Review: Time Princess - Showdown in Glitter Rise

The latest visual novel in the Time Princess app is a western, which comes as a surprise since there are few female-oriented stories in that genre aside from a few old musicals like Annie Get Your Gun and Calamity Jane. What also came as a surprise is that Showdown in Glitter Rise is the least violent and most culturally sensitive western story I have seen to date with an extremely relatable protagonist who has a heart of gold, a black female sheriff, and a Native American companion. I've never thought of westerns as being particularly female-friendly, but this one rises to the challenge beautifully and fits right in with the other visual novels in this game that cover various cultures and historical time periods. The costumes are unique to the game's infinitely expanding wardrobe. There had not been any western wear provided as an option in one of its many events and stories up to this point.

Showdown in Glitter Rise is about a gentle cowgirl named Bella who works at a saloon with her father and a young man named Sam who they took in when his father died mysteriously. Despite being skilled with a gun, Bella leads a peaceful life and is a pacifist by nature. She is good friends with Malila, a Native American from a local tribe that she enjoys spending time with. Her life turns upside down when a mysterious do-gooder shows up called The Stranger, and the town sheriff, Alexia, wants to determine his intentions. Bella becomes acquainted with The Stranger and learns that he is a Native American nomad named Wapi who wants to discover the reason behind his mentor's depression that led up to his death. Upon getting to know him better, Bella learns that there might be a connection between the death of Sam's father and Wapi's mentor. Their search leads them to a hidden stash of gold from the California Gold Rush that a wicked man Alwyn is after.

This visual novel has three diverse companions with only the slightest hint of romance. Alexia is a no-frills sheriff who is good at her job and well-respected among the townsfolk. She is close to Bella and is willing to let her get away with certain things that she wouldn't do for other people because she trusts Bella's good intent. Sam is my least favorite of the companions. He is ferociously protective of Bella and has an awful temper that comes off as dangerous at times. He is all brawn with minimal brain power and is wholly devoted to finding his father's killer. Wapi, The Stranger, is my favorite companion. He seems like the best romantic match for Bella. Though he is a lone warrior, he is not afraid to reveal his identity to her pretty early on and has an interesting backstory about how he left his tribe to travel the world with his mentor, making it difficult to fit in with either the cowboys or the Native Americans. He is attractive and polite, making him a good fit as a love interest.

While none of the fashions in this story can be construed as glamorous, it provides some unique options to the game's wardrobe. There are several different cowgirl outfits to choose from, with some having more of a feminine flair than others. My favorite was the one with the frilly skirt, but even that one looks practical enough for horseback riding and traveling in difficult terrain. There are several different cowgirl hats in various sizes and jewelry that is unique to western wear. I also liked the fringed deerskin coat that is reminiscent of Native American fashion with matching turquoise jewelry. The hairstyles from this novel are also designed to be appropriate for rougher activities by staying tied back in simple styles. I love that no matter how many new stories the game released, the outfits always look different from the previous sets.

To sum up, Showdown in Glitter Rise is an intriguing addition to the Time Princess app's collection of visual novels. Breaking the stereotype of westerns as male-dominated and violent, this story embraces a more female-friendly and culturally sensitive approach. Through the eyes of the gentle cowgirl Bella, accompanied by the inspiring black female sheriff Alexia and the Native American nomad Wapi, players are immersed in a tale of mystery, friendship, and adventure. The game's expanding wardrobe impresses with its unique western fashion options, showcasing the intricate details of cowgirl attire and Native American-inspired accessories. With its well-crafted storytelling, diverse cast of characters, and the ability to continuously surprise players with fresh costumes, Showdown in Glitter Rise stands out as a testament to the game's commitment to inclusivity and creativity across various time periods and cultures.


Sugar said…
There are many romance books set in the old west so no wonder this addition!There are also old shojo manga that happened there.
Anonymous said…
My biggest worry when this novel was released is if there was Native Americans in the story and how were they written in. Western stories aren't always kind to them.

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