Looking for something similar to Princess Maker

ninja666

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Recently, I've been playing the hell out of the Princess Maker 2 remake that hit Steam a few months ago. After finishing it three times, however, I got bored of this specific setting (the same girl every playthrough etc.), but not the gameplay, so I'm looking for other similar games. Any help in that regard?

For those that don't know what Princess Maker is, here's an explanation to the best of my abilities: Princess Maker is a Life Sim/Visual Novel/RPG/Management Game hybrid taking place in a JRPG-esque fantasy setting. You're a guy who's pretty much considered a hero in the land and got recognized by the deities. The recognition was in form of a 10 year old girl the gods didn't want. They give her to you and ask you to raise her as you see fit till she's 18.

The gameplay consists of managing the girl's time by sending her to various classes, to work, or on dungeon crawling sessions. Each of these things raised her various stats, which then served as basis for various career and life opportunities. Despite the title, your "daughter" didn't have to become a princess at all (although she could, of course, if you so wished and worked towards it) - there was a total of 61 endings, both good ones and bad ones, each being a different profession she took later in life. She could become, for example, a royal strategist, a priestess, a scholar, a writer, an adventurer, a bandit, a prosititute and many more.

Now, I've already done some intense research myself and found three games that sort of fit and were worth a look, but each one of them had something in it that made me not enjoy it. Here's what I tried:

1. Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque. It plays like Princess Maker in a way that you have these two little girls whose stats you have to raise through unlocking their magic potential, teaching them spells, and then sending them on dungeon crawling quests. It had potential to be "the one" - it had great art and atmosphere, enjoyable soundtrack, and adorable characters. What I didn't like about it, though, was its stat raising mechanics. You see, in this game, with each lesson you make them take, the stats are distributed randomly via dice rolls. The game allows you to slightly manipulate the results by bumping the die, but in the end, most of it is pure RNG. It pissed me off to no end, considering the game requires of you to teach the girls specific spells (which require specific stats to be at specific levels) in a set amount of time because if you're late, story quests just disappear and you never get a second chance to do them.

2. Prince Maker - Braveness. It's a freeware Princess Maker-inspired game made by some Chinese rando and then fan-translated into English. This one is the closest one to what I want in terms of mechanics because it's literally Princess Maker, except with a few tweaks here and there and a boy instead of a girl. The thing with it was, that despite doing my best, I couldn't get immersed in it at all because of its weirdly tacky art direction that had no thought or effort put into it - the backgrounds were just (really unfitting) photos with a Photoshop filter on them and the characters looked extremely out of place (the author probably got some RPG maker avatar pack or something like that from somewhere and then chose the characters literally at random).

3. Long Live The Queen. This one I only read about. It's recommended everywhere as the game you want if you're looking for Princess Maker clones. I was eager to buy it, but decided to do a little more research beforehand. Turns out the most common complaints about it are that it's terribly balanced, full of useless stats, and it's super easy to reach a failstate and/or simply die because of "wrong" (i.e. not the one the creators wanted you to) stat distribution. After reading that, I decided against buying it.

There were some other ones on Steam, but according to the reviews, they were simply bad, so I decided not to even bother with them.

Do you have any other ideas for games that might catch my attention? I'm aware that I probably won't find something exactly like it, given it seems to be a pretty niche genre, so I'm willing to take some more creative suggestions. I'm especially interested to know if there are maybe other VNs that utilize the mechanics I'm after (time/character management, stat raising, skill learning), but don't make them the main core of gameplay. Basically anything that has anime artstyle and isn't a generic, a-dime-a-dozen dating sim at heart is very welcome. Also, I don't mind adult content, as long as the VN in question isn't a full-blown eroge that has nothing else apart from that to offer.

The platform I want the game on is PC. Full English translation (doesn't matter whether it's an official one or not) required.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Kaimax

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The requirement of needing it in Full English and in PC kills off mostly everything lol
And It's a really niche genre to begin with, usually this genre is more prevalent in the sexual training genre if it's for VNs.
Here's all that came out after filtering the search to "English, on PC, without differing it's and indie game or an official game"
https://vndb.org/g40?fil=lang-en.plat-win


My suggestion
Princess Maker 4, IMO is the more visually pleasing one. Different developer, and the illustrations came from Tenhiro Naoto well known for the Sister Princess series. Currently it only has a UI English Translation.
 

