I never thought that a Tinder-esque control mechanism would work in a game, let alone when coupled with an infinite timeline of kings, peasants, and a ridiculous amount of death. But hey, what do I know? I’m not a game designer and be thankful for that. What I do know, however, is that I never knew I needed a sequel, and I’m happy to say I was wrong again!
Reigns: Her Majesty is a familiar delight if you had played the original. The control mechanic retains the swipe to the left or right on cards, with each directional swipe featuring a different outcome. Whether it a narrative decision, such as calling an executioner when the church is trying to extort you (the horror!) or choosing to take the next left in a seemingly never-ending maze, each decision is a delight. You manage four elements, so to speak, making sure that one singular element does not become either too powerful or too weak.
The Church. The People. The Knights, and finally, the Bank. Each is a commodity that must be delicately balanced but, as is the way of the world, a decision made can’t please everyone. What may delight the church may anger your knights and, should they turn against you, you’ll end up losing your head. Fret not, for your life shall continue anew, or something equally as pompous. You’ll learn from your mistakes, and carry on.
New mechanics are revealed in the way of contextual items that, when used in the right situation, may open up new paths and destinies to dive into. Drag a magical book onto a fox and it will speak to you, telling you where the Lady of the Woods may reside. Put the same book on a cat, and it will plainly ask you to scratch behind his ear. The depth and complexity of the game is astounding. This is exaggerated by the fact that it is hidden behind an incredibly simplistic mechanic, so you never really notice.
With the game being available on PC as well as your smartphone, it is perfect for both longer play sessions and, let’s be honest, the *usually* shorter gaming sessions that everyone takes on the toilet, yet never admits to. Your secret is safe with me. And hey, if I tell anyone, off with my head too? I’ll try not to come back a few years later and right the wrongs, promise.
Contributor Nick Hanchet received this copy of Reigns from the publisher. He swiped his way to royal glory.