(Don’t) Save the Princess Review

By Erin Bell |

(Don’t) Save the Princess lets you play the bad guy in this humorous fairy tale web game.

Fairytales are full of happy endings – of knights in shining armor saving damsels in distress. But sometimes it can be fun to play the bad guy too. In (Don’t) Save the Princess from Shen Games you’ll use magical arrows to guide an unlucky knight straight into the waiting jaws of a lip-smacking green monster.

(Don’t) Save the Princess is a puzzle game consisting of single-screen levels decorated with various platforms and obstacles. Somewhere on each level is a princess (who must be avoided at all costs!), a monster, and the gate that the knight launches out of. Before you launch the knight you’ll place arrow boxes around the scene that will send the knight rocketing in a particular direction when he passes by. Using your arrow blocks, you’ll try to guide the knight into the monster to win. Chomp chomp!

(Don't) Save the Princess

Like the classic puzzle game Lemmings, you get a limited number of resources (in this case, arrow blocks) to place for the correct solution. For example, you might have to come up with the correct path using seven “Up” arrows and three “Right” arrows, but no Left or Down arrows. Levels get progressively more challenging, too, introducing obstacles like greyed out directional blocks, invisible blocks and trigger traps.

(Don’t) Save the Princess has its share of fiendish levels, but it’s designed in such a way as to encourage trial and error experimentation without feeling exasperating. The game is very forgiving of mistakes, for example. If the knight dies, you can simply click the Retry button and you’re instantly back to where you left off and can try moving the arrows around into new positions. What’s even better is that your arrows stay in the same place so you can tweak one or two of them without having to start from scratch and place them all back on the board.

In fact, the only complaint I have with (Don’t) Save the Princess is that the invisible blocks blink, and this can be hard on the eyes when there are a lot of them on screen. (They actually started to make me dizzy.)

(Don't) Save the Princess

With 25 levels and an editor where players can create and share their own puzzle levels, (Don’t) Save the Princess offers a decent length. The game’s quirky sense of humor and ingenious challenges make it well worth a look too – just don’t expect the princess and her hero to live happily ever after!

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