Princess Maker installments require quite a bit of investment. Not as much as an actual child, of course, but going through eight in-game years with a kid in the hopes of making her dreams of royalty come true takes a significant amount of time. This is especially true with Princess Maker 3: Faery Tales Come True, an installment that omits Princess Maker 2’s RPG elements. It involves lots of menus and watching animated screens where, for at least the first two years, your new daughter spends a lot of time flailing about. Fortunately, having a Princess Maker 3 Switch version makes all of that a lot more bearable.
For those entirely new to the Princess Maker concept, it’s important to explain exactly how Princess Maker 3: Faery Tales Come True. Especially since it is pretty different from the previous two titles. You don’t have a calendar in front of you when you schedule. You just see a bar with weeks. On the home screen, you see your daughter and are able to adjust her schedule, buy her things, change her clothes, see her current stats, talk to her, and kick off the things you have planned. There’s a lot of going through menus, as you check out different classes, examine stats to see which areas she’s excelling in and if it is a direction you want, and manage your money. Then, when you’re not arranging things, you’re watching her as she’s out in the world attending classes, working at jobs, and occasionally socializing.
In short, it can be a lot of watching, plotting, and waiting. None of these are bad things. Part of the fun of any Princess Maker is the micromanagement that comes with it. Rather than a parenting sim, it is more about realizing the cause-and-effect nature of its gameplay. You think about what each task accomplishes and how it changes her, then see if you can perfectly plot things out in a way that brings you closer to a goal you might have in mind for her. (Odds are, you will not make her a princess on the first try.) With the previous console and PC versions of Princess Maker 3, that meant sitting trapped in front of a screen all day, waiting for things to happen. Again, which isn’t bad, but can be tedious even if you love the series.
The Princess Maker 3 Switch version eliminates those sorts of issues in lots of different ways. Having it in handheld mode can be a godsend. It allows you to chip away at child-rearing, spending an hour or two to help her through a few months of her life. If you work out the ratio of school, work, and rest and have enough of a monetary reserve built up, you could go on autopilot and play while enjoying another sort of media or activity. You could even socialize while going through it.
It also makes sharing the Princess Maker 3 experience easier. It can be fun to grab screenshots and show them off to go over how you are doing and get tips from other people. Also, it can be good for those “special” moments. The localization for the game isn’t great. You’ll likely come across more than a few issues as you play. None of these are incomprehensive. Rather, in action they can come across as rather silly. So much so that you might want to share and joke about them with other people. Perhaps not in a mean way, but in a “this is a fun game that I enjoy, but it needs some work and has some occasionally unintentionally funny moments as a result” manner.
The localized version of Princess Maker 3: Faery Tales Come True isn’t an ideal situation. The translation issues from the PC release persist and and there have been bugs. However, it also offers us some things that don’t come along often. One is the localization itself, a rarity given the series’ history. Another is the ability to play it on the go, something previously reserved for people who were willing to import Princess Maker 4 for the Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable or Princess Maker 5 for the PlayStation Portable. Having the luxury to play in bursts in a more convenient format is a godsend for such a series. (It even extends to the board game spin-off!)
Princess Maker 3: Faery Tales Come True is available for the Nintendo Switch worldwide. It is also available on the PC.