Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I didn’t love Majesty [official site] as much as I loved the concept of Majesty, which is probably why I’ve been waiting for a(nother) sequel for so long. A new version, done properly, could well be one of my favourite games.
The appeal of Majesty is simulation, and the passivity of the player character. You’re ruling a fantasy kingdom but rather than directing every small affair yourself, you set broad instructions and watch as they’re carried out. Most of these are directed toward the recruitment and guiding of hero characters, who undertake quests on your behalf. Keep them happy and they’ll stick around, becoming stronger and able to take on tougher enemies and clear out the most horrid lairs in the land.
Majesty was made in a time when idle games weren’t the phenomenon they now are, particularly on mobile. It has something in common with that genre though, as some of the joy is in watching the kingdom and its heroes become more powerful without having to take control of every aspect directly. Unlike idle games though, Majesty does allow for the development of strategies more complex than ‘spend now or spend later’.
Though they are very different in execution, much of my love for Majesty comes from the same place as my love for grand strategy games. It’s the simulation of a world that I enjoy, and the hands-off approach to the actual questing creates a convincing sense of a world that would go on ticking for a while even if the king were asleep at the wheel. That makes a change from strategy games that can’t even function without constant attention.