Fox12

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Long Live the Queen was bloody brilliant. My main complaint was that it could probably be beaten in about two hours. There is immense replay value in the game, but it begins to run thin after a while. Go ahead and buy it on sale for how much fun it is, but it's a pretty short experience.
 

ninja666

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Maybe Trillion: God of Destruction? It's nice despite having some flaws. Also Long Live The Queen is really good, it doesn't have fighting (with the plus meaning you can skip everything you already read) but there's lots of fun to be have.
 

Satinavian

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Fox12 said:
Long Live the Queen was bloody brilliant. My main complaint was that it could probably be beaten in about two hours. There is immense replay value in the game, but it begins to run thin after a while. Go ahead and buy it on sale for how much fun it is, but it's a pretty short experience.
Yes, it was not too bad, but really short.
 

SweetShark

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I always thought in Long Live The Queen you should always roleplay as the asshole to survive until the end. Also Dark Queen in PM2 is awesome!
About similar game.....maybe Life with a Slave? You can guess easily for what is about, but believe me it is a cool little game.
 

ninja666

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Kaimax said:
The requirement of needing it in Full English and in PC kills off mostly everything lol
Weird. I thought VNs were a PC genre first and foremost and it was the only genre the Japanese were willing to make PC-exclusive games in. Unless it's the English part that kills most of it because that's way more understandable - translations don't really come around all that often.


Kaimax said:
And It's a really niche genre to begin with, usually this genre is more prevalent in the sexual training genre if it's for VNs.
Here's all that came out after filtering the search to "English, on PC, without differing it's and indie game or an official game"
https://vndb.org/g40?fil=lang-en.plat-win
I've had a look through that very same list before making this thread. I also noticed that the most common theme for these is sexual training. That's one of the reasons I created this thread in the first place - I thought that maybe actual human beings with actual experience in playing VNs could help me better than a search engine can and that they actually know something worthwhile that sort of fits mechanically and doesn't involve sexually abusing females of various ages as its main gameplay/story element.


Kaimax said:
My suggestion
Princess Maker 4, IMO is the more visually pleasing one. Different developer, and the illustrations came from Tenhiro Naoto well known for the Sister Princess series. Currently it only has a UI English Translation.
As much as I'd like to play other PM games, a UI translation is not good enough for me. Either a complete translation or bust, especially since the further the series went, the more story-oriented these games have become. It's a real shame nobody seems to be willing to translate these games. The closest I found to a complete translation was PM5, but it was still at 80-ish percent, meaning some story elements and explanations would still be lost on me because of my inability to speak Moon.

Fox12 said:
Long Live the Queen was bloody brilliant. My main complaint was that it could probably be beaten in about two hours. There is immense replay value in the game, but it begins to run thin after a while. Go ahead and buy it on sale for how much fun it is, but it's a pretty short experience.
Maybe I'll reconsider. Although I doubt it. I really liked the open-endedness the PM games had - you could choose to teach the princess whatever skills you wanted her to and it always led to an actual ending. LLTQ apparently doesn't offer that - if you teach her wrong things, she just dies during a story event where the things you didn't teach her are required and you're forced to start over. If such a simple thing as a dice game mechanic was able to annoy me to the point of dropping a game althogether, imagine how angry I'd be at LLTQ's trial-and-error gameplay.

inu-kun said:
Maybe Trillion: God of Destruction?
I was considering it, but some reviews on Steam were less than favorable. Something about being able to abuse and exploit stats too easily or something? Nevertheless, it seems the closest to what I'm looking for, so if nothing better shows up, I think I'll go with this one. So thanks for the suggestion.

