Review: Time Princess - Cleopatra Visual Novel

Cleopatra is a visual novel that a lot of people were hoping for from the Time Princess app. It's the third story about historical royalty following Queen Marie and Princess Sissi, but the fashions are unlike anything in the game so far. This latest Time Princess adventure transports us to the indulgent world of ancient Egypt, where pharaohs bathe themselves in gold and jewels that dangle shamelessly from their embroidered robes. The story itself is not a friendly one. Like all royal struggles, Cleopatra's history is fraught with warfare, betrayal, and murder. I knew who she was but had very little knowledge about her history before reading this story. Not only did I learn a lot, but I was also able to indulge in some gorgeous exotic fashions.

Cleopatra Visual Novel Cover

Cleopatra's tale begins with a massive betrayal from her brother, Ptolemy. In a surprisingly gender-equal monarchy, Cleopatra was supposed to rule peacefully at Ptolemy's side as co-rulers. However, Ptolemy was greedy and wanted to be the only pharaoh during his reign, so he turned the people against Cleopatra and had her banished from the throne. Cleopatra's loyal sister, Arsinoe, sought vengeance against their greedy brother and led an army to overthrow him and restore Cleopatra to the throne. Many of the decisions that the player must make throughout this story involve keeping Arsinoe's violent instincts in check. Despite her sisterly love for Cleopatra, she is a heartless warmonger who is bent on nothing but revenge. Even though Cleopatra is the one who should desire vengeance the most after she was betrayed, she decides to play the long game by joining forces with Julius Caesar and seducing him into lending her his armies to support her cause.

Ptolemy betrays CleopatraSosigenes joins Cleopatra's armyCleopatra seduces Julius Ceasar

If you are looking for a romantic story to get lost in, this isn't it. Cleopatra's tale is one of seduction, bloodlust, and vengeance. Even if the player tries to make decisions that imply Cleo's feelings for Julius Caesar are genuine, at the end of the day, she is still using him for his power to restore her throne. Pursuing a romance with Caesar further complicates Cleopatra's relationship with Arsinoe, who believes that allying with anyone outside of Egypt is no different than betraying their homeland. Someone gets hurt no matter what decision you make, which tends to be the biggest struggle of real-life monarchs. In that sense, the game gives off some vibes of Yes, Your Grace, which also results in losses no matter which decision the player makes. The one thing I didn't appreciate about the Cleopatra visual is that, unlike Queen Marie, all paths lead to the same ending. While this may be more historically accurate, it makes all the story paths and choices feel like a sham. I was pretty surprised by this since most of the other visual novels in this game are more dynamic.

Arsinoe argues with CleopatraCleopatra and Julius Caesar play a dangerous gameSosigenes with his falcon

The gorgeous fashions in this story vastly make up for my disappointment with Whispers of the Rain. It's easy to show off the exotic and mystical fashions of the great Cleopatra. This game exceeds expectations with its signature attention to detail and historical accuracy. The ancient Egyptian robes and golden accessories are not only authentic but also breathtaking as the player is transformed into a pharaoh who was famous for being so beautiful that some said she was the reincarnation of the goddess Isis. It is difficult for me to pick a favorite since each piece is uniquely crafted with golden accessories and hieroglyphics. Cleo's golden coronation dress is particularly stunning with its serpent-inspired crown, belt, and armbands, but her casual lotus dress is a breath of fresh air with its flowing pink and blue petal-like layers. I also appreciate the subtle hieroglyphic design embroidered onto the skirt of her battle dress.

Cleopatra's golden coronation dressCleopatra's colorful hieroglyphic battle gownCleopatra's casual pink lotus dress

This story is a vast improvement over the last one for its educational value and stunning outfits. The only thing I would change is the lack of dynamic endings. Though Cleopatra's story tree branches out in many different directions, they all lead to the same place. One of the joys of visual novels is being able to change the outcome, and I did not feel like that was the case here. No matter what happens, Cleopatra must ultimately accept Caesar's help and be scorned by the people for faltering in her Egyptian pride by allying with Rome. I would have liked to see an option for her to betray Caesar and side with Arsinoe instead or even to try to convince Ptolemy to see reason. Still, this story taught me a lot about history and allowed me to indulge in ancient Egyptian riches, and for that reason, I would recommend it to newer players of Time Princess.

Cleopatra story mapCleopatra and Julius Caesar


Mellie said…
I haven't completed it yet,(only have a few more stages left) but so far this is one of my favorite Time Princess books in a while. The story, while heartbreaking at times, is hard to put down, and the costumes are just gorgeous.
dzwonki mp3 said…
Thank for your writting
I am surprised to see your dive into the historic tapestry of antiquated royalty. I believe this may have been a worthwhile growth experience for you as you continue to hone your writing craft. Kudos! You have surely struck a harmonious chord with me.

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