Nerial's Reigns: Her Majesty is a solid follow up to their royal simulation game Reigns. The card game expands on the original title's humorous take on noble responsibilities with new cards, scenarios and an added mechanic. that keeps this simple game of decision making fresh. Those that have unlocked every possible achievement in Reigns will welcome the new content Her Majesty brings and those new to the game can jump right in and start choosing the fate of their kingdom with this recent title.
For those not familiar with Reigns, it combines a Tinder-style swiping mechanic with Long Live the Queen-esque decision-based simulation gameplay. Players assume the role of a new queen in Reigns: Her Majesty and are presented with a series of choices to make that will affect her life and that of the kingdom she rules over. Each choice is presented as a card making up a deck that is shuffled and dynamically dealt one swipe after another creating quick paced, simple gameplay.
Each choice is a binary, swipe left for yes and right for no. Sometimes, it's left for “I'm sorry” and right for “I'm sticking to my guns on this one.”, and many scenarios give you the opportunity to chime in with a spirited reply to your subjects' queries and complaints. The simple swiping is an intuitive mechanic that keeps the game flowing nicely, but it was clearly designed with a mobile interface in mind and is more satisfying on a touch screen than with a mouse or trackpad.
Your reign may last 5 years or 50. Whether it ends in beheading or sainthood you're sure to play through many a lifetime. Discovering the multitude of possible regal demises is part of what keeps you playing, a similar philosophy seen in visual novel style games. You're meant to experience what the game has to offer multiple times to explore different storylines and scenarios. To prolong your reign, you'll need to balance your favor among the church, nobles, military, and treasury. At first, this endeavor is a ridiculous guessing game because you have little way to know how your decisions will affect your favor with any given faction. However, the more you play, the better you'll be able to anticipate outcomes and dig into the game's strategic layer. Further motivating multiple playthroughs and experimentation with choices are the three objectives players are given to achieve with each reign. These objectives hint at interesting scenarios and possibilities, not to mention a shiny check on your achievement board that spurs you on to play another round.
Reigns: Her Majesty adds a new element to its simple gameplay in the form of items that can be discovered and used in-game. Whether it's a pistol or a spellbook, these items lend a more interactive experience to the game and slightly increase the options you have in choosing your kingdom's destiny. Acquire an old broken clock and you may meet someone who can fix it, which leads to other unforeseen scenarios. Procure a lethal firearm and now regicide is a possibility, forever changing the course of you and your kingdom's timeline. Figuring out how to use each article to your advantage is a fun little mystery to solve and it would be nice if there were even more that players could do with them, as there are few opportunities to utilize them in the grand scheme of the game.
Aside from the fact that the protagonist is a female, this game also changes up the scenarios available with an all-new deck of cards filled with colorful characters and situations ranging from dueling pirates to a mysterious pagan goddess. Negotiating your way through tricky scenarios will unlock new cards keeping each run through unique and entertaining. Sprinkled with meta humor, a garbley-gook language, and minimalist, high contrast artwork, the game has an irreverent and casual tone that is juxtaposed against the high stakes decisions of poverty or wealth, life or death to great effect.
The quick succession of one queen after another keeps you playing even after a disappointing reign and will appeal to the casual player. The intricate balancing of the different factions and figuring out how to achieve more objectives will satisfy strategy and visual novel fans. Reigns: Her Majesty manages to capture and expand on the fun of the original Reigns. It plays much like DLC to its predecessor and not a completely new game but it adds enough new content for it to stand on its own. It would be a great addition to your library of games for touchscreen-enabled devices.
Reigns: Her Majesty is an intuitive and addictive experience that adds interactive items and amusing new scenarios to the gameplay of the original game. Playing without a touchscreen however, leaves something to be desired.
- Addictive and Intuitive Gameplay
- Addition of Interactive Items
- Amusing Scenarios From a Queen's Perspective
- Less Intuitive Without Touch Controls