On paper, Penny-Punching Princess sounds like a quirky, winningly good time. It’s a top-down pixel-styled Action RPG where the core mechanic revolves around the titular princess bribing the enemy to work for her, instead of against her. But in practice, Penny Punching Princess is frustrating, unfunny, repetitive, and not worth the $40 being asked. This is our Penny-Punching Princess review for the Nintendo Switch.
The story is simple: as the Penny-Punching Princess, use the money you gather to bribe enemies to fight for you, activate deadly traps with your dough, and when all else fails, smash all that stand against you with your fists! Fight your way from nothing and amass treasures to take on the mighty Dragolian family and reclaim your kingdom. You basically run around level to level, punching things and bribing them to work for you. That’s about as complex as it gets.
Levels can be hard too, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed. While you bribe monsters to work for you, they’re really just once-off consumables, meaning they don’t fight for you for any prolonged period of time. Kind of a letdown, but once you learn what each monster does, you start to get used to using them like potions or quick damage boosters.
It’s the levels themselves that are the most annoying thing. It felt like the developer put all their effort of designing the game into the characters and the droll humor, but not at all on the level design. Each one is a maze of ugly floors, walls, iron spiked gates, and labyrinthine traps. There’s no real exploration to be had, as the game always has an arrow above your head pointing you where you need to go. This gets eye-glazingly boring after a few levels, even though the difficulty of the mobs and fights improves and spikes relatively quickly.
If the price drops to around the $20 mark, this title would be a quirky gem. As it stands, the cost of entry and the lack of true depth to Penny-Punching Princess make it a hard game to recommend to anyone. As it stands, it’s just not a very good time to be had. The price, combined with the repetitive nature and lack of level design make it a resounding “meh” of a game. It feels like it was meant for the 3DS, and was quickly ported to the Switch to cash in, and that’s not a good thing.