In Hanako Games’ The Royal Trap, you play a prince’s retainer as she navigates a foreign court’s politics, conspiracies, and central mystery. Like Cinders, you have many routes and endings to explore.
- Music: I like many of the tracks individually. The transition from one to another can be jarring though.
- Visuals: The event stills are beautiful, but the sprites themselves made me cringe. The color combinations are often bizarre, the proportions and perspective are off, and even people who expect to engage in combat have hair in their eyes. Stop it.
- Writing: This political intrigue plot delivers. Once I got past the fluffy, cutesy prologue, I found a compelling world. I had to play through a good few routes to finally figure out exactly what had happened and the perpetrators’ motivations.
- Madeleine: an intelligent, competent MC; retainer to Prince Oscar
- Prince Oscar: Madeleine’s charge; tasked with winning a bride
- Prince Callum: host kingdom’s prince; Cassidy’s brother
- Princess Cassidy: young heiress of the host kingdom
- Prince Gaston: exuberant, foppish visiting prince
- Prince Nazagi: calculating, cold visiting prince
- Dolores: impertinent palace page
The plot has five main routes with enough variations to total fifteen endings. Many of the endings have no romance at all or it’s not the person you initially suspect. I appreciated the variety.
- Oscar: I liked him, but felt really conflicted about betraying his family’s trust in the best version. The conversation that leads to the worst ending made me laugh.
- Callum: It felt as though the author couldn’t come up with a believable way to start his attraction to Madeleine, gave up, and then started channeling some fourteen-year-old’s idea of romance. At least Madeleine can be calculating and circumspect about his affections.
- Gaston: He’s original, crazy, sweet, and grand. Princess Cassidy has much more initiative and spunk in this route than the others – a definite plus.
- Nazagi: The political manipulation aspect is most prominent in this route. Both Nazagi and Madeline are focused and cunning without being mua-ha-ha cruel. The best ending floored and delighted me. As Madeleine says: “this is not how fairy stories are meant to end,” but it made perfect sense for the story. ❤
- ????: This one felt the most arbitrary, but the end CG is lovely.
Bottom Line: I recommend this to anyone who can see past the sprites to the intricate political plot underneath.
Hanko Games’ The Royal Trap is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.