Long Live The Queen is a quirky sort of game lying somewhere in-between a simulation, a visual novel, and a choose your own adventure game. You are Elodie, the 14-year old heir to the throne. Your mother, the queen, has died, and you must prepare yourself to take the throne in 40 weeks – if you can survive that long. The game takes its name from the fact that this is no easy task; death can lurk anywhere. Or so the trailers promise, at any rate.
The trailers seemed to indicate that this game was primarily humorous in nature; you create Elodie after Elodie, training her differently each time, only for her to meet some unfortunate end along the way. While the unfortunate end bit may or may not be accurate, the humor is not; while there are a few humorous moments in the game, on the whole the story is actually quite serious, and follows Elodie as she tries to navigate the complexities of court life while being woefully underprepared for it. Frequently, Elodie is faced with some sort of situation that she has to deal with, and via a combination of her skills – which she trains herself in two of every week, at your direction – and your own decisions, you must navigate your way through the game blindly, never knowing what the consequences of your decisions are going to be in the end. Everything from deciding whether or not to attend a birthday party to choosing to assassinate a scheming noble is covered by the game, and which skills you have seem to affect the choices you can make. As you go through the game, your choices have consequences which come back on you, forcing you to deal with or benefit from your past decisions.
The problem is that the game lacks any feeling of agency; your choices are rewarded or punished seemingly at random, and it is never clear which skills are useful and which are useless, whether any given skill is going to be useful in the immediate future, what the consequences of many of your choices will be, or even how high a skill needs to be to succeed at a task. Thus, on the whole, the game feels very random. I actually won on my first attempt, something the trailers implied was insanely difficult, despite the game not telling me anything about what I should be doing. It felt wholly unearned.
On the whole, the game is lacking. It has a good premise, but the execution is poor.