Fat Princess Review

By Dana Vinson - Posted Aug 04, 2009

The PlayStation 3 often gets a bad rap, thanks in no small part to its early lack of high profile, original IP titles. However, with the PSN exclusive Fat Princess, Sony is taking a more subtle, but no less effective, approach to try and keep consumers happy with their all-mighty processing machine: bringing good old fashioned fun back to serious gaming.

The Pros
  • Fun, immersive gameplay
  • Game has a unique sense of humor
  • There's cake
The Cons
  • Poor matchmaking framework
  • Meager in-game communication
  • Lack of player feedback and stats

The PlayStation 3 often gets a bad rap, thanks in no small part to its early lack of high profile, original IP titles. However, with the PSN exclusive Fat Princess, Sony is taking a more subtle, but no less effective, approach to try and keep consumers happy with their all-mighty processing machine: bringing good old fashioned fun back to serious gaming.

But don’t get me wrong; Fat Princess doesn’t take itself too seriously, as illustrated by colorful graphics and liberal use of Internet slang throughout the game. Jeepers, one of the main elements is feeding a princess cake, for calorie’s sake! But, using well-designed strategic action elements, dressed up in casual game clothing, Fat Princess offers a robust experience for the tactical gamer. 

Fat Princess

Grab a Hat and Stay Awhile.

In Fat Princess, you command a mini-warrior through the single-player campaign, gladiate mode or multiplayer. Five player classes are part of your strategic arsenal including The Worker, The Mage, The Archer, The Priest and The Warrior, each with different skills and abilities.
To pick a class, you must don the requisite hat. Hats are spit out from different dispensers located in your castle, which acts as your team’s home base. Classes can be upgraded by The Worker, who gathers resources from outside the castle and feeds them to the machine. This seems to be a theme that runs through Fat Princess: everyone has a job to do and teamwork is essential to winning the game.

This is an advertisement - This story continues below



I Killed Them…I Killed Them All. They’re Dead.

From an aesthetic standpoint, your character looks like a well-meaning kid who has raided his dad’s closet…and his dad happens to be Hagar the Horrible. This style, coupled with adorable little squeaks and squeals the players let out over the course of battle, makes it seem like you’re constantly slaughtering other children.

And you do slaughter. The game is surprisingly graphic, though there are parental controls you can use to turn off the gore. But the oversized hats and tiny men running around the screen can leave you subtly uncomfortable; however, the whole thing works in a light-hearted Battle Royale kind of way, especially with the inclusion of a LittleBigPlanet type narration and goofy extras like using magic potions to turn your enemies into chickens during battle.

Lo Carb Diet

Fat Princess’s single-player campaign is pretty barebones. Experienced gamers will burn through it in three to five hours with some scattered moments of frustration thanks to underdeveloped AI. You’ll probably find yourself saying “Uhh, guys? Where’d you go?” as you face massacre from what looks like a gang of like neighborhood kids playing “Harry Potter vs. Renaissance Faire.”

The campaign is a very basic story mode, where you play through chapters that introduce you to the different game modes including Rescue the Princess and Team Deathmatch. By completing the campaign, you get the whimsical back story about the two princesses, but the whole thing is a yawn. For a $15 downloadable game, I would have expected a slightly more flushed out single-player experience.

I’m Gonna Feed This B*tch Cake Until She Explodes!

Fortunately, multiplayer is where Fat Princess really shines. Trudging through the story mode does a good job of preparing you for the online battlefield where you fight in epic, action packed strategic battles in teams of 16.

During a game of Rescue the Princess, for instance, each squad has the enemy team’s Princess in their respective castle. Your collective goal is to get your Princess back to your castle safely, while holding the enemy Princess hostage. Now, we get to talk about the cake! In order to get your princess back to your castle, you have to carry her. Throughout the course of the battle, players from the opposing team can feed your Princess cake, thus making her fat and harder to carry. The fatter your Princess, the more teammates you’ll need to escort her back to your castle.

Fat Princess

You Can’t Eat It, Too.


Playing a 32-person battle is fun, especially for the strategy-inclined or even those who just like to feed people cake; however, there are some glaring glitches that, as of review time, make multiplayer a frustrating experience.

Fat Princess does have some matchmaking issues. Sometimes it can take upwards of ten or more attempts to get into a game, which is incredibly frustrating. Online gaming isn’t a new or revolutionary idea in 2009. Once in, matches can last upwards of 30 minutes, so at least you’re rewarded for your work with some meaty game time. There is the small issue of lag, but unfortunately, like prisoners to prison food, lag is something we have learned to live with.

Another notable and curious problem is the issue of in-game communication. It’s not necessarily the fault of the dev team, but PSN doesn’t always have the most talkative users (ie: not everyone uses a headset). In Fat Princess, talking to your teammates, figuring out attacks and strategizing roles are essential tasks. Without headsets, and thus, no plan, you’re going to die. A lot. Especially when you’re first starting out. But don’t worry, the respawn time is quick and all you have to do is grab a hat to get back in the game. If you play with the same people over and over again, you figure out what everyone is supposed to do through Helen Keller-type experimentation.

Another problem with Fat Princess is the lack of in-game player feedback. While other games do a good, or at least adequate job, of displaying basic stats at the end of a game, Fat Princess provides little indication of your performance. There’s also the pesky issues of earning ranks through play that mysteriously appear or don’t appear next to your name. How are they earned? Who knows!

Fat Princess

Live Together, Die Alone

If you are a lone wolf, run-and-gun gamer, Fat Princess is not for you. For those of you out there who enjoy the team strategy experience with a little bit of humor mixed in, you’re going to drool over this game. It’s a fun romp that allows you to use more serious gameplay mechanics in a fanciful world and let’s face it: who doesn’t love force-feeding a woman giant slices of magical cake? The strong core game opens the door for future expansion with more maps and modes, so for $15, Fat Princess is a safe bet for gamers craving some off-beat action.