Games like Long Live the Queen and Princess Maker were my introductions to life simulation games where I had to strategically raise a young child’s stats in hopes of creating a bright future for them. Though, sometimes, my choices would often lead to their downfall, or in the case of Long Live the Queen, their death. It’s a good thing I don’t plan on becoming a parent! Even though I don’t plan on having children, I really do love games like this, hence why Volcano Princess caught my attention.
Volcano Princess is a stat-raising simulation game developed by Egg Hatcher and published by Gamera Games. You play a single father who has to raise his young daughter after his wife passes away. What kind of person will your daughter turn out to be? What kind of father will you be? Your choices, as well as the schedule you plan for your daughter, will dictate both her future and her opinion of you.
I was able to get a few hours into Volcano Princess, right to the middle of my daughter’s teenage years. Despite some bumps in the road, I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.
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Setting Your Goals and Schedule in Volcano Princess
Your daughter has four main stats: Strength (STR), Intelligence (INT), Emotion (EMO), and Imagination (IMG). These stats can be raised by taking classes (which can eventually be completed), doing activities around town, or talking to NPCs.
During free time, your daughter can do a variety of activities in exchange for Action Points (AP). You can replenish AP by resting or eating food. So, if you want to get the most out of a month, you’ll want to use all your AP before filling your daughter’s schedule with classes.
In addition to having your daughter’s monthly schedule, there’s an overarching goal that you must meet. At the beginning of the game, you’ll need to decide what kind of father you want to be. You can see how you’re doing by checking a report card that’s available in your daughter’s room. What you say to her, how you spend your time, and more will dictate your performance as a father.
Unlike with Princess Remake, I never found myself overwhelmed by Volcano Princess. This is in large part due to having only four main stats to worry about.
Whenever I felt like one of my daughter’s stats was severely under leveled, thanks to AP, I was able to find ways to boost it up by interacting with the NPCs or by doing activities around town without progressing time forward. Volcano Princess gives players plenty of opportunities to level up their child’s stats, making them feel like they’re never lagging behind.
There are minigames in Volcano Princess, and they can be a nice way to break up the monotony of scheduling out your daughter’s classes or talking to townsfolk. I tried four of the minigames: the theater, the math quiz, the painting game, and the dice game. Out of the four, I enjoyed the first two. They were clear and concise in their instructions. The painting minigame took a couple of tries, but I eventually got it. The dice game on the other hand? I was lost.
There’s turn-based combat in this game. Once your daughter becomes a teenager, she can explore the forest and fight monsters. The optional RPG fights do require a little strategy, but not a ton. As long as you have two teammates by your side and your daughter has good gear, you’ll be able to take down even the toughest of foes.
A Cute Story About a Father and Daughter
Without spoiling too much, the story is cute. Through cutscenes and small interactions, you get to see how much the father and daughter care for each other. It’s nice seeing their optional interactions, like when you sit down and talk to her whenever she has something on her mind. It’s clear that he wants the very best for her, and that he’ll do whatever he takes to make her happy.
The events with the romance interests (male and female!) are very wholesome as well. I like Benson the most so far! Though, Mark the faceless knight comes in at a close second. I blame my bias for Gatekeeper from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
Wonky Translation That Needs Some Work
One of my complaints with Volcano Princess is its translation. The translation isn’t horrible by any means. I’m able to understand what’s happening just fine, but the awkward phrasing takes me out of the experience occasionally.
In a game where your player is going to be reading most of the time, it’s important that the game’s text has a nice flow to it and is as cohesive as possible. According to the publisher, there will be ongoing adjustments to the English translation, so I’m looking forward to seeing it get improved in the future.
Thoughts So Far on Volcano Princess
Overall, Volcano Princess has been a pleasant experience so far. If you’re someone who wants to get into the stat-raising genre but find Princess Maker too intimidating, I think this game makes for a great entry point for newcomers. Not to mention, this game has incredible replay value. With 50+ endings and over 200 achievements to unlock, you won’t be putting this game down anytime soon. You can purchase Volcano Princess right now on Steam for $10.99.
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