Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Release Date: February 1991
You find yourself staring down a long trail leading into the Zucchini Mountains, Princess Tomato has been kidnapped by the notorious Minister Pumpkin. You play the role of Sir Cucumber in this adventure title, and with your sidekick Percy the persimmon, it is up to you to save Princess Tomato.
Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom was developed by Hudson Soft in Japan where it was known as Salad no Kuni no Tomato-hime. It was initially released for Japanese home computers in 1984, and was well-received due to its bright 16-color palette. It is worth noting that in the computer version, users had to type their commands instead of selecting a choice like the console release.
It was not until 1988 that Hudson Soft decided to port Princess Tomato to consoles, and in 1991 the game was localized for the United States. Since the game was on console, players could no longer type commands, so instead of using the D-pad to control the movements of Sir Cucumber players would select an option that bordered their point-of-view. Players would then be able to select Move, and then be given a choice of direction in which they wanted to go.
In 2004 a mobile version and Game Boy Advance version were released with enhanced graphics only in Japan. The game also made it to the Nintendo Virtual Console in February 2010 and is available now for download on the Wii or Wii U.
The game is unique in its controls because it is a very slow-paced game. This is due to every time the player travels in any direction; they typically will have to select each choice to progress. Such as they will have to look at the tree, they fill discover a nest. Next they will have to look in the nest, and discover a coin.
The game features 9 chapters accessible by password, with environments that are vibrant and colorful with catchy music to accompany them. Sir Cucumber will encounter numerous fruits and vegetable people to assist him and Percy on their adventure, while dodging the farmies, dice-o-matics, and escaping from the Saladoria Prison. There are also several mazes that players may find it best to sketch on a piece of paper beside them, as it seems like every direction you move looks the same as the last. Usually at the heart of these mazes is a monster that you will have to finger battle, which is a simple game of paper-rock-scissors. As a child I was particularly afraid of this guy, Saladron.
Princess Tomato is a great adventure game that I like to visit every now and then. The music, while very repetitive, never wears you down, and the writing is full of humor and puns.