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About the Story
Reigns: Her Majesty is the revolutionary follow-up to the smash swipe ‘em up hit Reigns. A cultural renaissance has bestowed the world with a new era of knowledge and enlightenment but greed and jealousy still conspire against the benevolent queen. Outwit and outlast those that would seek to depose you and your husband by swiping left or right, making just (or unjust) decisions on all manner of royal matters. Maintain the balance between the kingdom’s most powerful factions, use mystical items from your inventory, and navigate the increasingly complex politics and personal relationships of your dynasty.
A choice-driven narrative as fun played for a second as it is for a day.
Perhaps the most impressive improvement is the quality of the writing. Reigns is very much a game about story and character, so better writing was bound to enhance the experience. What's special about Her Majesty, though, is the way the writing draws you in to role-playing. With much more characterful characters, you're more motivated to react to their questions. In one reign, if the King annoys you, it's tempting to start an affair with his handsome huntsman. In another, a Cardinal might spur you into rejecting the church in favour of the mysterious All-Mother.
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The Sixth Axis
The king is dead. Long live the queen!
There is still some repetition to be found, but it’s almost a relief at times to know what’s going to happen. Thankfully, the time-based puzzles of the first game have been all but banished, and you’re given a way out whenever you do venture into this game’s maze. Common sense prevails in general, but trial and error certainly plays a part in learning the deck, figuring out the puzzles and trying to ensuring a queen’s longevity.
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
"makes it much much funnier"
As the name might imply, this piece is specifically about a woman’s choices. The Queen is more limited in some ways (at least initially) than a king would be, though even at the beginning, she has opportunities for snark and subversion. These options sometimes reflect on historical realities, and sometimes are not-at-all-veiled references to present-day sexism. All the same, there are times when, if you want to survive, you have to pick a choice that is obedient or subservient or secretive. The mechanic requires making pragmatic choices to stay alive, not always being ideologically consistent, and working to find a way out over course of generations, slowly discovering one’s true nature and power.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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Reigns was a good proof-of-concept. Her Majesty picks it up, and runs with the ball. The writing is spikier, the events are more interesting, difficulty is seemingly dialled down a little.
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