Otome games are ridiculously easy to get into, and it’s usually because they’re so simple to play; the story’s path is relatively straight-forward and hard to deviate from, and it’s rare that options actually have any impact on what’s going to happen. Long Live the Queen isn’t like that, though. Its entire premise is that you must keep Elodie, a young soon-to-be-queen, alive despite the growing threats as she makes decisions for her kingdom.
That aspect is what makes this game interesting: You have to keep Elodie alive for the entire 40 weeks of the game’s story, making sure that she’s crowned queen on her fifteenth birthday. In order to survive or to alter aspects of the story, you have to ensure that Elodie can meet certain skill checks; there are a ridiculous amount of skills to improve for her, which leads to multiple paths and endings. Some of the threats that you have to beat include a vengeful elite, Elodie’s magical aunt, assassins who attack your carriage, and elites who attempt to poison Elodie; there are many more dangers that she has to survive or avoid, but it does get harder to keep track of all of them.
That also makes this game both difficult: you genuinely have to attempt to keep Elodie alive, unless you’re looking to gain the achievement for her eleven deaths. If you happen to be an achievement hunter, as I sometimes can be, the game forces you to repeatedly murder your protagonist by making poor choices. This is where your options actually feel as if they have a reason. For instance, when Elodie is sent expensive and rare chocolates as a gift from an unknown person of her court, she can decide to eat them. Doing so will cause her to die from poison, but she can also survive it by having a high enough skill check in either Poison or Dogs; she’ll know to save it for later and accidentally poison a member of her castle’s staff because they wanted to try the chocolates or feed it to a chicken in order to find out whether it was laced with poison.
The game is full of a ridiculous amount of tropes. Almost every single Adult in the whole game is incredibly useless; Elodie’s father is supposed to be one of her advisers, yet he never intervenes to even provide suggestions on the decisions she makes. She’s capable of starting a civil war, of executing both commoners and people of her court on a whim, and murdering the family who opposes her or sacrificing her young cousin to a kraken; her father never once provides necessary opposition to his young princess daughter. He isn’t the only person who does this; every adult does something that encourages their children to harm others, and it doesn’t seem to matter who those ‘others’ are.
Despite being quite interesting and a bit fun in terms of the way the story plays out and changes based on the decisions you make, there are some rather distracting details in the clothing acquired for improving skills beyond a certain level. While some of the outfits are quite cute, they don’t quite fit the supposed era the story takes place in; one of the options available is a catsuit with a monocle, which doesn’t quite work together. Elodie’s Lumen outfit, which boosts her skills in magic, is a highly stereotypical Magical Girl outfit that is clearly out of place in the game’s aesthetics. This is pretty common in the other outfits, as they’re all from different periods of time.
As a whole, I enjoyed the game’s structure. It’s still pretty easy to keep Elodie alive once you pick up the nuances, which is really what turns the game into “Murder the Young Princess Before Her Birthday.” It’s good for a few playthroughs, but it definitely gets very old pretty quickly.