the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘games

Long Live the Queen!

No, not that queen, this little queen!

She might be dressed like a school girl, but she’s royalty in the making, and through your decisions she can rise through the ranks, or get assassinated. Or poisoned. Or embarrassed. Or imprisoned. Or assassinated. Again.

A cross between a Choose your Own Adventure story and a visual novel, Long Live the Queen is the newest sim game from Hanako Games. This game may have a plucky and overly cute anime style and star a plucky and overly cute main character, but it’s much, much harder than it looks. Also, incredibly addictive.

You control the choices of teenaged Princess Elodie, whose royal mother has just passed away. She’s got to learn new skills, avoid dangerous neighbors, and win the hearts of the royal court. Every week you can choose two skills to advance in, but random events and interactions with other members of the royal court along with your social activities directly effect your mood and your skills bonuses. Did you spend your Saturday sneaking out of the castle? You gain some points towards willfullness, earning you a negative against earning skills in elegance, but giving you a healthy bonus towards learning magic.

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Player of Games (a Culture novel) by Iain M. Banks

published in 2008

where I got it: library

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A story about a guy playing a game? Something like an overcomplicated chess tournament? sounds boring, doesn’t it? Well, this is Iain Banks, he doesn’t do boring. And Azad is far more than overcomplicated chess.  Azad is quite literally the game of a lifetime.

Subtle and darkly funny are descriptors that come to mind when I think of Player of Games. It’s central conceit sounds ridiculous at first: Win a board game, become Emperor.  But as I’m coming to learn, with Iain Banks nothing is simple, and nothing is ever as it seems.

thanks to a little case of blackmail, Jernau Gurgeh finds it might be best to leave the Orbital for a while. It’s with nearly perfect timing that he receives an invitation to learn a new game far from home. And not just any game, but the game that an entire empire was named for, a game whose winners shape the future of the worlds on which it is played. A famed game player, Gergeh has a record of winning nearly every game he sits down to play, and an uncanny ability to quickly learn new systems and rules. If any Culture citizen is capable of even understanding the complex game of Azad, it’s him.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.