We live in a crazy gaming world. We went from no English Princess Maker-like games to some PC installments appearing in English. Now we have Ciel Fledge, from indie developer Studio Namaapa and PQube, about to give us another opportunity to raise a daughter. While people might look at it as a lookalike, there are some changes here that help with planning in ways Princess Maker doesn’t always offer. It gives people a lot of data and factors to consider, all in a way where you can clearly see how things influence Ciel and her growth.
From the very first moments, Ciel Fledge is giving you all kinds of information that might help you shape Ciel’s future before you even start. Like the Princess Maker games, you determine your own background. You choose where you came from and what your profession is. While this tended to determine a yearly stipend in the other series, here your lifestyle influences Ciel. For example, a Surface Dweller parent would mean a Surface Master with a 25% reduced stamina cost for exploration and an Altitude Phobia that reduces Ark battle time by 25%. If someone is Ark Born, then the Solidarity perk increases the friendship encounter rate by 25%, but a fear of Danger Below would only allow someone to explore on the surface for five days.
The profession you choose for your parent is even more influential on Ciel. Instead of a handful of choices, there are five skill focus spheres tied to different skills Ciel can build up. This means there are 15 career options for you, divided into the Charm, Imagination, Intelligence, Spiritual, and Strength focuses. If you are a Doctor, Ciel gets a free First Aid Kit when she explores, but all usable items will be twice as expensive since you’ll buy Only the Best. I went with an Architect, which means Ciel started with a level three Crafting skill, her Imagination skill gains would all be 10% higher, but her Logic Above All quirk would decrease Spiritual skill gains by 25%.
Once those agonizing decisions are done, it comes down to training and raising Ciel. Like Princess Maker, there are different schooling options, you could eventually send her on jobs, and you could have her spend time with people or rest during her free time. As you go through activities, you see how she’s doing. However, Ciel Fledge goes even further with measurable data you can see to determine how your choices are shaping this character. On her main character page, you’ll see the basic stats like Charm, Imagination, Intelligence, Spirituality, and Strength. However, tabs let you better see how this directly influences her. For example, under Imagination, my Ciel had Crafting level three and was working toward Creativity level one. She was also working toward Social level one under Charm. Going over to Traits showed she already had Design Expertise level one, to boost blue set hit multipliers.
Then, there’s the Focus Tree. This is a way to gauge exactly what you are doing and be rewarded for your efforts. Think of it as an achievement system. As you have Ciel perform certain actions, like shop, attend certain classes, get skills to certain levels, or befriend certain characters, you’ll get a check mark on nodes on the tree. It is a visual way of seeing when you are or aren’t doing well. It can also mean tangible rewards. For example, the first one people will earn is a Cheesecake for sending Ciel to Public School five times. This teaches you about consumable items, which can be used to boost Ciel’s stamina and such during the week, while also getting you comfortable with this system. The more you do, the more you earn and see how she’s progressing.
When you have a life simulation game like this, keeping organized is a critical part of helping a character succeed in life. You will want and need to know everything they could be capable of and how your schedule and choices will influence that. Ciel Fledge is the sort of game that keeps you up to date. When you start things out, you know how your background will influence Ciel. When you head to classes, the data is there. Her character page and focus trees help you better understand things. It seems like it could set people off on a clear start.
Ciel Fledge will come to the Nintendo Switch and PC on February 21, 2020.