FMV or Full Motion Video games have been around since the early days of gaming. From Dragons Lair to more modern games like Her Story and Late Shift, it has been a niche genre that players still enjoy. Mia and the Dragon Princess is one of the latest entries in the genre from Wales Interactive, Dead Pixel Productions, and Good Gate Media. You play as a bartender named Mia whose life gets crazy when she meets a mysterious woman and is tasked will assisting her in uncovering mysteries and escaping the pursuit of the game’s antagonist. Since this game is all about the story, we will try not to spoil the fun here.
If you are unfamiliar with FMV games, most are like a choose-your-own-adventure movie. You are presented with various options and you are required to make decisions in order to move forward in the story. This is not dissimilar to games like The Walking Dead and titles in the Dark Pictures Anthology. In many cases, your choices can impact your options as you delve deeper into the narrative.
In Mia and the Dragon Princess, Wales Interactive mixes in water-colored animation and audio logs to deliver the story and background of its characters. All of the cutscenes are animated and depict the past of our mysterious protagonist. As you make your way through the story, you also unlock various audio logs that you can listen to through the audio tour. This audio tour will make more sense when you meet more of the characters in the story but it is a welcomed addition when it comes to finding out more about the lore.
Mia and the Dragon Princess’ story gives off the vibes of a campy adventure story filled with some pretty impressive names. Paul McGann from Doctor Who and MyAnna Burring from The Witcher both make appearances and fight stunts are choreographed by martial artist Aaron Gassor. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously and I think when it comes to FMV games, this helps when it comes to immersion. At times there may seem like there aren’t too many consequences to your choices but I was surprised with a ‘Game Over’ screen unexpectedly.
A single playthrough of the game may take a player about an hour. That may not seem like much time but there are up to 10 endings that the player can experience. After completing your first playthrough, you gain access to the story tree which shows you the choices you made in previous playthroughs. I do wish that I was able to pick up the story from a specific point in the story/decision point and didn’t need to play through the entire story again but there are a couple of features that help the player through this. As I stated before, the game is not that long and you can get through the game faster by skipping the scenes that you’ve seen before. Also, you have access to the story tree in the pause menu so you can reference choices you made previously. Being able to choose your starting point would be a welcomed addition in a future update.
For $12.99, Mia and the Dragon Princess is worth the price of admission. The campy nature of the game may be off-putting to some but I do think it adds to its charm. The campaign may be short but there are 10 interesting endings that players can discover and the ability to skip the scenes that you have already experienced keeps things from feeling dull. If you are a fan of FMV games, I think that trying this game is a no-brainer. If you are still a little hesitant, there are a few bundles available on Steam to add more value to the package. Mia and the Dragon Princess was a fun escape from traditional games and I look forward to exploring more of the Wales Interactive library.