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Reigns

Developer: Nerial Publisher: Devolver Digital
11 August 2016
Reigns - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.78 / 5.0
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242 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#3,548 All-time
#162 for 2016
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Title
I don't know...
[Version played: GOG v.1.25 (English)]

After playing it for like 4 hours and quitting, I thought... what the hell did I just play?

For those 4 hours I was presented minimalist pixel art faces followed by minimal text, one after the other, and I had to choose between clicking at the right or the left of the picture, meaning an affirmative or negative answer to the minimal text. Sometimes it was almost nonsensical, sometimes humorous, and some other times it followed a simple logic, but each question plus answer had a predefined effect on the "reign stats" (simply, one general stat for the "happiness/health/power/numbers" of each of the 3 different sectors of the population, and then "money", also in a general sense), and I would literally lose my head if one of them reached either the bottom or the top.

The bad:

-It's too simplistic and reductionist for its own good; there's almost nothing to it in terms of gameplay. Now, most people seem to consider this a "card game". Why? Is it because the situation or person you have to deal with is presented in a "card" shape...? I admit it's hard to label this thing; it barely has a genre because it's pretty much aimless, but whatever the case, it has nothing to do with a card game except for some GUI effects. On the other hand, it has some elements of management and interactive fiction, but they are so extremely simplistic that are barely so, too.

-The management part is too constrained to be worth it. Per example, there are circumstances where you can make, let's say, the military unhappy with you while it becomes more powerful at the same time, and situations like that where there should be two different stats going in opposite directions, but since it's just one stat per social class, it can only go up or down, betraying the reliability of this management system and the interest that the player may invest in it. It also fluctuates too easily and constantly, and in the end nothing about it matters; once you die all those stats are reset. In the end it seems that the stats are only efficient in hindering your exploration of the game, so it's more a bother than an enjoyable element.

-The bonuses were poorly thought-out, especially those that involve timing. That's another mechanic that made me really dislike this game. Half of the bonuses are unnoticeable, while the others make too much of a difference, usually in a negative way. The ones that make the stats go higher or lower each second are the worst. The use of real life seconds for that instead of clicks/taps was a very bad choice in this type of game. Using those bonuses gets you cornered very fast, and it makes the game quite uncomfortable to play, becoming more a curse than a blessing.

In Reigns it is important to read the sentences well and remember your previous choices to avoid repeating cycles and missing chances -that's how you move forward, basically-, and having your seconds restricted like that in several parts of the game is just an underwhelming hindrance. It contributes to making the whole experience feel so limited and not worth it. These timed mechanics also ruined the "dungeon" mini-game for me (and anything else I was trying while they were active). I later learned how to get the good ending, and in my opinion, it is counter intuitive to follow the path given to it in a game that's focused on time limits and random repetition.

-The music is so unremarkable and samey that its presence gets slightly annoying as time goes on.

The "good":

-I can't say that the game design is not original, because I never played anything like it before. I was surprised by it, so I have to give them that. But it's just... pointless. I've heard that it copies the logic of the Tinder app or whatever. I don't know about that, but I assume it must be the case. I don't really know why someone would want to play something like this, though.

-The art style is nicely consistent. I still don't know if I like it or not, but even despite being so simplistic, it feels that it's one of the areas where the developers had a clear direction in mind and put care into it. The result gives the game some unique personality. Although I think that adding a little more complexity to it would have helped in making the characters more memorable.

-The "achievements" system and the "duel" mini-game are the only aspects I found entertaining for a while. In the end, the real goal of this game is to explore all the possibilities until you've seen all the content, which is not a lot either, so things just keep repeating randomly until you come across something new. In those 4 hours I already explored like 80% of the content, and at that point it started becoming really repetitive. I just wanted to get all the achievements I could before I just got sick of it. I managed to finish it once, but I don't think I'll play it again.

-I have to say, I got some laughs nonetheless. That always earns some points; you can't really say that something is a pain in the ass while you're laughing.


All in all, I think there is not much to take away from the whole thing. It doesn't have an interesting plot, it doesn't make you think, you don't learn anything from it, it's not a remarkable experience by any means, and it doesn't manage to stay entertaining for more than the first two hours. What it does, however, is show you that anything can be turned into a game, and that having a clear vision about some of its aspects can make it memorable, regardless of the rest of the product living up to it or not.

