Swiped Left: Dave's Autobiography

Reigns: Her Majesty ascends the throne

iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •

The original Reigns is a game that, to this day, makes me feel like an idiot [to be fair, it’s not hard to do -ed.]. It’s not due to complexity but because I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t enjoy it. It’s universally beloved and yet I can only muster a half-hearted “meh” whenever it loads up. What am I missing? I know there’s something that I’m missing, something that will emerge if I just keep swiping. Today the sequel landed for iOS, Android, and PC/Mac/Linux and, dammit, I’m going to figure this out. Today, I’m going to start playing Reigns: Her Majesty with a clean slate and figure out what all the hoopla is about.

While the gender of our protagonist may have changed, it appears that gameplay is going to follow the Tinder-esque mechanism of swiping left and right, choosing whichever option you feel is best for your kingdom and/or your monarch. If Reigns: Her Majesty is anything like the previous game, this means making a lot of choices that wind up with your queen dead either by assassination or political uprising. The new queen then starts up where the old one left off, and you’ll repeat this pattern ad infinitum.

In Reigns: Her Majesty, a cultural renaissance has bestowed the world with a new era of knowledge and enlightenment but greed and jealousy still conspire against the benevolent queen. Outwit and outlast those that would seek to depose you and your husband by swiping left or right, making just (or unjust) decisions on all manner of royal matters. Maintain the balance between the kingdom’s most powerful factions, use mystical items from your inventory, and navigate the increasingly complex politics and personal relationships of your dynasty.

Reigns: Her Majesty was written by journalist/author Leigh Alexander who is so much better at doing what I’m trying to do here that it’s kind of embarrassing. Thus, Reigns: Her Majesty will get my thumb swiping if only to see what stories she’s come up with. That’s not the only thing that differentiates Her Majesty from the original:

  • New Kingdom, New Drama: Your royal decrees and unpredictable requests of the people will shape both your time on the throne and the future of your dynasty. Carefully navigate the foolish politics and emotional pleas of the kingdom’s eccentric subjects to find balance between the most powerful factions of the land.
  • Mystical Inventory: Find and upgrade five special items in a new inventory system. Use your powerful items on character cards and unlock special paths in the ever more complex narrative of your kingdom.
  • Royal Challenges: Reach specific goals set before each new monarch’s reign to unlock new sets of cards and new directions to take the story of your dynasty.

It doesn’t matter what platform you prefer, Reigns: Her Majesty is available on it. It’s not only on mobile (both iOS and Android), but also on Steam and GoG for PC/Mac/Linux. Best part is the Steam/GoG version is the same low price as the mobile one, $3.

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Notable Replies

  1. I picked up Reigns via the 80 Days writer Meg Jayanth, and initially I was underwhelmed. I played it for a bit and thought “Is this it?” but then the consequences of previous decisions started to get all up in my shit and I was hooked. It puts you in a kind of Tinderinth, which only really got through to me after several hours. Because I am stupid.

  2. I enjoyed the original Reigns on my first playthrough, but going back to try to get different outcomes got old pretty quickly. I’m therefore going to hold off on this one for a bit.

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