Have you ever sat at home and wished that you could spend your evening playing Tinder with a kingdom? That life or death situations could be resolved by swiping left or right? Well, you might not believe it, but there is an app for you! Welcome to Reigns.
Available on both IOS, Android and Steam, the idea behind Reigns is simplicity personified. You step into the shoes of a king climbing onto his throne for the first time. Various court officials then come to you with yes or no decisions. Swipe right for yes and left for no, it’s that easy. Except not entirely because these decisions affect the status of four bars. The happiness of the people, the church, the army and your financial reserves, if one gets too low or even too high that throne begins to get a bit uncomfortable.
This leaves you with a delicate balancing act and a shitload of pressure on your nimble fingers. One year you might choose to distribute the harvest among the population the next you leave them to deal with the horrifying effects of an epidemic. Sometimes you have to be bad to be good.
However, Reigns has a lot more than the rather standard kingly decisions of deciding who should eat this year. Throughout your playthrough, you will bump into everything from fortune tellers to talking vases and the comedy is pretty spot on. There are some out there and surreal ideas in this little game, and it adds a little sparkle to what you are doing.
Another sparkle comes from a mechanic that bears a lot of similarities to Rogue Legacy. When you die, you are not starting a new game but instead stepping into the shoes of the next king. There are times when decisions made during your last play-through continue to affect your next. If you start a crusade it doesn’t end on your death, it keeps going, and future generations must deal with the consequences.
Reigns is an incredibly basic game, and yet it is almost the perfect mobile experience. You can pick it up and run through an entire kingly reign in five minutes, and the gameplay is engaging enough to have you going back time after time. Sure, some of the scenarios do tend to come around a little bit too often, and you can learn them well enough to know what to do, but that’s forgivable and as you get further into the game, more cards are unlocked. Considering this will cost you about the same amount you would pay for a pint this weekend, it is something that would be well worth your time.
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