To me, Reigns is the materialization of an original idea that doesn't have neither flesh nor reason enough to amount to anything. It's just a short and simplistic exploration of an unexplored gaming format, which, as is, doesn't yield much.
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davidraccoon 2023-08-12T15:27:14Z
2023-08-12T15:27:14Z
4.1 /10
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Title
Reigns is a kingdom management simulation presented as a card game, with a Tinder-like interaction system. You are presented with a situation and either swipe right or left to choose between options. The options are either Yes or No, or two options.

These decisions will affect the four attributes that represent the situation; Religion, People, Army, and Economy. You need to make sure these meters do not deplete to zero or max out, otherwise your reign will end; usually meet some kind of deathly demise.

When your reign ends, you play as the next character that takes the throne, with some decisions carrying over. As you reach certain milestones, your deck expands with new scenarios, but you will often be presented with familiar choices.

Although you strive to last as long as possible, there's not that much urgency or consequence of death, so I never felt a strong connection to my character.

When the game is text-based and centres on decisions, I expect the writing to be perfect. I was a little baffled at some of the scenarios, since some are posed as statements but you will get Yes/No options. There was one that is something along the lines of "Your people don't seem to trust you" and you can respond Yes or No. What does that even mean?

Although it does show you which attributes are effected by your decisions, you don't know if it is positive or negative. Sometimes it made perfect sense, but there's plenty of scenarios I didn't understand the effect.

I think you are really only gonna get a couple of hours before you have basically seen everything the game has to offer. I like the simplicity, but the flaws in the writing really holds it back.
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CaptainClam 2020-03-08T13:54:54Z
2020-03-08T13:54:54Z
2.5
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Title
Reigns is often described as a kingdom management sim vs tinder, which is not off really. You are asked a lot of decisions through a playthrough, of which you only get to say yes or no. These decisions will affect the four pillars of your nation, those being economy, religion, people and army. To keep your head above your shoulders, you must prevent all of these from both reaching 0 or max, as it will inevitable lead to your demise.

The game has a very quirky brand of humour, which is its main appeal. The cards you get are way too dependent on RNG, which can be a bit frustrating. There are a lot of characters and events you can unlock throughout, and some of perks you pick up can be inherited by your next playthrough.

Its strategically shallow, but the quirky humor means that spending a couple of hours in here is a good time.
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Threntall 2017-12-28T20:13:45Z
2017-12-28T20:13:45Z
3.0
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Catalog

Sophonax Reigns 2024-05-11T23:41:53Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-05-11T23:41:53Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
greensauce Reigns 2024-05-09T10:02:10Z
2024-05-09T10:02:10Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
The_Groblin Reigns 2024-04-14T20:11:51Z
2024-04-14T20:11:51Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Wistlebus Reigns 2024-04-09T23:04:20Z
2024-04-09T23:04:20Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
QuodDixi3161 Reigns 2024-04-06T17:08:41Z
2024-04-06T17:08:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jab_s Reigns 2024-04-05T09:20:51Z
2024-04-05T09:20:51Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ali5ia Reigns 2024-03-25T20:52:09Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-03-25T20:52:09Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Maksym_Svyda Reigns 2024-03-25T16:31:35Z
2024-03-25T16:31:35Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
GuySamstag Reigns 2024-03-16T17:02:31Z
2024-03-16T17:02:31Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
polaroid_android Reigns 2024-03-15T19:08:39Z
2024-03-15T19:08:39Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Reigns 2024-03-11T01:47:06Z
2024-03-11T01:47:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
zhabaaa Reigns 2024-03-04T18:52:22Z
2024-03-04T18:52:22Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • coisasamorfas 2022-03-28 12:58:46.923599+00
    harder tinder
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  • teags 2022-08-11 13:14:11.628846+00
    i feel like this art style can never be done well
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  • Revolution666 2022-10-10 18:52:29.973791+00
    I actually quite like this. As far as little time wasters go this is very intriguing stuff, and it's fun to go back through trying to see all of the different characters and deaths.

    Also I like the art style lol
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  • davidraccoon 2023-10-28 19:25:08.559988+00
    Removed by user
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