I have never before played a game with a preference for pink. Frills and ribbons aren’t my thing out in the real world, either, but it goes a little deeper than that. Like a lot of folks, I have a kneejerk aversion to games that are visually coded as “for girls.” Intellectually, I know there’s nothing (nothing!) wrong with pink, but something buried in my lizard brain always tells me this game is going to suck, move along. Last year, I gained some new perspective, thanks to an interview I had with Rachel Weil of FEMICOM. “We do typically have this gut reaction that games dressed up in bows won’t be any good at all,” she said. “But why?”
It was an eye-opening consideration for me, and I instantly thought of it when I found myself with a copy of Long Live The Queen, a strategy-heavy simulation game with a Magical Girl aesthetic. It wasn’t my style, or my preferred genre, but I told my lizard brain to shut up, and gave it a fair shot. I played, and played, and played. I’m still playing. Beneath the hearts and glitter lies a complex puzzle, one I have yet to unravel to my satisfaction. It has me hooked.