Review: Reigns — Game of Thrones Meets Tinder

Reigns — Game of Thrones Meets Tinder

Reigns recently went on sale on the Google Play Store (sorry, iPhone users), and that inspired me to give it a go. I've wanted to try this one out for a while now, but the steep price tag kept me away. ($2.99 is a lot for me, okay?)

Now that I've had some time with Reigns, I can say that it's certainly one of the most impressive mobile games I have played in years. While it might not be action-packed, Reigns sucks you in, forcing you to feel the weight of every decision you make.

Reigns is a game about choices. You are the king, and your task is to listen to the various leaders of your land, each represented as a card in a deck. Each comes to you with a request, and you must decide whether or not to honor that request. Watch what you say, for each decision affects the balance of your kingdom — the Church, the people, the army, and the bank.

The game will show you which decision will affect which of these four pillars, but won't tell you if that effect is positive or negative, leaving the fate of the kingdom up to your intuition. I found that compromise is the name of the game here. Decisions that affect one of the pillars too much seem to end up biting you down the road.

If any one of the pillars depletes completely, you lose your reign. The people may overthrow you; you may be murdered; there are many different endings to your legacy for you to experience. But that's the key word — legacy.

Each reign is recorded on a timeline, so as you start a new game as a new king, your old decisions are still very present in your kingdom's history. Which spells trouble for your future games. Decisions made as past kings come to haunt you in your current lineage. You must choose wisely if you want to rule long into your days.

The art style is one of the initial draws of the game. Its minimalist art and peculiar drawings are intriguing and fresh. It certainly does not look like any game I've ever played.

The game gives you plenty of excuses to return to it — unlockable cards to expand your choices are addicting, as are the objectives the game throws at each king. You become invested as king, attempting to fulfill all the game asks of you, and to make your mark in your kingdom. If you fail, your reign comes to an abrupt and humiliating end. ... Then you tap the screen and begin a new reign, your old king nothing but a name along an endless line of kings before him.

Reigns is a fun, fresh, original game, and would make a great addition to anyone's mobile game collection. Download this game, especially if you're on Android — $0.99 for a game like this? Even I'm not that cheap.

The Verdict

+ addicting gameplay
+ fresh, interesting art style
+ funny and engaging

This review is our opinion based on the quality of the game, factoring in things like gameplay, storyline, advertisements, cost and in-app purchases, and touch controls.

Cover image by Devolver Digital
Screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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