Game Title: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Developed By: FDG
Published By: FDG
Released: December 21, 2017
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG, Other
ESRB Rating: Everyone for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language
Number of Players: 1 Player
Thank you to FDG for giving me a review copy!
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is one of the best homages to the Zelda franchise that I have ever played. It replicates the magic of A Link to the Past, which is considered one of the best games ever made. Blossom succeeds in making the game feel nostalgic and fresh all at the same time. If you have fond memories of playing Link to the Past, stop what you are doing and buy this game, as you will be in for quite a treat.
The game opens with two kids asking their grandpa for a story and he asks them if he told them about the elf boy who rescues the princess…which they shout yes, we have! The grandpa then starts this new story about Lilly, who was becoming that day a knight of the Blossom. It's awesome that the Grandpa is telling the kids the story, as frequently they serve as the narrator to the story, and reminds me a bit of The Princess Bride. The Grandpa will often point out and explain things in the story. When you die in the game, usually the Grandpa will say something like, “and that’s the end of the story.” The kids will then say, “you’re a liar, tell us the truth,” and the game will start again from the last check point.
The king’s brother has put a curse on the king, and it’s up to you to find all three ingredients, that will make a potion to wake him up. Lilly takes up the job as a newly recruited knight and makes it her goal to get all three ingredients, which of course are three big dungeons for you to explore. Each dungeon is unique and has a different theme to them. They are big, often taking quite a bit of time to get through them. Each dungeon is filled to the brim with enemies, traps, puzzles and secrets. It really feels like an old Zelda game, where about half way through you get a new gadget that you will use to help with the puzzles and boss fight. There are puzzles where you must highlight a pattern on the floor, switch puzzles, lighting jars full of fire by shooting an arrow through a flame, etc. Those are just a few of the puzzles in the first dungeon.
You will also receive classic items like your sword, shield, bombs, bow and arrow, and the famous boomerang. You will collect pieces of hearts to upgrade your life and after each dungeon boss you will gain a heart. There are also different items like a shovel to dig in spots to earn items like a resurrection token, or a butterfly that can help in combat. I was a little sad that rupees didn’t make it as currency in the game, but I guess you can’t have everything.
Besides the main quest, you will find many other people that need your help, like defending a man while he makes some potion, to a lady that pays you for finding scrolls, to a druid that is collecting feathers. You will stay busy exploring the world and taking on side quests.
The graphics and look of the game hearken back to the retro Zelda games, though there are added effects and at times look more current than pixel art, than back in the day. There is snow in areas, where you can see your footprints. In the frozen dungeon an archer will shoot an arrow and leave an ice trail. It brings back the nostalgia of Zelda, while having its own distinct look. You will see things that look familiar, but slightly different.
The sound design is great and really had me tapping my foot along with the tunes. I felt it really enhanced my enjoyment in this adventure. The game was stable whether it was docked or in handheld mode. Even when there where multiple enemies on screen the frame rate didn’t drop. It's nice to be able to play this on a big screen without it looking stretched or blurry. The controls were spot on and were designed well.
I really can’t heap enough praise on this game. The game design, gameplay, graphics, sound, are a beautiful nod to Zelda games of the past. It hearkens to the old but in its own way, feels like something new and fresh. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that is what this game truly is. Stop what you are doing right now and buy this game!
Overall Score: 96% Amazing!