The world of indie games is curious. Here we can find some of the more innovative video games of our time but also some of the laziest attempts at plagiarism. The first Blossom Tales was released on Nintendo Switch when the system was still new, and it looked like another cash grab with no semblance of originality. But it wasn’t a bad game. Far from it: its origins were obvious (the game was Legend of Zelda in everything but its name), but the game itself was pretty good. And now we get a sequel. It’s more of the same, really, but is it so bad?
After the release of the original, the developers were all but spent — and ready to close down shop. But the release fared far better than expected, gaining its own small army of admirers, mainly die-hard Legend of Zelda fans. It makes sense: Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince, just like the first game, is as Zelda as they come. More precisely, it’s the classic Zelda with a top-down view. Feeling nostalgic for those innocent days when you had a Game Boy and not a worry in the world? Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince lets you relieve those moments by imitating Link’s Awakening.
Confusing navigation, dungeons, a “helpful” owl — everything here is as familiar as can be. A lot has been said about originality in video games — by me as well — and when it comes to Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince, there is none. It’s an homage to the classics — no more, no less. It’s an excellent homage. One of the best, in fact. Especially if you love Zelda for the gameplay, not the ambitious attempts at storytelling.
Derivative as it is, Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince is still a great game. It does almost everything right, and it’s as fun to play as the originals it imitates. The story is forgettable, and every single location and gameplay feature has been done by someone else, but combat is still fun, and puzzles are a nice change of pace. Visually, it’s a nice-looking game that looks distinctly 16-bit.
I know people who can’t stand creatively bankrupt titles, and Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince sadly fits this description. But if you just want more 16-bit goodness in the style of Zelda, this release might be just for you. It’s fun, nice-looking, and… well, that’s about it.