Can’t afford 2023’s best-reviewed indie game? “Pirate it,” dev says

Have you played Slay the Princess, one of this years biggest indie hits? If not and a lack of funds is preventing you from doing so, its developer has given the green light to pirate it. Just as long as you pay the dev back if you like it.

As strange as it may sound, Black Tabby Games, developer of Slay the Princess has indeed suggested that you the game if you can’t afford it. Then if you like it, buy this horror visual novel when you’ve got the funds.

It’s a surprising take, to say the least, though not an entirely unique one. A handful of developers have adopted a similar stance though in some cases it was down to concerns about suspect key reselling sites.

Black Tabby’s position, on the other hand, seems driven by the desire to get the game seen by as many people as possible. The developer also warns against just watching the game on YouTube. “The game is at its best if your first experience is playing it yourself instead of watching someone else’s play-through,” Black Tabby tweets.

I can echo that sentiment – as a huge fan of the game, I took the demo for a spin but steered clear of other coverage and I’m glad I did. Technically, this is a branching visual novel with a horror theme but it’s like nothing else out there.

It begins with you approaching a cabin, tasked with slaying the princess  in the basement who, if the narrator is to be believed, could end the world. But the further you push into the game, the less uncertain you become of anything. Throw in some gorgeous art and brilliant voice-work and you’ve got a game that’s not to be missed.

I’d say more but as Black Tabby suggests, the less prepared you are, the better. But Slay the Princess hit a 97% Steam score just days after release and it’s reviews sit at Overwhelmingly Positive, which should help clue you in as to how good it is.

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If money is an issue, piracy option aside, it’s currently 10% off in the Steam Winter Sale, making it $16.19 / £13.49. If you have an aversion to princess slaying but still want a fright or two, here are the best horror games. Or for more indie-gems, check out the best indie games.

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