Here's another classic indie game that -- for whatever reason -- hasn't yet gotten the review treatment here. To start off I'd like to note that I'm probably going to sound more negative about this game then I really am. The difference between calling something a pastiche or an homage depends on how much you like it. I like this. The thing is, I feel conflicted about developer Buster taking not just pages, but chapters out of the Legend of Zelda playbook. Guardian of Princess isn't innovative by any means. To be fair this is a very polished homage, and definitely should be checked out by fans of the genre (if you haven't already done so).
The simple plot has you trekking through the game world to find a cure for a sick sibling. If you've played a Zelda title before you'll know what to expect with the gameplay. The combat is serviceable, if a tad rudimentary. It is humorous though that enemies combust in a showy explosion when you whack them with your sword. The puzzles are also heavily influenced by a certain elf in green garb; heh, there's even a Lost Woods-esque segment. Instead of gaining a new item each world you obtain a familiar, who in turn gains new abilities as you progress. What's interesting is the health and mana economy -- most puzzles require mana, but the only way to regain mana is by killing monsters. Also, health can only be regained by slicing carefully-placed bushes. Both design choices change the ebb and flow of the dungeons to a degree, and are the biggest divergences from the Zelda mold.
While the game is very vanilla there is a lot of good going for it; the charming graphics rival a second-tier 16-bit title and the soundtrack is catchy. The game isn't particularly difficult but is fairly lengthy; expect a good half-dozen hours of gameplay. As mentioned before, if you dig Zelda-likes you should really give this a go. Just don't expect anything mindblowing.
N.B. This was originally made in Japanese, but the fine folks at Aeon Genesis have made a translation. Also, the game doesn't have d3drm.dll. I linked to the file if you don't already have it.