This kingdom may be sweet, but ruling over it is no piece of cake
A peaceful kingdom has been rocked with the loss of its princess. A dark presence has turned the princess to stone, and you’re the only person that can reverse the spell using the power of sunshine and light. Through dozens of time management levels, Sweet Kingdom: Enchanted Princess will see you balancing the use of resources as you collect sunshine and restore the Kingdom, and it’s a system that works well even with its unique user interface.
Sweet Kingdom: Enchanted Princess does little to stray from the standard time management gameplay formula. Each level sees you collecting resources like wood, wheat, milk, and more, which are part of usage chains. Each item in a chain has a different monetary value and most are created in a building that contains a single purpose. The first chain, for instance, combines Farms, Windmills, and Bakeries that each create Wheat, Flour, and Pie Crusts, respectively, using the items that came before (Flour is created using Wheat, and Pie Crusts are created using Flour).
In the game’s beginning stages, these Pie Crusts may be all you need to complete one of each level’s multiple goals, but over time, the experience becomes more complicated with the introduction of items like Sawmills and additional resource chains surrounding foods like Milk. Thankfully, the game is setup in such a way as to introduce each new feature slowly, giving you time to memorize the chains and never really feel overwhelmed.
At the end of each timed stage, if you managed to complete the required tasks while the sun was still shining, you’ll receive a visual upgrade to the Princess’s palace and can even collect artifacts to free the Princess from her spell.
Completing individual actions is unfortunately an overly complicated process, sometimes requiring multiple clicks in situations where a single click should suffice. The game splits tasks between human workers and donkeys that can talk and wield hammers, but tasks like clearing debris from the road force you to assign a donkey to them specifically via extra clicks. The game obviously understands that donkeys are the appropriate worker here, and are in fact the only worker that can perform the job, so why are we forced to perform all of these extra clicks to complete tasks that are so downright simple?
This isn’t a huge issue in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a nitpick worth pointing out due to the game’s similarity to so many other time management games on the market. Aside from general resource management, the game also gives you access to boosts that can temporarily speed up your workers’ actions or speed up the production time of an item, and you can use donkeys to upgrade existing structures to increase their outputs.
Thankfully, even though there’s so much to keep track of at once, it’s practically impossible to back yourself into a corner, as the game allows you to demolish excess buildings that you might not actually need, and build the correct structure in their place. You’ll even receive some resources back during the demolition process, which makes building demolition less about punishing you for making a mistake and more about true strategy as you can choose which structures are no longer valuable and which you might need duplicates of, all in a single stage while your workers are completing other tasks in the background.
Sweet Kingdom: Enchanted Princess is a pretty time management game, with colorful graphics and lots of details. The menu system isn’t overly cluttered, and the game runs well technically with smooth animations. Still, there’s not much here to separate the game from so many other nearly identical time management games on the market, aside from its storyline and setting. If you’re an existing fan of the genre that’s run out of current games to play, Sweet Kingdom is definitely worth the investment, but if you’re tired of the types of games that have come before, this isn’t likely to change your mind.