Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is exactly what I needed after falling out of love with Breath of the Wild this past week. Castle Pixel’s homage to the 16-bit Zelda era is absolutely fantastic, and extremely well suited to the portable Nintendo Switch. Launched a while back on Steam, FDG Entertainment and Castle Pixel have dutifully brought it over to the Nintendo console where it so obviously belongs. This is our Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King review for Nintendo Switch.
I love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, objectively as a reviewer. As a gamer, things like its large swathes of nothing-map and breaking weapons grate on my nerves to the point where it’s just not my favorite game in the storied franchise. That honor still belongs to Ocarina of Time, and of course… Link to the Past. The latter is precisely where Blossom Tales gets its gameplay. I mean, there’s no denying it – this is a Zelda game just without the name. Or perhaps the better way to explain it would be to call it a “Zelda-like”. As so many games ape Rogue and are called Rogue-likes, it’s only fair. An imitation is a form of flattery after all, and Blossom Tales does the Zelda dance so well that you’ll be happy they so clearly took inspiration from Hyrule.
In fact, the story of Blossom Tales is actually a bed-time tale told lovingly by a grandfather to his grandkids, and as the game begins they get mad when he tries to tell them about Link and Hyrule… so he switches it up and it becomes about Lily from Blossom. Apparently, grandpa is a gamer, and that’s alright with me. If there’s a game we need to see MORE of, and done well, it’s Zelda.
There are five dungeons, some truly fun boss fights, and a fairly large overworld packed with secrets and side quests. All told, Blossom Tales will last you about 15 hours, and since the game itself is only $15, I’d say that’s a fairly great value proposition. At times, I found the controls a bit loose or hard to handle, especially with bow and arrow, as you kind of just have to wing it and aim on the fly (no holding to aim and then releasing). But the humor is cute, family-friendly, and with plenty of in-jokes for geeks like me. Overall, I felt like I was playing a game that was aware it was a game, without feeling pointless. Does that make sense? If not, try it, you’ll know what I mean.