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Ambition: A Minuet In Power – Is 18th Century Gossip Girl

Ambition: A Minuet In Power much like the wildly popular Netflix series Bridgerton, gives us all the lies, fashion and scheming of Gossip Girl and sets it in 18th-century Paris.

Life can be hard for a woman during the archaic French Revolution. While the men are fighting the battlefields you’re fighting a different kind of war in the ballroom. In this world what you wear, who you know and who you’re married to is a much more different kind of game. Abandoned by your fiance you’ll need to do whatever you need to do to seize wealth and power. And if you get some love in the bargain so be it.

Ambition: A Minuet In Power is a rogue-lite visual novel by Joy Manufacturing and Iceberg Interactive. In this story, your choices help you survive and thrive. Date a cast of unforgettable characters. Amass the wealth and respect you deserve. Engage in gossip that can alter the course of history, or lead you to the guillotine. Try to keep your head in this one.


The Setting

It’s March 19th, 1789 and King Louis XVI rules over France from the gilded halls of Versailles. France is a country of elegance and poverty, of ancient tradition and unstoppable change. It is a country on the brink of revolution. Amongst this political turmoil, a young ambitious woman named Yvette Decaux has left her modest home in the south of France and is in a carriage on her way to Paris.

Your fiancé, Baron Armand de Marbo seems to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Oh well, what’s a lady to do. Attend parties, mingle with the rich and powerful, learn their secrets, and use this to get the wealth and power you deserve. Find true love in an opulent world of ever-shifting alliances, that grows more dangerous by the day.

Still, you must always keep your eye on the coming revolution. After all, it’s better to be on the right side of history, than the wrong side of the guillotine.


Gameplay – Gossip

For a visual novel game Ambition: A Minuet In Power is not quite as straightforward as you would expect. As a woman of fashion in Paris, every day is an opportunity to amass power and climb that social ladder. Go to parties, attend various activities or simply rest to avoid that fatigue.

Every social interaction is a check and balance of gathering social influence, wealth and of course gossip. Choose what and who to spend your social currency on and ply your trade as you hobnob around Paris.

You can choose to sell the gossip you’ve picked up for coins or peddle the influence of the gossip. This has the effect of either increasing the power or decreasing the power of the particular fraction the gossip is about. So for example, if you sell a juicy piece of gossip that is about the military it increases the power of the military fraction by a little bit.

There are a number of systems to consider and you’ll need to keep checking your status to ensure your head doesn’t wind up on the chopping block. Yvette’s Credibility and Peril will improve her chances of making it out of Paris alive. The more credibility you have, the easier it is to deceive someone during a credibility check at the end of a conversation. You gain or lose credibility during conversations with others depending on the answer you choose in response to their questions.

Peril decisions you make can often get you what you want. However, it also comes with the risk of gaining Peril points. If the Peril bar fills up then it means something unfortunate will happen to you, so take your chances and you might lose your head.


Gameplay – Paris

Between parties, you’ll have the chance to explore Paris and even complete objectives for various individuals. You can spend the day at a café, seeing the sights, or selling gossip for money or influence across the two major, and three minor factions. Is your allegiance to the Crown, the revolution, the church, the military or the bourgeoisie of Paris?

You’ll also have to make sure you buy new dresses, because the more your wear a certain outfit, the worse it looks for you. You have to look good if you’re going to flame the fires of a revolution. Pay a visit to the Le Petit Mogol and see what Madame Fatima has to offer. As you accept each invitation to a party, just before you attend the party, and pick the outfit you’ll wear. Each dress has stats for its luxury, novelty, and modesty that affect the results of your Credibility and Peril.

Exhaustion plays its part in the game too. Attend lots of parties, become a party animal and you will start to suffer from exhaustion. If Yvette is exhausted at the start of a rendezvous or party she gets a penalty for her credibility. To cure your exhaustion you can return to the house and choose to sleep or grab some coffee.


Ambition: A Minuet In Power

All’s fair in love and revolution and in this case, love is your power. Capture the hearts of Parisian nobles to use their influence to your advantage. Change the outcome of political events, snub your rivals, and enjoy the fruits of your labours with lavish and expensive gifts that increase your standing and credibility.

Turn gossip into profit by selling the secrets you learn, but be careful! Your reputation and security are also at stake. The choices you make can yield great rewards and change the course of the story, but dire consequences could arise if you’re caught.

Ambition: A Minuet Of Power is out on PC and Mac on Steam now.