Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess Review

July 18, 2015

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is the newest installment in the recently reintroduced Deception series. After not releasing a game in the series for 8 years, Tecmo Koei have suddenly gotten very busy, and quickly released two within 1.5 years. The way they have been able to release the second game so quickly is because it’s not actually a new game. The Nightmare Princess is an expanded release of 2014’s Deception IV: Blood Ties and includes all that game’s story, along with some brand new content.

The Nightmare Princess is a trap-based strategy game. You’re let loose in stages with an arsenal of traps that you need to set up and set off in a series to create combos and kill your enemies. These traps include humiliating traps such as a pumpkin head you can drop onto an enemy and arrow slits in walls to fire at enemies. Additionally, there are also stage traps that you can set off in various ways, allowing you to throw enemies into electric chairs and drop massive pillars onto them. The name of the game is to chain a series of trap and then end it with a stage trap for a big finale and massive damage.

The biggest inclusion in The Nightmare Princess is the new Quest Mode. Quest Mode puts you in a map with 3 objectives to complete. Only one objective needs to be completed for you to finish a Quest, but the more you complete, the more you’re rewarded. In Quest Mode you take control of Velgyrie, the second daughter of the devil. Velgyrie has awoken from a great slumber missing many of her powers, and is working to get them back. While playing as Velgyrie you will set traps within stages to kill your opponents in elaborate, humiliating and sadistic ways. Unlike Laegrinna, the first daughter of the devil and protagonist of Blood Ties, Velgyrie is also able to physically attack her enemies. While this may not sound like much, it introduces a new dimension to your trap combos. You can now kick enemies into your traps, instead of just luring them into traps. One of my favourite moments in the game came from setting off a series of traps, ending with me kicking my enemy into an electric chair to end the combo.


Quest Mode has a total of 100 quests for you to complete, with you unlocking traps and content for the other new mode, Deception Studio. Deception Studio allows you to create your own characters, enemies, and missions. You’re able to share your creations online, and with the large number of items you unlock, you can be rather creative.

There is definitely a large amount of content included in The Nightmare Princess, but the maps can get repetitive over time. You will often find yourself playing in the same map for an extended period of time, and the maps are generally not large enough to allow for a lot of variety. The small maps can sometimes feel cramped as you’re attempting to manage multiple traps and enemies at the same time.

Spending so much time on the same maps would be less of an issue if the environments weren’t quite so dreary. However, highly colourful and upbeat maps wouldn’t really fit the tone the game takes, so it’s understandable why they are so dreary. Enemy models, except for named opponents, are also often repeated in quests and missions. While dreary and repetitive, the environments and characters do look good, especially when it’s taken into account that The Nightmare Princess was also released on PS3 and Vita. The main character models specifically are particularly nice to look at.


The Nightmare Princess features a rather muted soundtrack that is largely relegated to the background. Unlike most games, the soundtrack is not there to capture your imagination or inspire you, it’s simply there to provide something to be broken by your enemy’s screams. While it’s not necessarily what most would look for in a soundtrack, it suits the game well and sets the right mood.

The crux of The Nightmare Princess is in its traps. With 180 different traps there is a massive variety, although many of the traps are the same with extra modifiers. Traps fall into three categories: Wall Traps, Floor Traps and Ceiling Traps. These categories control where a trap can be placed on each map. Each of these three categories is then further split into a further three trap categories: Humiliating, Elaborate and Sadistic. These categories reference how you will damage an opponent and also provide different experience points. The large variety and different modifiers lead to many ways to finish each mission you do. Do you want beat your opponent by causing them to slip on a banana peel and then drop a boulder on them or would you prefer to capture them in a bear trap and hit them with a swinging axe? This gives The Nightmare Princess the variety and fun factor necessary to come back and replay Quests.


Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is a fun, if slightly rough, strategy game. The large amount of content taken from Deception IV: Blood Ties makes the game a slightly less appetising proposition if you owned the previous game, but new players will find a large amount of content to rummage through. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.


Large amount of content
Highly replayable


Repetitive enemies
Cramped environments

Overall Score: