Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince is a retro-styled action game that will draw a lot of comparisons to classic Zelda titles. I honestly reviewed this game with a bit of reluctance. It’s not that I have an issue as a guy with playing a female character, but a little girl? It seemed a bit much. I’m glad I was able to put my biases aside, however, because this is just an amazingly charming game that I’d happily recommend to even the most jaded or cynical person.
The art in the game is all low-res pixels, done to convincingly evoke nostalgia for the classics. This is one of the rare times I’ll say that this particular style actually adds to a game’s atmosphere. Normally this is either done due to budgetary reasons, or legitimately to cash in some “indie cred”, here it works. Yes, it’s deliberately using it to get you to put your rose-colored nostalgia filter on, but it fits with the themes of the game. The music and sound effects are in the same vein, with those simple but emotionally evocative electronic melodies, and bleeps and bloops when you pick something up or talk to an NPC. The controls are immediately intuitive, particularly to anyone who grew up playing on an NES or SNES.
The story’s framing device is similarly charming, with a nod to the Princess Bride-a grandfather telling his grandchildren a story, and the kids occasionally interjecting commentary about the story’s events. Grandpa even bares a passing resemblance to an aging Peter Falk. The plot similarly gives a nod to Labyrinth, with Lily (your character) making a wish that the Minotaur King would take her younger brother away. The gameplay continues the nostalgia trip, with heart pieces and breakable pots and other objects containing coins, and merchants who carry exactly two things that you can buy, along with more than a few wink and nod style quips that reference pop culture. Generally speaking, the puzzles are engaging enough to not feel like a chore, but not so head-scratching that you’re going to struggle long to figure out what you need to do. And if you’re anything like me, you’re going to be absorbed into this story. It’s not a world-saving adventure; in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a story grandpa is telling to his precocious grandkids to keep them entertained. When you load a save, you’ll get a small scene of grandpa recapping where he left off in the story for an extra bit of charm. It’s like a comfort food of sorts, digitally weaponized nostalgia designed to scratch an itch you probably didn’t realize you’d had.
Is it flawless? No. There were points when the controls didn’t always work perfectly, like when combat wanted me to grab and throw something. The hesitation that happens when I’d head toward a ledge to jump off of it only to have my character stand there for a moment before the game realized what I was trying to do also annoyed me. In the grand scheme of things though, these are minor. If you even slightly enjoyed classic Legend of Zelda games, you’ll probably love this one.
CLICK HERE to buy Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince on Steam
The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.
The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.
When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.
Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.