A few weeks ago, we talked about Reigns: Her Majesty as our new game in our very appropriate Women’s History Month episode! Madelyn’s usual strategy for the podcast is to talk about the game on the air first, and then become addicted to it afterwards (see: Stardew Valley, Tales of Xillia). This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s worked for something like sixty episodes, so don’t question the magic.
Emma, on the other hand, usually plays the game and then talks about it, which so-called smart people say is the way that makes the most sense.
In other words, our podcast philosophies might as well be a card from Reigns: Her Majesty.
On this rare occasion where we’ve both played enough of a game to blog about it, we’ve decided to review Reigns in the style of the game itself: swiping left and right on two options. Read on to learn about our particular play-styles, favorite parts of the game, and what the heck the All-Mother is anyway.
Church or Military?
E: Once I got my Friendship Monument with the assassin queen friend I could make my army as weak as I wanted and she would just come save me. Thank goodness for dueling people who wanted to poison me. That’s how you make friends, right?
M: I’m going to pick the church, because I can spray my magic perfume and save myself from holy wrath when I get in trouble. The military just chops my head off or accuses me of killing the king which obviously I would never do.
Would you rather be a good queen or an evil king?
E: Excuse me, why can’t I be an evil queen? I guess they said they tried to make the binary choices frustrating in Reigns.
But I guess I pick a good queen because I died a whole lot by being trampled by my people out of love.
M: It is tempting to pick evil king, because I always fantasize in games with morality systems that I will play as a despicable person. However, I am incapable of doing this, because I am deeply invested in being liked by everyone, even virtual creatures. Thus, the only honest answer here is a good queen. Will the Reigns: Her Majesty owl give me props for my feminism? The dream of one day being evil is deferred for another day.
Perfume or Pistol?
E: Murder them all! Mwah ha ha ha! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Okay, but I liked ruling by myself, so I’m gonna go with the pistol. I started getting new cards after I killed the king which made the game more exciting again after I was beginning to get sick of the repeats.
M: You know what? I loved the pistol when it was a toy. The King was so amused by my cute lil dueling pistol. It was adorable. But now, whenever I make a little mistake like spending all the gold in the treasury on my multiple lovers, I’m forced to kill my beloved husband! Frankly, it’s upsetting. The perfume has multiple uses to charm my subjects, and it masks my queenly stench from sitting in bed playing video games all day.
Dignified Death or Throw Random Items?
E: Oh come on, who doesn’t die by throwing a ton of random items all around in the hopes that something will work. Although sometimes I would take a chance and hope that my crazed subjects were only there for the science conference or whatever. Sometimes it worked out.
M: I am the queen (haha) of throwing all of my items at my subjects in desperation. Better ridiculous crazy lady than dead.
Is there someone who you love in secret? (I love the King! v. Well..)
E: I succeeded at the four lovers simultaneously quest. All you have to do is throw the perfume at all of them. Also I killed the king a lot so….
M: One of my current assigned quests is to have four lovers simultaneously, which apparently Emma cracked right away but I am still struggling with. I’m trying to let it happen naturally, no love potions required. Anyone need some fresh water? Because my answer is well….
Your advisers are waiting (Enter the throne room v. Let them wait)
E: Let them freaking wait!
M: I can never remember which one of these lowers all my stats, and which one raises them all, but I always guess wrong. Just to be contrary, enter the throne room!
Hey, what is the All-Mother anyway?
E: That was a weird ending, dudes. The All-Mother is a weird, weird thing. I’m not entirely sure what the point of that was, Reigns Her Majesty.
M: What is the ending? I am convinced I will never get to the freaking ending. Reigns: Her Majesty will just continue on forever and ever and ever. Anyway, for me, the All-Mother is a constant temptation to try to advance whatever plot this game has in exchange for fatally pissing off the church. We have a fraught relationship.
Snake Men or Explorer’s Society?
E: “It’s the Exploration Society!”
M: I think the Snake Men are freaking hilarious. I’m almost tempted to buy the first Reigns to see if there’s a female equivalent. I don’t support their views, but I support their right to hold them.
Wait, are they snakes because hiss sounds like his?
FINAL QUESTION: YASSSS KWEEN or God Save the Queen?
AKA thumbs up or thumbs down for Reigns: Her Majesty, but with a fun royal twist!
E: Even though the ending was kind of weird and unsatisfying, I give Reigns: Her Majesty a big thumbs up. It made a great game to play during commutes and it made me laugh more often than it annoyed me. It didn’t grab me enough to keep me playing after getting the true ending, but maybe I’ll grab the original game if I’m feeling bored one day. So, lucky for them, I’m somewhere in the middle. I will not trample them with love or rise up in revolt. Long live the developers.
M: In the process of writing this blog (AKA grabbing screenshots to create #content), I finally made it to one of the endings of Reigns: Her Majesty. It only took me like 120 queens to get there. I think that Emma and I agree that the game can get a little repetitive, especially if you are a stupid person like me who cannot figure out how to advance. That said, this is the kind of game where I would absolutely purchase a new pack of DLC cards for ninety nine cents. It’s clever, it’s mindless without being brainless, and just when it starts to get boring, you discover a new relationship or pathway to explore. I might not go so far as to recommend it to my friends, but I would be psyched to find out someone else I knew had played it. Hopefully the owl sells all my feminist gameplay data to some cool companies.
Want more Reigns Her Majesty thoughts? Check out Episode 32 where we talked about this game along with Ms. Pac-Man right on our episode page.