Reigns: Her Majesty teaches you how to be a queen [Game of the Week]

reigns your highness

Reigns is one of my favourite mobile games and Reigns: Her Majesty, the title’s just-released sequel, builds significantly on what the first game offered players.

Reigns: Her Majesty consists of binary questions that are triggered by swiping right or left — just like you’re browsing Tinder — with each decision fundamentally altering the player’s rule, as well as its perception, across the kingdom. Decisions in Reigns are typically made via intuition, but in the case of Her Majesty, sometimes there really is no correct answer.

For example, during one play-through I made every correct decision, raising each of the game’s core categories significantly — the church, the people, the military and the treasury — only for my husband, the king, to decide that I had become too powerful. As a reward, he confined me to a tower in our castle for years until I died.

Her Majesty plays largely the same as the original Reigns, though there are a couple of subtle new features. The game now includes items, different characters and scenarios.

What’s fundamentally different though, is the fact that you’re not really in charge in Reins. Being a queen of a fantasy realm sucks and players are forced to deal with a number of complications your male counterpart doesn’t even have to consider. Examples include how you dress and ensuring you’re always viewed as a faithful and obedient companion to your husband, regardless of whether or not you’re really the one pulling the strings behind the scenes.

This means that taking a Game of Thrones style Cersei Lannister approach in Her Majesty, where it seems like the king is still running the show, when it’s really the queen who is calling the shots, is the best way to play the title in most cases — though this sometimes makes your citizens angry with you, also resulting in death.

Reigns Her Majesty

Her Majesty never explicitly tells you that the game is set in a society that’s overly oppressive towards women, instead opting to point out this fact in intelligent and subtle ways. For example, if you opt to defy the church, you’re labelled as ‘forever an icon to disobedient women’ — As a man, the game is certainly an enlightening experience. In another case, my husband said he wanted an heir to the throne and I was given the option to continue trying to conceive, or, alternatively, I could pray to the church. I opted to continue my copulation efforts, resulting in a pregnancy, only to die during childbirth.

I couldn’t seem catch a break and this is Her Majesty’s overarching theme.

Every time a queen perishes, you’re reincarnated, which sometimes means you’ll be repeating scenarios from previous lifetimes. Still, the amount of experimentation and various, surprisingly deep story threads Her Majesty offers, manages to keep the title compelling.

Let them eat cake.

If you’re looking for a mobile game to play this holiday season, look no further than Reigns: Her Majesty. The game is available on iOS, Android and Stream for $3.99.