The lure of the brightly-glowing feather makes the Tsar send out his two older sons to find it, so Ivan sets out as well and Elena accompanies him, after learning from Baba Yaga that this quest will also lead her to what she desires. Everything seems to go well for the two until Ivan’s horse gets eaten by a wolf - who then offers to take the place of the delicious horse he’s had. That’s when things start to get very weird- and not just because the wolf can talk.
The game has four endings, one mini-game (a labyrinth, but with a map provided), a lot of fun dialogue, nice graphics, and a good story. Did I also mention it’s for free? What more motivation do you need to try it out?