Just Can’t Wait To Be King? Reigns Is Out Today

Reigns [official site] is a game of decision-making and courtly governance that was described by Adam as Crusader Kings meets Tinder. You get presented with card after card of choices and have to swipe left or right (or in our case, click) in order to say yes or no to your courtiers’ requests. It’s also out today. I’ve just played 20 minutes of it. One of my kings was abandoned to rule over a kingdom of pigeons, another was slaughtered and thrown to the dogs by the merchant class, and another went mad, kicked a dog and started hearing the Devil. It’s good to be the king.

Mostly, it’s a game about balancing those four icons at the top of your screen. Religion, population, army and wealth. If any one of these meters runs out, then you are for the chop. But don’t worry. In true Crusader Kings style you simply step into the shoes of the next king when you die. The goal each time is to last longer and fulfil some tasks you’re presented with – win a duel, recruit a doctor – stuff like that. These tasks carry on from one life to the next, and recurring characters do the same, although it is possible for them to die as well. And some events, like the plague, will follow you into the next life too.

Judging from the short time I’ve poked at it, it’s a lot of fun. There’s an element of “collect everything” to it as well – 26 different possible deaths, 40 royal tasks to complete, 37 characters to meet. It’ll run out of juice before long but for £1.99 I’d milk that cow. It’s available on Steam but also those terrible devices to which we are all digital enthralled. Anyone worried about how it handles with a mouse, however, needn’t be concerned – you just click anywhere to the left of the card for negative answers and anywhere to the right of the card for positive ones. No needless holding-buttons-down and swooping as if you are playing on a phone screen. Thank the gods.

Now, if you’ll excuse, I have to consult with my Devil. Advisors, I mean advisors.


  1. trjp says:

    I was surprised to read this because I played this today – on an iPad – and I thought “hey, this is quite clever for a mobile game”.

    I didn’t really see/expect it on the PC – why I think that is complex and probably an entirely personal issue but it brings me back to my *grabs soapbox* issue of how “PC Gaming” isn’t so easily defined anymore – hell, “PC” probably isn’t…

    It is quite pleasingly clever – I’m wondering how long it will last but yeah…

  2. Ginsoakedboy21 says:

    Weirdly, this game is more expensive on Android than Steam. But it seems like a good fit for tablet, so I’m giving it a spin there, even for a whole 80p extra.

  3. BTA says:

    Played for a good long time on iOS yesterday. I was ranked third on the leaderboards (with 95 years and then 98) before I slept but have dropped a little since. Still haven’t managed to “win”, though. But using Touch Arcade’s forums I’ll be trying to figure some things out in a group…

    That being said… It’s very fun, and well worth the price. There was a point (after my first loss) I hit where things felt pretty repetitive and futile, but soon after came a time where more things started clicking somehow, and clearly I’ve started lasting a lot longer since then.

  4. Harlander says:

    I got this on my phone. I keep overspending and getting deposed by the trade faction.

    The whole interface seems so touch-optimised though, I can’t help but think it’d suffer on a big computer.

    • SirRoderick says:

      You just click to the left or right side of the cards, it’s literally the only interaction so it translates just fine! Played it for like two hours yesterday on my second screen with a stream running on the other. Perfect game for that since it’s essentially turn-based (unless you get those events that tick down a category every second, I do not like those)

  5. Herzog says:

    Nexus 5X not compatible? That seems strange… :(

  6. klops says:

    WIll this support keyboard? Left/right or a/d would be better than that straining mouse movment.

    • Brendan Caldwell says:

      It does! You can press left or right, but you have to do it twice. eg. press once to see what the option says, then again to confirm.