SweetShark said:
About similar game.....maybe Life with a Slave? You can guess easily for what is about, but believe me it is a cool little game.
Nah. When I said I didn't mind adult content I meant it more in context of "one or two random, out of place hentai scenes aren't going to be a deciding factor and I'm not going to not play the game solely on that basis". I don't really like adult content in VNs all that much, but considering the Japanese can't seem to be able to sell a VN without throwing some random H-scenes into them, so that fat, nerdy otakus would buy them in an instant (hell, even Littlewitch Romanesque had some of it, despite its innocent-looking art and character designs; if not for the Steam version, my little magical girl raising game would be coming with an extra hearty dose of loli sexual abuse in it), I had to make that exception. That doesn't mean I don't mind playing games revolving solely around sex - I do mind that, but I'm a bit less strict about that due to the reasons explained earlier in this statement.


Still waiting on other suggestions, if you have any.
 

Kaimax

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ninja666 said:
Weird. I thought VNs were a PC genre first and foremost and it was the only genre the Japanese were willing to make PC-exclusive games in. Unless it's the English part that kills most of it because that's way more understandable - translations don't really come around all that often.
Yes, Being in english is the main killing factor for your search, as for PC, traditional developers have branched out to consoles and handhelds too. Ps2has the most besides PC.

The one that really have strong similarities with PM is Shinseiki Evangelion: Ayanami Ikusei Keikaku with Asuka Hokan Keikaku for the PS2 and NDS (The PC version doesn't have Asuka). https://vndb.org/v1543
The Premise, is you're an officer assigned to take care either Rei or Asuka. The raising style is similar with PM, with multiple endings that depend on how you've raised the girls. I can make Rei turn into a full-fledged Otaku while getting her to marry me in the end. Or neglect her and she becomes a lone artist. Sadly, this too doesn't have an english translation.


I thought that maybe actual human beings with actual experience in playing VNs could help me better than a search engine can and that they actually know something worthwhile that sort of fits mechanically and doesn't involve sexually abusing females of various ages as its main gameplay/story element.
That's the thing though, VNDB is the most complete VN database in the net. If you can't find it in there, chances are it doesn't exist, very limited or was not considered a VN from the community. I've been playing VNs actively since 2007 and have played over 500 titles, but a Raising sim that doesn't involve heavy sexual training are actually very rare. PM is the series that pioneered the genre, but the majority are not in hurry to make a similar game.
 

ninja666

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Kaimax said:
a Raising sim that doesn't involve heavy sexual training are actually very rare. PM is the series that pioneered the genre, but the majority are not in hurry to make a similar game.
What about RPG-style stat/character management in general? Does this also count as "Raising Simulators" genre-wise? Because I'm already well aware I'm not going to find an exact PM clone, unless I decide I'm fine with sex games. That's why I said I'm accepting suggestions that still have those mechanics but it's not the absolute main focus of the game, like it is in PM. Trillion: God of Destruction is a good example of that (an action RPG/Roguelike with some character management), but I'm hesitant to try that game because of the complaints people have about its balance and whatnot.
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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ninja666 said:
Nah. When I said I didn't mind adult content I meant it more in context of "one or two random, out of place hentai scenes aren't going to be a deciding factor and I'm not going to not play the game solely on that basis". I don't really like adult content in VNs all that much, but considering the Japanese can't seem to be able to sell a VN without throwing some random H-scenes into them, so that fat, nerdy otakus would buy them in an instant (hell, even Littlewitch Romanesque had some of it, despite its innocent-looking art and character designs; if not for the Steam version, my little magical girl raising game would be coming with an extra hearty dose of loli sexual abuse in it), I had to make that exception. That doesn't mean I don't mind playing games revolving solely around sex - I do mind that, but I'm a bit less strict about that due to the reasons explained earlier in this statement.


Still waiting on other suggestions, if you have any.

The artist who did Littlewitch was Oyari Ashito, his style is like that in all of his works and yeah, he is basically famous for innocent looking loli characters who end up in sexy events pretty much. Though it wasn't at all abusive in Littlewitch btw, but of course Steam can't deal with the game without censoring it. The game didn't actually lose anything by being uncensored btw, if anything, cutting content that you can just not play if you dislike but those who like it can still enjoy it is the stupid thing.

I would note that his art style is rather youthful in nature so while some chars look one way or another they may be older than they seem. It's that kinda niche and I actually think his art style is beautiful whenever I see it, he likes those big foreheads so much lol.
 

