Review: Time Princess - Trendy Times

The latest visual novel in Time Princess is a little more historical than the last few, though it has nothing to do with actual princesses or royalty. Trendy Times takes place right before the Great Depression when women started wearing pants in public for the first time. It is about a fashion designer who is determined to put pants for ladies on the market even though it is a foreign concept at the time. Due to the fashion designer angle, the story has some unique outfits that stand out from other dress-up items in the game as well as beautiful illustrations that are done in an art deco style. Like Spring Sonata, the visual novel aspects are very clear-cut with theirs decisions. Most choices either trigger a bad ending or move the story forward, so there's no need to replay levels multiple times to see all of the endings.

Trendy Times Cover

Marguerite Gautier is an orphan whose only dream is to put her design ideas for women's pants on the market even though the concept of a woman wearing pants is unheard of at the time. She acquires a new dream after meeting Marissa Fontaine, a girl who looks exactly like her. Unfortunately, Marissa is chronically ill and begs Marguerite to take care of her father when she leaves the world behind. This works out in Marguerite's favor because Mr. Fontaine is a rich fashion tycoon. He takes Marguerite in as his new daughter, and asks her to replace Marissa as his company's lead designer. Marguerite does so with a heavy heart, not wanting to take advantage of his kindness or Marissa's memory. She ultimately decides to use her experience under her new father as a stepping stone to bring her dream to life and honor her new friend.

Marguerite expresses her failure to succeed in selling ladies' pants to popular fashion labelsMarissa cheers on Marguerite from the afterlifeAlain asks Marguerite her feelings about taking a risk in the big city

I was a bit disappointed that Marissa was not a companion in this story because her Princess and the Pauper-inspired relationship with Marguerite is crucial to helping her achieve her dream. Instead, Marguerite's platonic companion is Isadora, a tough-as-nails singer who grew up with Marguerite at the orphanage. She has a vibrant personality and is a wonderful friend. I kept reading her dialogue in the voice of Susan Egan in my head. The two romantic companions are like night and day, giving players different options depending on their personal preferences. Alain is the literal boy-next-door who is a starving artist and would do anything to support Marguerite's dream. Gary is a wealthy stockbroker with a sharp mind for business that Marguerite meets through her connection to Marissa. Both love interests have their charms, but I personally prefer Alain.

Artwork of Alain snuggling with Marguerite on a park benchArtwork of Gary rescuing Marguerite from drowningArtwork of Isadora running through the streets with Marguerite

Time Princess has been knocking it out of the park when it comes to new outfits. Even though there are thousands of dress up pieces in the game, every consecutive story introduces a new look and feel to the player's wardrobe. This one is no exception. I was particularly pleased that even though it's a story about designing women's pants, there are some beautiful 1920s-style flapper dresses as well. Marguerite's talent for designing shines through in the pant suits with shimmering blouses and colorful ruffles that any woman would be pleased to wear. If I had to pick a favorite, I suppose I'd go with the stylized brown jumper that is dripping with golden tassels, beads, and accents and topped off with a jeweled circlet. I like how historical the costumes look, even the pant suits. Players will be just as proud of Marguerite's designs as Marguerite herself.

Marguerite sports a black and gold pant suite with flared orange rufflesMarguerite shows off an elegant brown jumper dripping with golden beads and drapingsMarguerite in her 1920s flapper lounge singer dress

Overall, Trendy Times is a cut above the contemporary and horror stories that Time Princess has released of late. It takes place during an integral period in history where women's roles began to transition outside of the house. I was surprised by the "Princess and the Pauper" aspect and that it wasn't promoted as much in the marketing. It added a neat twist and some emotionally trying moments to Marguerite's tale. The clothes are unique and fun, which is saying something considering how many outfits the game has already. It's also great that the story doesn't require the player to go back twenty levels and look for the right decision in order get a certain ending. The player can get pretty much any ending based on the choices they make in the last few stages. Still, I would prefer something with more fantasy or actual royalty for the next story. How about you?

Trendy Times storybook


Anonymous said…
ooh thanks for the review! I wasn't sure about this one but after reading your review I'm definitely adding it on my TBD list! I like the outfits and story that you've introduced.

- Lucilla
(not gonna comment as much as the recaptcha is really annoying)

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