If it’s not obvious from the title, Love Battle Princess is an odd game. At its heart, it’s a fresh take on the action puzzle genre. However, the in-game backgrounds are beautifully painted images of scantily-clad pin-up girls in suggestive poses. Bizarrely, these ladies, with names like Nitro and Panther, are the princesses of the title.
Four princesses are included, and each one comes with her own set of challenges, or levels. To unlock each princess, you must complete all of the challenges for the one before her. However, if trying to see the next sexy background doesn’t give you a raging desire to keep playing, the gameplay probably will.
This won’t hurt a bit.
Here’s how the game works: little flowers float around, and your job is to capture them in bubbles by tapping the screen. Make three bubbles, and they all pop, giving you points and creating new flowers. The more flowers you trap, the more points you get. Pretty simple. But if you nab a hundred points in a single pop, and a vortex is created that sucks nearby flowers into its center. Vortexes are your gateway to huge point-racking combos, because you can grab all the flowers in a vortex in a single bubble.
Watch out, though. Enemy skulls also wander around the screen, and grabbing them in a bubble causes you damage. So does letting a flower touch the bottom of the screen. To balance things out, each princess has a unique special ability that can be used once you gain enough points. One ability lets you destroy skulls by touching them, and one sends in a flurry of flowers. Using a special ability also flashes to a brief cutscene that grants you a close-up of your princess’s softer parts.
It may sound somewhat complicated, but the challenges for the first princess act as a tutorial, giving you a firm grasp on how everything works.
Yeah, they’re all basically in stripper uniforms.
Even though the gameplay feels quite varied at first, the challenges repeat for each girl, making the game feel a little stagnant. For instance, one of the challenges for the first princess requires you to earn 2,000 points with one life, while one for the third princess requires 20,000 points. Also, the game becomes extremely difficult toward the end, so unlocking Panther, the fourth and final princess, takes much dedication. If sexy ladies are your thing, though, Panther’s background is worth the effort.
Also included are a handful of power-ups, a survival mode, OpenFeint integration, and unlockable wallpapers. All of which adds up to a surprisingly deep action puzzle game that fans of the genre (and fans of sexy pin-up girls) will appreciate. We couldn’t stop playing the game, whether because of the addictive nature of the gameplay or the drive to unlock all of the princesses, we’re not sure. If you’re not convinced, download the light version and try it for yourself. Just don’t play it in public.