Lannisters, Starks, Targaryens… Oh my!
This is a title I completely did not see coming (mostly because I’m not glued to social media). Medieval Tinder-simulator Reigns is back with a bigger kingdom for you to rule: Westeros. That’s right, this time you’re sitting on the Iron Throne itself and swiping it Game of Thrones style. I saw this on the App Store, during its pre-order period, and I’ve never tapped a purchase button so quick for a game in my life.
If you’ve never played Reigns before, honestly “medieval Tinder-simulator” is the best TL;DR way I can describe it. But alas, it’s not a dating simulator set in medieval times. In the Reigns series, you play the monarch of a kingdom and are given a “deck of cards” and with each card, there is a decision to make: should you swipe left or right? Beware, this game isn’t simply about swiping mindlessly, there are four pillars of which levels you cannot leave too high or too low, otherwise its game over…and you start another reign as another king/queen. This game is about strategy.
You start as Daenerys, sitting on the Iron Throne, balancing between the Army (power), the Faith (of the Seven), the People and the Vault (of money, duh…) with each decision you make. Winter is coming and the White Walkers approach. Then, your first death arrives and you discover that it was all a vision in the flames and you meet Lady Melisandre, who seeks to understand the visions of the Lord of Light and find Azor Ahai. If you played well during your first run, you’ll find that you need to survive long enough to unlock another potential ruler…out of nine.
What I love about Reigns is while it may have the simplest game mechanics in the world, its stories are unique and vast, and with this new entry, it has only gotten bigger. With a total nine characters to unlock, each with their own storyline, I can only imagine what the Seven Kingdoms have in store for me. Not to mention the minigames that you play (that are still detrimental to your rule).
While I’m not going to name all the unlockable characters nor am I going to tell you how to unlock them (honestly, that’s at least 3/4 of the fun!), what I will advise you is to pay attention to what you’re reading. Seriously, it helps! And there’s an actual ending to this game, I promise you. It is deeper than you think…
Perhaps my favourite part of the game is its music. Since the game is actually licensed by HBO (good on ya, Devolver and Nerial!) you hear music from the series, from an acoustic guitar version of the TV show’s famous theme song to a chilling theme of winter, putting your head/earphones on will be worth it, though it gave me an extreme sense of longing for the final season.
With Reigns and Reigns: Her Majesty I got a little impatient with finding all the endings (yes there were multiple), so I had used walkthroughs to get me there. While I was still immensely satisfied in the end, I decided that with this entry I would heed the advice of no raven and go upon my journey alone…and this round the ending was less satisfying, knowing that there was only one ending. However, I still enjoyed my time playing the game, as repetitive as it can be, unlocking the tens of ways a character would meet their demise or finding out how to complete all the tasks/quests has kept me entertained enough.
I look forward to the next Reigns title. Perhaps. If the White Walkers don’t get to us first…