Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Halfway between visual novel and ultra-specific RPG, Long Live The Queen is a surprisingly brutal matter of trying to stay alive when everyone – and everything – wants you dead, through no fault of your own. Unless you consider your own birth to be something you did deliberately.
In the past I’ve called it a Sansa Stark simulator, and while admittedly Long Live The Queen’s young regent-to-be has a whole lot more guile and agency than Ned’s eldest daughter typically displays, this is still very much about a innocent being targeted purely because of the family she happened to be born into. Long Live The Queen is an increasingly tense juggling act, as forces from within and without steadily rise in number and threat. Choices about who you dance with, whether you focus on improving your own physical skills or courtly decorum and how you allocate the kingdom’s budget will all come back to bite you, and will all lead inexorably to a grim fate. Until you work out the right sequence of events, of course. There’s repetition, but that’s also the fun of it – gradually learning how to become the best monarch you can be, and how to roll with every unexpected punch, be it literal or political.
It’s fascinating, compelling, and a thousand times crueller than those breezy screenshots might suggest.