A Link to the Past.. oh, wait…
Drawing inspiration from iconic games and franchises is in no way a bad thing. Just make sure you offer enough individuality to the project to differentiate it from the source material. Thankfully for absolutely everybody, Blossom Tales succeeds in delivering a hit of nostalgia that pays homage to its inspiration in the best possible way.
From a very early stage you will learn exactly what kind of beast Blossom Tales is. The opening story sequence does everything but reference the land of Hyrule in an amusing conversation between the games narrator, Grandpa and the perfectly named protagonist, Lily.
From the moment that you receive a sword and learn the spin attack, it becomes apparent that everything that made ALTTP the iconic title that it is has been built upon, and turned all the way up to 11. The addition of the extra sword strike, at the end of the spin attack, by tapping a direction along with attack, elevates a tried and tested formula. Evolution over revolution, adapting as opposed to simply going around in circles and doing the same things over and over.
The story will seem somewhat familiar to anyone who has played ALTTP. The king has been tricked by an evil wizard and placed into a deep sleep. For the record, the wizard just so happens to be his own brother. Lily, Knight of the Rose, takes it upon herself to collect the spell ingredients and awake the king herself. This was due in no small part to the rest of the Knights ineptitude.
You experience Blossom Tales as a bedtime story. This task falls to Grandpa, as he spins yarn to his grandchildren Lily, and her brother Chris.
Essentially, what this does for the story is smash down the 4th wall and allow you, the player to make small aesthetic changes to the ebb and flow of the game. These never affect the final outcome in any major way but they do keep things feeling fresh throughout. As well as that it keeps the player engaged. In fairness, it isn’t difficult to stay utterly fixated, in a title so brimming with life and filled with such delightful NPCs. The game world is vivid and vibrant and filled with a plethora of wacky and wonderful moments.
Visually, Blossom Tales is an absolute joy to behold. The pixel art is bodacious and full of colour and charm. The soundtrack marries perfectly with the art style, offering retro midi melodies, modernised and refined. When the over world theme is in full swing, you really feel like you’re on a quest for the ages. As you would expect from a Zelda-esque game, there are a medley of items to collect. Boss fights also adopt the formula of using specific items to exploit their weaknesses.
The writing in Blossom Tales is of the highest order. Castle Pixel, the games developer is clearly on the button when it comes to popular trends. I for one am excited to see what their next project brings to the table.
All things considered, Blossom Tales is as close to an authentic top down Zelda game as can be found on the Nintendo Switch. And until Nintendo decide to scratch that itch themselves, you could do far worse than download this little gem. Get on with it.
Blossom Tales is one of the finest titles available on the eshop today. Without hesitation I would recommend this game to both fans of classic Zelda titles and people looking for something new alike. If you like fun, play this.
Verdict – Outstanding