If ever there was a dictionary definition of a "cult classic", The Princess Bride fits it to a tee. The movie didn't make much of an impact upon its' initial theatrical release in 1987, but in the twenty-plus years since, it has gained a very large stable of loyal fans. But even though the film is an enjoyable one, the subject matter doesn't exactly scream "video game material". So how does this new adaptation from Worldwide Biggies fare?
As you might expect, the game follows the plot of the movie, where the player takes control of the heroic Wesley as he tries to save his childhood sweetheart, Buttercup, from marrying the evil Prince Humperdinck. Along the way, Wesley meets up with a series of eccentric characters, including the brash swordsman Inigo Montoya and the frazzled wizard Miracle Max, that help him on the quest. In a unique take on the genre, the story is told from the point of view of a grandfather reading a fairy tale to console his sick grandson.
The graphics in The Princess Bride Game aren't much to write home about. They're not bad per se, just a bit on the bland side. Taking a cartoony approach to the proceedings, this looks more like a flash game, rather than a full-fledged release. Though, in all honesty, it veers towards the top end of flash game art style, especially the cutscenes, which are done well.
Besides an ill-advised "chick rawk" tune at the title screen, The Princess Bride Game's soundtrack is solid, with a faithful adaptation of the film's score. Fans of the movie may be disappointed to find out some of the characters (with the noteable exceptions of Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright Penn) are not voiced by the original actors, but the replacements used here do a fine enough job -- there's certainly nothing here on the level of the bad Al Pacino impersonator from The Godfather game.
GameplayThe main crux of the release is broken into five mini-games, each with their own style of play:
The Bottom Line
Each of the mini-games are fun enough, but as is with the case of many of these sorts of releases, there just doesn't seem to be enough meat to them. Even the most casual player will be able to get through all of the scenarios/levels the games contain in a relatively short period of time. There is always the pull of trying to beat your high scores, and there is a decent online community going, but at $20, it feels like there should have been more actual gameplay here.
Despite this, if you're a fan of the movie, then you owe it to yourself to at least check out the game's demo. It might not be what fans were clamoring for, but it's not the totally disposable trash far too many movie-to-game adaptations end up being. Even though the gameplay is a bit on the generic side, the film's quirky humor shines through, and should give most players at least a few hours of fun.
worth looking at the demo
Publisher: Worldwide Biggies
Genre: mini-game collection
Rated E for mild violence
Version reviewed: PC
Demo and full game available for download at the game's official site