Publisher: Eroge Japan
Release date: December 11th, 2020
Availability: $14.99 via Steam, Launch discount price $11.24
Slave Princess Sarah revisits the era of monochromatic Game Boy-based action role-playing titles. Although this out there’s some optional erotica to spice up the adventure.
The Game Boy wasn’t the world’s first portable system with interchangeable cartridges. Instead, Milton Bradley’s Microvision predated Nintendo’s hardware by a decade. But Gunpei Yokoi and Satoru Okada’s creation provided to be immensely more popular, with the hardware line eventually selling 119 million units worldwide. As such, there’s an entire generation who grew up with their eyes glued to the olive-hued Game Boy screen. Salient memories were forged with titles like Tetris, Super Mario Land, and Pokémon.
The release of Slave Princess Sarah recalls those halcyon days when a four pack of AA batteries would provide a week’s worth of playtime. But here’s the twist: now that we are all grown up, we get optional pixelated lewdness mixed in with the action. Fortunately, Sarah is a respectable action-adventure game that can stand on its own, with success independent of its bouncing breasts.
Fight Your Way to Freedom
Like many of the portable games of the early ‘90s, the plotline is succinct. Here, a kingdom is pillaged and its royals kidnapped. After weeks of excruciating humiliation, Sarah negotiates a deal: if she can raise a sizable random, both her and her sister will be freed. This contract forms the basis for Slave Princess Sarah’s adventure, with the protagonist having 30 days to secure the substantial sum. Every time you perish, the day advances, leading to apprehension after you succumb a dozen times.
Action is set against single-screen playfields. Some of these are overland maps, while others are dungeons that require a key to proceed. Regardless of context, Sarah will typically be confronted by monsters on each screen. Each behaves different, with some floating around randomly, while others hurl projectiles at players. Like the games of old, success involve prioritizing adversaries.
Final Fantasy Adventure was an Undeniable Influence
Fortunately, Sarah is no pushover, even with the sword she begins the game with. Swings cover a wide area and it’s possible to knock ranged enemy attacks right out of the air. The game undoubtedly borrows from the 1991 Game Boy title, Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden (renamed Final Fantasy Adventure in the US), the first entry in Square Enix’s Mana franchise. Beyond the exact same on-screen abbreviation for health, magic points, and gold, an advantageous technique is swinging your weapon behind the safety of an environmental object.
Following Final Fantasy Gaiden’s blueprint, Sarah’s arsenal gradually grows in strength. Beyond regular level advancements where you can boost your stats, you’ll earn new weapons and magic abilities which help to keep combat from growing too tedious. Sporadic boss battles present elevated levels of challenge. But naturally, these encounters can be mitigated by a bit of grinding.
Not Many Options for Sarah
While Slave Princess Sarah provides controller support, you’ll be forced to use the directional pad to move the protagonist. Another minor quibble is the game’s unalterable button mapping, which makes counterintuitive decisions like using the right bumper to access the equipment screen. Some might long for a bit more flexibility with the game’s output. Beyond being forced to play in Windowed mode, there are no alternative palettes to Game Boy green. Should you want to turn off Sarah’s jiggle animation when she gets hit, there’s an option in the main castle. But the game isn’t forthright about this feature.
If the idea of Final Fantasy Adventure with a bit of erotica added in sounds stimulating, give Slave Princess Sarah a go. The titillation is amusing, especially since you might have to squint to perceive what’s happening on-screen. But more importantly, the gameplay is surprisingly solid, demonstrating that childhoods weren’t squandered by staring at dot-matrix screens all day. As an adult, you might still be engrossed, especially when lasciviousness enters the plotline.
Slave Princess Sarah was played on PC with review code provided by the publisher.