Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fat Princess

Obesity is your friend. This may as well be the mantra of Fat Princess, a quirky and insanely addicting game. Going into this on a recommendation and with very little knowledge, I didn't know what to expect. But I turned out amazed at how fun this downloadable game ended up being. Cake for everyone!

Fatten Her Up!

The easiest way to describe Fat Princess is to reference it to other video games. Essentially, this game is a top-down cartoony version of Team Fortress 2, Battlefield 2, and any game with capture the flag. But for those unfamiliar with those games, here is your mission.

Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to rescue your princess from the enemy's castle and bring her back to the throne of your own. To do so, you must evade steel, dodge arrows, and endure the magic barbs of your enemy; you must cross bridges overlooking great chasms, bypass strongholds armed to the teeth, and storm the very gates of the enemy castle. Once done, you must seize the princess and carry her through the same perils all the way back to your own castle, place her on the seat of her power, and defend her from recapture, to the death, if necessary.

And, as if that was not enough, god help you if they have been feeding her cake.

For cake is central to the game, as is inducing obesity in the princess. The plumper she gets, the more people it takes to carry her fatass out. Doing it by yourself will slow you down as you tremble beneath her immense girth, and this exposes you to danger for a longer period of time. Thus, whenever one sees cake lying around the battlefield (don't ask), it is in the enemy's interest to fatten that princess up, just as you want to bring it back to the princess within your own gates and stuff it down her big gullet.

Given these hurdles you must overcome in order to win the match, games can become quite long indeed. But that is the draw of it, to be honest. This is a game that encourages and demands teamwork, and this is one of the few games I've seen where random people on the internet actually seem to try and work together to accomplish the goal. Unbelievable, I know.

The Multiple Methods of Battle

The big contributor is the fact that you are given a good amount of points for many things, even for support roles that see little combat at all. From the many classes of the game, you can, for example, choose to be a worker. The worker's job is to gather resources from trees and pockets of ore scattered throughout the map that can be used to construct upgrades within the castle, build catapults, or fortify the walls. A substantial amount of points can be gained for executing these tasks efficiently. Also, selecting the class of priest and acting as healer can net you a ton of points as well; keeping your teammates alive has never been more attractive.

Consequently, this game (from my experiences) tends to avoid a very common problem with other teamwork based games. In most other games, people often try to lone wolf it, or simply go out and kill others with little regard for the overall goal. This can lead to the collapse of the team, as many individuals go out on their own, participate in their own mini-skirmishes, and fail to act in a meaningful way towards achieving the overall goal. I think much of the fault of this lies in the inability of support classes (medics, engineers) to gain points to the same extent as the killing classes. As a result, people regard the high kill count is attractive, and completely forgo supporting the team in an effort to get the most kills. Fat Princess avoids this by eliminating kill counts entirely and regarding gains of any kind as simply 'points'. This change allows people in support roles to gain as much, if not more points than the standard killing classes.

And regarding classes, the various roles that you can choose from in Fat Princess help keep the game addicting and varied. Each class (warrior, worker, priest, archer, fire mage) has a unique assortment of attacks and tactics that surround them. Upgrades can be added on later that allow even more diversity, giving an additional class to the pre-existing ones (polearm warrior, bomber, death priest, musketeer, ice mage). Once these upgrades are purchased, you can switch between the two levels of class. As a mage, you can lay down a nova of fire at one moment, then start shooting icicles the next. As a worker, you can chop down a tree then start tossing bombs at the enemy if they approach. These many classes offer an insane amount of variation to the game, and are all easy to grasp, difficult to master; this creates a compelling blend that draws one into the game like a fly to a lightbulb.


As a downloadable game (cheaper and smaller than most), Fat Princess stands out as amazing. It is very rare for me to get so addicted to a game, and the 'just one more minute' episode has happened multiple times. With a cartoony style that is as comical as it is endearing, Fat Princess is a game that has really great presentation along with incredibly engrossing gameplay. I'll be turning to this one when I'm bored for a long time to come. Obesity has never been more fun.


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