Review: Time Princess - Magpie Tower

Magpie Tower is the newest visual novel in the Time Princess app. It came alongside a massive update that made the game even bigger and more comprehensive than it was already. This story is not based on any pre-existing property, so it isn't obvious what it will be about without playing through it. The story takes place in modern-day Korea like a few of Time Princess's previous visual novels and includes free Korean voices for several of the main characters during key scenes. It is a disability-friendly story that focuses on the hardships of living with numerous difficulties that are not obvious at first glance. Though it does not contain any royal characters due to its modern realistic setting, the story focuses on one of the most important themes of what it means to be a fairy tale princess: kindness and compassion.

Magpie Tower takes place from the perspective of Ha-yeon, who runs a fried chicken restaurant called Yummy Fried Chicken. While this setting seems a bit random for a princess game about dress-up, it emphasizes the story's theme that everyone matters no matter who they are or what they do. The key players in the story are regular customers at Ha-yeon's restaurant. Ha-jun is a visitor who comes to Ha-yeon in search of a job, Ga-eun is a workaholic with OCD who depends on Yummy Fried Chicken to get through the day, and Seon-woo is a male ballet dancer who also enjoys fried chicken. Ha-yeon enjoys helping people get through their day with delicious food. One day, she discovers a secret tower where she can do even more to make a difference in the lives of those around her. The premise is similar to the '90s show Touched by An Angel. Ha-yeon also has a unique ability that gives her super strength, but similar to the Marvel character Jessica Jones, she considers this strength more of a hindrance than a superpower and rarely uses it.

As much as I would have loved to see Ha-yeon get together with Ha-jun, this story is not a romance. Each companion has their own secret disability that they must overcome. Instead of romancing them, Ha-yeon's goal is to help them get through their problems and live their best life. Ha-jun, the character that introduces Ha-yeon to Magpie Tower, has a sensitivity to metal due to a traumatic incident from his past, which makes it difficult for him to interact with everyday objects. Ga-eun's OCD causes her to lash out irrationally when the things around her aren't perfectly neat and tidy. This makes it difficult for her to form relationships because most people who get too close to her have trouble putting up with all of her rules. Seon-woo has a rare case of male breast cancer that he is so embarrassed about that he wants to quit his career as a dancer. He also has a difficult relationship with his father. As a new inductee to Magpie Tower, it is Ha-yeon's job to help everyone overcome these difficulties.

Since this story takes place in modern day, the costumes are nothing special. There is a rare chef's outfit that represents Ha-yeon's uniform for Yummy Fried Chicken and one cute dress. After so many elaborate costumes from the more fantastical visual novels in Time Princess, this one seems rather lacking. The story focuses more on the morals of kindness and acceptance than it does on the fashions. The outfits range from kind of cute to downright sloppy, and nothing lives up to the glitz and glamour of many of the other stories in this game. The one thing I can say in its favor is that it offers some variety in terms of modern dress that appeals to different tastes. Aside from the work uniform, there is a pants outfit, a skirt and top ensemble, and a slightly more formal dress. All of these look rather ordinary in comparison to the other clothing options in the game.

In the world of Time Princess, Magpie Tower stands out as a refreshing departure from the enchanting tales of royalty and grandeur. This modern-day visual novel introduces us to Ha-yeon, a kind-hearted restaurateur, and her unlikely companions who grapple with hidden disabilities. Through acts of compassion and understanding, Ha-yeon strives to make a difference in their lives. While the costumes may lack the dazzle of other Time Princess stories, Magpie Tower excels in its exploration of themes such as kindness and acceptance. With its relatable characters and emphasis on personal growth, this visual novel reminds us that true beauty lies not in extravagant attire, but in acts of genuine empathy and support. Play this story to discover the power of compassion in Magpie Tower and unlock the potential of everyday heroes.


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