Have you ever wanted to rule a fictional medieval nation with an iron first, but also from the comfort of your mobile phone? Then Reigns is the game for you.
Like all great mobile experiences, Reigns is deceptively simple and at first seems like a generic Choose Your Own Adventure book. You start out as a young king taking control of a kingdom for the first time. Advisers, citizens and animals appear as cards and come to you with issues and questions that require specific rulings. A swipe to the right indicates yes and a swipe to the left means no. Amusingly enough the game is actually kind of like browsing through Tinder in a way.
Each decision you make fundamentally alters four aspects of your kingdom: your people, the church, the army and your treasury. These categories are tracked by meters at the top of the screen and your overall goal is to ensure no column becomes empty; if you do the session is over. The overarching goal is to keep the game balanced and reign over your kingdom for as long as possible. If you’ve managed to make the right decisions at the correct moments, you’ll die of old age rather than because your people are starving and have stormed your castle.
Decisions range from marrying the princess of a nearby kingdom, to providing your loyal subjects with food and shelter. You can choose to be as benevolent of malevolent ruler as you like, but every choice in the game has dire consequences.
Reigns art style, while not very detailed, features a minimalist aesthetic that works great on mobile as a platform.
Where Reigns gets interesting is when it comes to subsequent play sessions. Every decision you make is recorded by the game and could potentially come back to alter your fate. Reigns is a simple concept, but its writing is top notch and full of witty dialogue. If you’re looking to kill some time on your commute, it’s difficult to go wrong with Nerial and Developer Digital’s Reigns.