Want a game like Crusader Kings II but can’t set aside 10 hours to see your lineage make it through the dark ages? How about an iOS title that simplifies it down to y/n answers, but provides all the intrigue?
After speaking with a vase who requested blood, I consumed a blue mushroom that proceeded to turn everyone I met into bunnies. After closing trade routes and denying my starving subjects access to my grain silos, I was overthrown by a military coup, thus ending the 27 year reign of Harry the Seer.
On to the next one, and my reign begins anew.
All of this took about 6 minutes to complete.
As I’ve discussed previously, mobile titles are a great place for a #Gamedad to gain the flexibility to play at their own pace. While I’ve noted the Vita as my current platform du jour, the reality is that on the daily, I spend even more time on my iPhone - it just usually isn’t on games. I have a ton of iOS games that I’ve enjoyed in the past (KOTOR, Final Fantasy Tactics, Pokemon Go), but find i tire of touch screen controls or games faster than good old joystick and button setups.
For a weekend at least, Reigns changed that.
The goal of Reigns is to reign as king as long as you can. You are able to maintain power by balancing the 4 main forces in your kingdom - the church, your subjects, the army, and the economy - taking care to ensure that none fail, but none becomes too strong as to overtake your throne with their influence.
The game plays out in the form on a deck of cards, each card giving you a choice. Making your decision is as easy as a swipe to the left or the right; sliding one way or the other will provide you context of your answer, and a vague indication of which of the 4 powers it may affect.
As you play, a few dungeon exploration or sword fight mini games occur to break up the monotony, and if you've begun a reign anew, you're given a few objectives to be completed. Those objectives are important to keep your eye out for, as once you’ve completed them, a new set of cards will join themselves for more options to appear.
This is the genius of the game and where it gets you - in conjunction with those mini games, you never spend more than 10-15 minutes with a static deck making the experience just different enough every so often that you don’t quickly bore of the scenarios as they play out.
A little more on the #gamedad side of things - nothing can be easier than a game on your phone that asks you to read a sentence and swipe left or right. The kid friendly nature of the character design means you won’t have to worry about scarring the younglings. The game plays as fast or slow as you like since it only progresses if you swipe. A 3 minute session or a 3 hour session are entirely realistic with this game.
The game felt like I was playing a simplified card version of Crusader Kings II - one of the best in depth strategy games I’ve ever played - which is as much of a compliment as I can give. Plus, after showing my wife the game, she took my phone and played until it died; that’s a endorsement if I’ve ever seen one.