SweetShark

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Well...just now literally found a source which says Princess Maker Refine, the first game will come on Steam.
Here is the Link if interested:
http://www.siliconera.com/2017/02/08/princess-maker-refine-localized/
 

ninja666

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SweetShark said:
Well...just now literally found a source which says Princess Maker Refine, the first game will come on Steam.
Here is the Link if interested:
http://www.siliconera.com/2017/02/08/princess-maker-refine-localized/
Nice. I'll keep a close eye on it. Thanks for mentioning it.
 

darkcalling

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All I can think of is SlaveMaker. An odd porn game cobbled together by what seems like a whole bunch of people. From what I know of Princess maker it's a bit like that except replace "princess" with "sex slave" and throw in a whole bunch of video game and anime characters to train.

I'd link to it but I can't remember how I found it let alone where. I do remember it was freeware though so it won't cost anything but time to look it up and give it a try.

It was weirdly addicting for a few weeks though as something to do when bro was hogging the console.
 

Frankster

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SweetShark said:
http://www.siliconera.com/2017/02/08/princess-maker-refine-localized/
Correct me if im wrong but even according to the official description..Isn't this pretty much inferior to PM2 in every single possible way? Oh why can't they simply stop being teases and release the sequels to PM2 that i presume are an upgrade rather then a downgrade :'(

After reading rest of posts here, i think at this rate im going to have to give slave maker a try. Always wanted to play more games like pm2 but other then some free web games i found nada..Guess i should been looking up the hentai section apparently.
 

goldenblack

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Take a look at the following two offerings of http://www.blackchickengames.com/

If you're willing to forego VN/visual aspects, Academagia is basically "Magical Student Life Sim: The Game". You create your own freshly enrolled student beginning to enter the first of five years at wizard school, pick your college within the school and curriculum, and from there spend the entire year learning/exploring/getting into hijinks/etc. Visuals are pretty threadbare, calling the interface clunky would be generous, some elements like familiars and cliques feel tacked on and underdeveloped, and there's a very steep learning curve, but for all its faults Academagia has truly remarkable depth of playthrough options and lore. Their development speed is glacial, so whether they'll ever get there is pie in the sky stuff, but the makers plan to go all the way through year five and graduation. As is, the final year 1 DLC (all DLC are free) and release on Steam should be due soon, with year 2 (supposedly with a rebuilt and much better engine) maybe a possibility later in the year.

1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum is newer and an actual VN style game (though still with much more complex RPG/management elements than the standard VN). The titular Scheherazade is basically a young, female Indiana Jones, and similar to Academagia you spend a year juggling school and relationships with periodic adventures, though in a more focused narrative. It's sitting near the top of my backlog, so haven't personally played it much yet myself to comment on much more (partly why I didn't name it first).
 

Frankster

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^Academagia is super amazing, though i don't know if i'd consider it a PM type game as you're not someone in charge of raising someone else.

Basically academagia is the ultimate harry potter simulator, a really super hyper detailed one and it's an absolute travesty it's not more well known and lauded, but then its almost entirely text based which limits its appeal i guess :/

Have been waiting on academagia year 2 for years, hope it comes out one day. Back in the day the plan was to cover 6 years (so the entire duration of your wizards studies) with each year leading into the next, hopefully it will still come to pass.

Regarding cliques and familiars, cliques are actually quite important from a narrative pov and would matter more if there were sequels, since that's your group of buddies with whom you go on adventures with, or at least would, in later games. I'm guessing familiars would have had a similar role.
Damnit i'm still not sure if i should be holding up hope for academagia year 2 or not..
 

goldenblack

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Frankster said:
Regarding cliques and familiars, cliques are actually quite important from a narrative pov and would matter more if there were sequels, since that's your group of buddies with whom you go on adventures with, or at least would, in later games. I'm guessing familiars would have had a similar role.
Damnit i'm still not sure if i should be holding up hope for academagia year 2 or not..
Oh, cliques, familiars, and other currently somewhat hollow mechanics (like duels or crafting) are quite important from a narrative and long-term perspective, just noting that there are mechanics in the game which are kinda unfulfilling or only partially explored at present. That said, given none of them are mandatory to deal with or impede normal progression, certainly rather them be there in some state than not at all as a basis and simply hope that in this theoretical universe where they do manage to get the entire series completed in my lifetime, they're fleshed out more in the subsequent years.

