I watched as the man naively stepped on my launching pad and was sent sent flying through the air before landing on a bear trap. The trap held him in place as my swinging axes knocked over the two columns next to him. He was squashed and killed instantly. It was only a 4-hit combo, and that wasn’t enough. I started the level over and changed my strategy, I wanted a 6-hit combo to get the last reward.

In Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess you control Valgyrie, a daughter of the devil. She haunts people in their dreams by – you guessed it – setting up a room with an elaborate design of traps. Like most characters in the Deception series she isn’t wearing many clothes because…well…reasons. I got bored of the story in less than an hour. I wasn’t here to listen to people talk. I was here to sadistically humiliate unsuspecting victims.


For people that know nothing about Deception, it’s a puzzler about laying traps in a room to take out your enemies. The traps range from torture wheels to rakes a person will step on and smash their face. There is a wide variety for you to use at your disposal plus some environmental traps that are already placed throughout the level. It’s a puzzler in the sense that to complete the level, you have to figure out the best traps to use, where to place them, and get the timing just right to reach a high combo. Sometimes a person will even heal themselves, so you need to account for that and make sure they never get the chance. I didn’t think I would put as much thought as I did into my trap layout, but it didn’t take me long to realize I needed to place every trap with a specific goal in mind.

Deception IV is the kind of game where it is up to you on how much fun you want to have. You can pass the levels by doing the same simple trap combo that you know will work. That was the main issue I felt when playing the Blood Ties portion of Deception IV, the previously released game on PS3 that was ported over to the PS4 along with the added content. That was a very linear game that you could use the same combo repeatedly to pass through the levels. Doing this gets old quickly, but it is hard resisting something to fall back on when you know it works. Deception IV gives you the tools to let your sadistic mind play with, but if you can’t come up with anything good, you’re going to get bored rather quickly.

The Nightmare Princess’ story design remedies the repetitive nature somewhat by offering a quest tree with branching paths and condition to meet. To advance the story you need to complete the quest’s requirement. There are bonus conditions to earn fun extras like new traps. This will force you to mix up your go-to combo by making you use a certain trap in your arsenal or one already in the level. A majority of the time you can still fall back on your favorite combo when the inevitable frustration ensues, but it still breaks up the repetitiveness for the most part.


I had that exact mixture of fun with my time I spent on The Nightmare Princess. When I really got absorbed into the level, I would hand pick the traps I wanted to use, and try to get the highest combo I could achieve while meeting the requirements. Those moments contained the bitter frustration with all my screw-ups but also led to the ultimate gratification when I finally got it right. Don’t mistake the weird story, skimpy dressed women, and strange premise for a gimmicky game. There is a lot of strategy that goes behind each setup. I found myself sometimes sitting for minutes at a time planning out the level down to every detail. Even when things didn’t go to plan, readjusting your strategy on the fly was fun in its own way.

It really is an enjoyable game if you invest, and it’s shockingly addicting to try to humiliate your unsuspecting guests. Never before did I know I wanted to drop a pumpkin on someone’s head to have them walk into a springboard which would send them to their real doom. It’s impossible to deny The Nightmare Princess can be a riotous, fun time. Like when you try to rack up combos and points by flinging someone into the ceiling with a giant spatula. It’s ridiculous, but it works.

You can even download quests from other players. Having player creation content is always good for the longevity of a game, but The Nightmare Princess doesn’t succeed in any big way. You don’t stream the levels online, you physically download them to your PS4. To play one level I had to go through 10 download, saving, and loading screens. It’s a hassle to say the least. They’re often only a couple seconds long, but it adds up. The levels and possibilities aren’t anything remarkable either. Essentially, it’s a nice bonus, but it wasn’t something I plan on spending my time on.


I want to make one thing very clear. Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is an expanded version of the PS3 title Deception IV: Blood Ties. You can play the entirety of Blood Ties now on your PS4, so if you’ve never played it before you can certainly dive in now. In that scenario, there is lots of content for you to experience. Likewise, if you just love Blood Ties and want it on your PS4 you should also pick it up. If you’re looking for something entirely new, The Nightmare Princess may let you down at its price tag of 50 USD currently. Especially when it’s better to consider it a port with added features than a brand new game.

This also means the graphics appear a little bit dated. It’s nothing you can’t get over rather quickly, but while the environments are creative, they are still bland to look at. The controls are smooth enough for a game where its emphasis is on traps, but when you are running in circles to get someone to step on a trap you can’t help but notice it starts to falter.


Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is a fun game if you get invested. Completing the quests with the bare minimum will often leave you wanting more. But when a long setup goes perfectly, you feel the immense satisfaction of pulling it off. The major issues of dated graphics and repetitive gameplay is easily outweighed by your creativity, but like I said, only if you choose to invest. You need to remember that this is a port and not a new game, but if you know what you’re heading into; you are probably going to enjoy all the sadistic possibilities The Nightmare Princess offers you.

This review is based off a review code of the Playstation 4 version of Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess developed and ditributed Tecmo Koei.

Sadistically Pleasing | Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess
Final Score7
  • Fun Strategic Gameplay
  • Rewards Your Sadistic Creativity
  • Quest Style Story Mode Fights Repetitiveness...
  • ...But Can still Feel Repetitive
  • Price Tag a Little High for A Port, Especially if You Own The Original
  • Dated Graphics
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author

Neil has had a passion for video games ever since the Atari entered his life so many years ago. He's been writing about them for over two years and sees no end in sight. Reach out to him on twitter @nconnors13