Paisley Princess takes all of the excitement and charm of a grand adventure game and shrinks it down to a snug 5×5 scale box for a pint-sized bit of hacking and dungeon delving.
Designed by Will Blanton (AKA 01010111) Paisley Princess is a cute, Zelda-esque adventure that you can play right inside your browser. Taking control of a tiny adventurer, you are ordered by the king and queen to do what many adventurers have done across games: Save the princess. Venturing into nearby forests, you pick up a “crap sword” and “crap shield” before descending into a dungeon to complete your quest.
The gameplay itself is pretty basic. You scurry about and slam into bats and snakes and other baddies to slay them. Along the way, you can collect coins to spend back in town for better weapons and shields. It’s a very tight, well managed core loop that makes progression feel meaningful without straying from the simple design philosophy of moment to moment play.
In a lot of ways, combat reminds me of Crypt of the Necrodancer. Enemies move tiles as you do and dungeon crawl turn into half coin hunts, half dance sessions as you twirl about to fight goops and wolves. It can lead to some Benny Hill style chases, but it works well and makes good use of the small play space.
Overall, I’ve been taken in by Paisley Princess’ quirky humour and digestible dungeoneering. It fits well into my catalogue of titles to pick up and play for a quick unwind session after work. It’s cute. It’s fun. I just hope that princess is OK. I still haven’t managed to rescue her yet. Stupid wolves…