I’ve got to admit, I got all caught up in the hype and build up for season 8 of Game of Thrones. Can you blame me though? Game of Thrones is a worldwide phenomenon that completely fascinated billions of people.
I jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon a little late, but even after binge-watching the last 7 seasons I still had to wait over a year for season 8. So, when the developers of Reigns announced they would be developing their Game of Thrones edition on mobile I was pretty excited. However, I decided not to buy it when it was released in October 2018 as I had only watched up to Season 3 of the series and did not want to spoil the show for myself.
I finally got the opportunity to play Reigns: Game of Thrones with its release on the Nintendo Switch. Before I get into the game itself, let me give you a brief overview of what the Reigns Games are.
Set in a medieval world, players got the opportunity to play the role of the monarch and rule the kingdom by accepting or rejecting suggestions from your advisers by swiping left or right. Each decision made has an impact on your ruling and will come with consequences. Reigns was first released on Android, iOS, Linux macOS and Microsoft Windows in August 2016. It’s sequel Reigns: Her Majesty was released in December 2017.
As I’m sure you can imagine, Reigns: Game of Thrones plays very similarly to its predecessors.
You start you game with Melisandre, gazing through the flames asking the Red God for visions of the future. You will then take control of the decisions of Daenerys Targaryen, who Melisandre first sees as ruler of the Realm. Through your actions, you’ll unlock new characters to play, with new interactions and scenarios. Each character will also encounter different challenges based on their story arc.
However, it’s not as simple as just swiping left or right. You also have to juggle four factors of your ruling: Military Strength, Religious Favour, Domestic Popularity and Royal Wealth. Each decision will affect the factors differently, one may be affected positively, whilst two others negatively. You may think it would benefit your rule to maximize a factor, but you’ll soon find that not to be the case and your rule over before it has truly begun.
You’ll also find in Reigns: Game of Thrones that ruling is more than just sitting on the Iron Throne. You’ll soon be invited to join Small Council in discussing how you want to run your kingdom and how involved you want to be in dealing with issues. Discuss politics, and find out which house will likely rise up against you, or perhaps its time to throw a tourney, to bring up the morale of the people. Maybe you’ll decide to speak to Varys, the Master of Whispers and see just what his little spiders has uncovered.
Watch out though, as you may find out that your death will fall upon you faster than expected due to a decision you made previously. You may receive a raven, stating that one part of your kingdom is in need of aid. In your eagerness to help, you decide to travel there yourself, and unfortunately never seen or heard from again.
There are numerous ways to meet your end in Reigns: Game of Thrones, and whilst you’ll mainly want to try to survive for as many moons as you can, you’ll find you need to die in order to unlock the other characters available to play.
Overall, I would say I enjoyed playing Reigns: Game of Thrones. The gameplay is pretty simple with its binary swiping left and right, with its unique art style that was successful with the previous Reigns games. With the game also officially licensed by HBO, each character has a likeness to their on-screen persona. It also includes the shows famous score written by Ramin Djawadi, which helped me immerse myself into the world of Westeros.
Unfortunately, there is only so much swiping I could do before it became repetitive. Whilst my first few lives we engaging and I was determined to try and survive longer, unlock more characters and complete the objectives, I soon found myself bored.
Don’t get me wrong, the game is not terrible and I did enjoy my first few hours of gameplay, but it came to a point where it seemed I was getting the same cards over again. I could only play a couple of lives before I decided to quit. However, I do find myself drawn back in again.
Of course, with the multiple characters to unlock, with various different routes to take, the game does promise a lot of replayability if you are the completionist type. However, If you only want to play as your favorite character, you’ll find that you’ll most likely get bored quickly.