Beastmaster and Prince

Not wanting to leaving otome fans alone out in the wild, the new LA based company b2g Studio has started a Kickstarter to localize the visual novel Beastmaster and Prince ~Flower and Snow~ for the PC. The game was originally released in Japan by Idea Factory in 2010 and was popular enough to spawn two sequels. If you’re not familiar with Idea Factory, they’re most known for the Hyperdimension Neptunia series and have published other otome titles such as Hakuoki and Amnesia. Those last two games were ported to the Android and iOS by Gloczus, the Japanese parent company of b2g Studio.

Beastmaster and Prince
Tiana: described as a ‘sweet, down-to-earth type of girl with a great personality’.

Beastmaster and Prince ~Flower and Snow~ features Tiana, a woman from the Katlaia Kingdom who wants to become a Beastmaster like her mother. Armed with a flute made for her by her father, Tiana can sooth any animal with the instrument. Her inability to find any animals to tame is rectified when she meets the four princes of Farzan (Matheus, Alfred, Lucia and Erik). While men are sometimes referred to as beasts, this is a bit more complicated for the princes; they have been cursed by evil witch and turned into animals. Tiana must break the curse, uncover a conspiracy in the kingdom of Farzan, and decide which beast to master to return them to their human form so they can rule as king.

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The ‘beastmaster’ part of this visual novel is definitely put to use as each of the princes have an animal form that compliment their personalities. There’s the unsurprising lion form in Matheus who is aggressive in battle and in love but who also has a softer side. Then there’s the bizarre choice of a duck form in Lucia who is cunning yet cowardly and also lazy. There’s also a Cuddle System that allows players to interact with the animal princes by cuddling their fuzzy personas. Although not stated in the Kickstarter, it’s obvious that the cuddling will build bonds with one of the four princes and will effect the different endings that are available in the game.

Beastmaster and Prince
This game is too innocent for innuendo.

The campaign is looking to raise $150,000 to fund the localization Beastmaster and Prince ~Flower and Snow~ and the four bonus chapters that were added to the Japanese release. They are doing this with a set of rewards that includes the digital version for $25 and the complete pack (with a pillowcase, wall scroll, art book, tote bag, and Steam key) going for $140. Steam keys actually seem to be a bonus feature in many of the reward levels so make sure, if you want to back the project, that you pick the right tier if you want a key.

The estimated delivery for Beastmaster and Prince ~Flower and Snow~ September 2016 if it is successfully funded. It will be released for the PC and also Android and iOS if the stretch goal of $151,000 is met (a mere $1000 more than the actual goal). The campaign is going strong with around 25% already raised and 26 more days to go. The Kickstarter page is filled with gorgeous artwork and has a high level of polish. It also includes regular updates that clarify questions and announce additional features like voice acting. If you want to play it safe and do a bit of research before backing (which is always recommended) you can play the prologues of Gloczus’ other localizations on iOS and Android for free. You have until March 12th, 3:03pm EST to back this game and possibly become a beastmaster… of the heart.

Leif Conti-Groome
Leif Conti-Groome is a writer/playwright/video game journalist whose work has appeared on websites such as NextGen Player, Video Game Geek and DriveinTales. His poem Ritual won the 2015 Broadside Contest organized by the Bear Review. While he grew up playing titles such as Final Fantasy VI and Super Double Dragon, he doesn’t really have a preference for genre these days except for Country; that’s a game genre right? Leif’s attention has been more focused on the burgeoning communities of niche Japanese titles, eSports and speedruns. He currently resides in Toronto, Canada and makes a living as a copywriter.