Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince is here! The Minotaur Prince is the eagerly awaited sequel to Castle Pixel’s Blossom Tales, which was a huge hit with action RPG fans (me included) back in 2017. I will do my best to get through the review without mentioning the ‘Z’ word, but is there any point when it’s such an obvious homage? OK… Zelda, Zelda, Zelda, there I said it. Here we go!
Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince thankfully retains the charming storytelling gimmick from its predecessor whereby the game pans out as a story told by a grandad to his grandkids; Lily and Chris. It really is a great way to frame a story and creates many humorous moments along the way. For those who haven’t played the original, you actually play as Lily within the story itself. In Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince, Lily’s brother Chris gets kidnapped pretty much straight away by the evil Minotaur King off the back of a casual ‘I wish my brother would be taken away’ wish by Lily. This added a layer of guilt that Lily experiences throughout the rest of the story, which actually makes it slightly more nuanced than the usual kidnapping story.
Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince is full to the brim of side quests, secrets and items to discover. Therefore, any 2D Zelda fans, or anyone who wants a bit more than just beating the main story, will be fully satisfied. These extras compel you to explore the vast game world (which is slightly bigger than in Blossom Tales, I’m pleased to report) and what a beautiful pixely world it is! The environments in Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince are rich and jump off the screen, which is really impressive for a 16-bit aesthetic.
A highlight for me in the original Blossom Tales was the soundtrack, and thankfully this remains a highlight in its sequel. You’ll be tapping your fingers to the chip-tune ditties both when playing the game and after you’ve put it down! The sound effects are all fantastic too, including its very own Zelda secret-discovery noise (you know the one I mean).
- Charming storytelling mechanic
- Plenty of extras and side quests
- Lots of glorious chip-tune music
One criticism that could be levelled at Castle Pixel is that the Blossom Tales games lack originality. Sure, the storytelling mechanic is cool, but the actual gameplay itself is something we’ve all seen before 30 years ago. To be perfectly honest, I was expecting more than what is on offer in Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince. It looks the same, sounds the same and plays the same as Blossom Tales, so it feels like more of an expansion pack than a new game.
One of the few gripes I had with Blossom Tales has unfortunately been carried over to the sequel; namely, the unimaginative NPC interaction. If you’re like me, it’s great to discover a new town and what do you do first? You talk to people, right! You can learn secrets and tidbits about the game world in the process. However in Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince, all of the town NPCs have 3 or 4 generic phrases that seem to be randomly generated when you speak to them, rather than them all having bespoke dialogue. I’m compelled to compare this to arguably Castle Pixel’s biggest challenger to their 2D Zelda throne, Ocean’s Heart, which had unique dialogue for every NPC and it just brought a whole load of depth to the experience.
- Lack of originality when compared to its predecessor
- Boring and unambitious NPC interaction
Final Score: 8/10
There are many 2D Zelda homages knocking around at the moment, but no one does it quite as well as Castle Pixel. Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince feels like an extension of the original Blossom Tales rather than a whole new game, and I would have welcomed a fresher and more original experience, but when it’s this much fun to play, who really cares?
Thank you for checking out our Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince Switch review, thank you to Playtonic Friends for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: