Two years ago, one game attracted the attention of entire gaming world thanks to its super simple controls and challenging high score based gameplay. It was the first Reigns, the game that we described as a combination of Tinder and Crusader Kings in our review. The core idea is that you are a ruler (king or queen, depending on the game) who has to balance four different factions, the army, the church, the people, and the bank. Whenever any of the four meters run out or get full completely, your reign is over, usually very violently, and another ruler takes the place. Needless to say, the game became an instant hit, mostly because of the great execution, stylish art design and dark sense of humor.
A year later, the sequel came out by the name Reigns: Her Majesty, and put the player in the rule of a Queen, which added an interesting twist, considering that you can court noble lords, gossip, use cunning tactics instead of brute force and rule in much more ladylike manner. Now, few months after the announcement of the third game, Reigns: Game of Thrones it’s finally here, made in collaboration with HBO, and hoping to satisfy both groups of fans. Let’s see does it hold up to the promise.
The good thing about this collaboration is that both the game and a TV show rely on the same principle, and that is that you shouldn’t emotionally connect to the characters, because there is a big chance that they won’t live for much longer. In that manner, Reigns is an ideal game for Game of Thrones set, because death comes quick and sudden, often when you think you finally succeed in vanquishing all of your enemies.
Even if you didn’t watch the series, you will enjoy the game, if you don’t mind the occasional confusion. There are a lot of new elements added to the game, so even if you are not into the Game of Thrones, you might be too distracted to notice. The most apparent difference appears right of the bat, instead of playing as the predefined king or queen, this time you have to choose from multiple rulers. You begin the game as Daenerys Targaryen and during the play, you get to unlock Tyrion, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, and many more.
These multiple choices are improving the game’s biggest downside which is recursive and repetitive gameplay. The characters do share some common cards any events, but each of them has their own individual cards and events that are unique to them. In order to meet a certain ruler, you may need to play as a specific character. Playing one of the characters would provide you with clues on how to handle another character in the game.
It won’t be so hard to unlock all the characters, but if you want to see the true ending and find all cards, deaths, and objectives, you’ll have to invest a lot more time comparing to the original games. Leading multiple rulers means that you have many more options in front of you. You might get in the situation that you have seen a card that was really important but can’t remember where. But looking, for one thing, may lead to finding another equally important thing. Therefore, this game holds the attention for a longer time than the previous games.
There is also a very welcoming option for traveling to different locations. Each ruler begins in their own Kingdom, but they can also visit each other. If you really want to, you can start a war either by passive order or by leading the charge. If you choose the active role, you will have to decide which part of the army will go to action. You can send your infantry to fight archers, or Knights to fight wildlings. Although most of the game is based on trial and error, there is also the solid logic behind it. These detours from the main game mechanics could be found anywhere, in form of tavern fights and the noble discipline of jousting.
If you’re not the fan of either Game of Thrones and Reigns, you might want to steer clear of this game. But if you still have the wish to play Death Tinder, and you can’t wait for last season of the show, this might be a good time killer before the final season arrives. This is still a very fun game with plenty of things to do, regardless of your attitude towards the source material. Who knows, maybe playing this game will swear you in favor of the TV show.