Reigns is one of these weird choose your own adventure type of game mixed with some kingdom management on iOS with a little of a rogue-like flair where you make decisions by swiping a card left or right, affecting your kingdom in four categories, with the immediate goal of not having any meter go too high or too low. There is an overarching story that expends as you find new cards and unlock more characters, and while I haven't got there, I presume that there is an ending to reach at some point. I had some good time with it, but ultimately grew bored.

While I'm enjoying the graphical style and the swipe left/right core gameplay mechanic, I was a bit bummed that a game this 'simple' lagged greatly on my old iPad, making the experience a bit rough. In any case, the core idea is really neat. You draw cards from a deck that expends as you complete challenges and pick certain choices, and then you have to select from two choices. Usually, the game tells you more or less what it'll do, but it's not clear enough and you have to remember the effect of your cards, it's nice to know that this choice will affect money and religion, but it's not always clear whether it'll go up or down. If any of your four meters goes completely up or completely down, you die, and you have to move on to another king.

My main problem that had me leave the game behind was that at some point I just ran into the same characters and situations over and over without any way out, and that lasted long enough for me to get bored. Some places like dungeons - or the scene where you're kidnapped - have you make almost blind decisions about going left or right, and failing makes you unable to re-attempt them for a while. I didn't completely grasp the battle system either, which left me a bit confused when I had to use it.

Regardless, Reigns is a very funny game and the art style is spot on. The core mechanic is super interesting and if you like text-based rogue likes you won't be disappointed. I feel that you need to commit a bit of time in this one to wring everything out, so make sure you have that available and are ready to repeat the same bits a few more times than it should be necessary.

AuthorJérémie Tessier