I'm long past the point of holding my breath for releases, but from periodic rechecking of the forums, my sense is that year 2 at least should happen. Supposedly one of the big hold-ups had been their desire to get year 1 finalized with the last DLC and its interface tweaks to make things a little more user friendly (so far as was feasible for that mess of an engine) in tandem with release on Steam, which itself had hiccups when they had to go back through the Greenlight process after thinking they already had clearance from Scheherazade. They got the Greenlight in fall and started beta-testing for the final year 1 release in December, so that should be out soon. For Y2 itself, they said in fall that UI work was the last major thing left other than testing. While nothing about their development cycle is going to surprise me anymore, if the Y1 release on Steam goes through ok within a couple months, then I might for the first time in awhile seriously think there's a real chance of seeing Y2 in the near future.
 

Lightspeaker

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Long Live The...

ninja666 said:
3. Long Live The Queen. This one I only read about. It's recommended everywhere as the game you want if you're looking for Princess Maker clones. I was eager to buy it, but decided to do a little more research beforehand. Turns out the most common complaints about it are that it's terribly balanced, full of useless stats, and it's super easy to reach a failstate and/or simply die because of "wrong" (i.e. not the one the creators wanted you to) stat distribution. After reading that, I decided against buying it.

...oh.

To be fair...I absolutely agree with all of those criticisms. And yet still think its worth playing.

Its sort of annoying there are very set, specific paths through the game which you have to take or die. It turns it into a very much trial-and-repeat method of working your way through things, balancing getting enough stats in the right areas at the right times to not die. But its still good. Maybe get it in a sale.


ninja666 said:
inu-kun said:
Maybe Trillion: God of Destruction?
I was considering it, but some reviews on Steam were less than favorable. Something about being able to abuse and exploit stats too easily or something? Nevertheless, it seems the closest to what I'm looking for, so if nothing better shows up, I think I'll go with this one. So thanks for the suggestion.
Hmm? I'm surprised people are complaining about it like that.

I've been playing Trillion a fair bit recently. The thing is...apparently its easy to abuse and exploit the game to beat it very quickly. But the point is that you won't know how to do that, at least first time around, unless you look up a guide. If you play it blind you should get a decent experience. That being said Compile Heart's games are never that difficult in my experience. Its all about setting, characters and art design.

On the other hand Trillion doesn't seem to be exactly what you want. The stat raising is directly related to powering up your Overlords and then sending them to battle Trillion until their almost inevitable demise. There's a bunch of endings but they're not related to the stat building (which is fairly limited in scope anyway), instead its related to the outcome of your fight(s) against Trillion.
 

Frankster

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goldenblack said:
wizard snip
Academagia 2 is actually coming? Guess I know what my pick for best rpg of the decade might be assuming it's more or less same as the first (bigger,prettier and better optional but welcome!) and with ui that doesn't kill your eyes due to squinting at small text all the time.

Wait a sec...They are still making free dlcs for Academagia 1? o0
...
That kinda sums up Blackchicken studios in why they are awesome yet are struggle to reach commercial success.
Academagia is awesome, but people simply don't know about it and for w/e reason it didn't sell enough to really be worth continual development, which is why BC studios had to work on other games first and even had a go at kickstarter..Which of course failed abysmally despite a super awesome premise :'(

On bright side, Academagia on steam might finally bring it to the masses, not to mention make updating DLC much easier.
Going to their forums to get updates made me feel like it was the 90s all over again, especially with how links would get broken or outright disappear and no one would update or fix the links for months or even years...
 

Zaltys

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Cute Knight Kingdom [http://www.hanakogames.com/ckk.shtml]. Blatant Princess Maker clone by Hanako Games, the same company that made Long Live The Queen. Far more open-ended than LLTQ.

I was also going to suggest Academagia, but looks like it's already been mentioned. That one's a real hidden gem, definitely worth a try if you're into niche games and life sims.