Slay the Princess is the perfect weird horror game for Halloween

The Princess is DeadIt starts with a very simple scene: A princess has been chained in the basement to a concrete wall. It is your job to kill the princess (hence, the title of the game), or else the world ends.

There are probably a number of questions on your mind. Why are the princess and the end of world linked? Murdering her is it really necessary? Why does she live in this cabin at all? The Princess is DeadThe game is very accommodating to the player’s every inquiry and leads them down an interesting rabbit hole. It’s a fantastic, weird little visual novel, and it’s a perfect Halloween treat to savor.

The Princess is Dead doesn’t extend beyond the traditional visual novel structure of dialogue, responses, and selecting a choice. The story is a mix of fairytales and horror. It’s beautifully illustrated scenes show the Princess in her environment and depict the scene.

The princess in Slay the Princess, a pale white blonde woman, is chained to a wall. She asks the player: “That’s cute. Do you believe that? Do you think I am some kind of ... monster?”

Black Tabby Games

The protagonist is also accompanied by a narrator — one who fills the archetype of a standard, stuffy, sharply accented intellectual. The player can (and should) question the narrator’s actions, as the narrator is the one pushing them toward the cabin to slay the princess. You can technically beat the game in about three minutes by following the narrator’s directions to a T, but things get really interesting when you decide to blaze your own trail.

The playthrough is particularly rebellious The Princess is DeadAfter my first, non-joke, playthrough of Steam, I had only achieved about 20%. Bring a knife with you into the basement to meet her? Do you try to lower her guard by convincing her you’re there on innocent business? You can either try to delay or save her death. Check her pulse when the corpse of her is on your floor.

A small cabin at the top of a hill in Slay the Princess. The Narrator is telling the player: She will like, she will cheat, and she will do everything in her power to stop you from slaying her. Don’t believe a word she says.

Black Tabby Games

The variations in seemingly harmless choices lead to a growing nightmare. Death isn’t the end. Reality can be molded. The narrator isn’t the only one telling the tale; the protagonist has a great deal of agency, and finds themselves joined by a chorus of voices that guide them through their journey. The Voice of the Hero’s motivations are pretty obvious from his name, but he’s joined by the Voice of the Smitten, or the Voice of the Hunted, to name a couple, and it quickly becomes a cacophonous gallery.

The Princess is Dead’ audio design is my only real gripe. Thanks to the excellent voice acting of her character, I enjoy talking with her. It helps to create atmosphere that the narration is well done. The many voices can drag down certain portions of the story. The whole peanut gallery will weigh in sometimes, even if they don’t have anything new to say.

Overall, this is a delightful little game that’s difficult to explain without spoiling. It’s a Halloween treat to find a visual novel that encourages the player to experiment in an attempt to chase down all the secrets hidden within. There are no real jump scares — just grisly, unsettling imagery that stuck with me long after I finished the game.

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