Reigns: Game of Thrones takes the familiar decision-making gameplay of Reigns and places it in the world of Game of Thrones’ Westeros. Defend the Iron Throne through text-based scenarios and feel the pressure that comes from sitting on the Iron Throne. But remember, Valar Morghulis.
Reigns: Game of Thrones plays exactly as you’d expect if you’ve played any of the previous instalments before. If you haven’t, then the idea is to choose your way through various text-based scenarios whilst using the cards as a visual guide. However, you’ll need to consider all four attributes at the top of each scenario and keep any one of them from depleting or reaching the top. If one does either, you die. I guess you could think of it as a minimalistic Telltale game.
The game’s challenge comes in balancing the four attributes. Each time a difficult decision is presented, dots will appear above the attributes indicating which ones will be affected. In doing this, you must also attempt to complete the objectives laid out in the bottom-right corner. This juggling of responsibilities may come across as overwhelming at first, but it creates a challenge that requires you to constantly consider your next moves. However, some of the decisions to be made can be quite vague and ambiguous, which can be frustrating when trying to make the correct decision. It also doesn’t make sense that if you positively feel one of the attributes, you also die.
There are fun moments that attempt to mix up the gameplay, as choosing yes or no can become quite tedious at times. You can also engage in battles and choose various options in a wide range of scenarios.
As is a running theme in Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming. When in winter time, your choices have different outcomes due to the weather. These attentions to detail makes Reigns: Game of Thrones come across as not a mere milking of a popular franchise, but a product that has taken true inspiration from the series.
The more you play Reigns: Game of Thrones, the more you may grow to become frustrated. It almost feels like being a hamster in a wheel; you can proceed tirelessly as much as you like, but it often feels like you’re not getting anywhere.
Reigns: Game of Thrones follows nine possible scenarios of characters sitting on the Iron Throne. It’s difficult to determine when in the timeline does this all take place, so it’s best not to take that aspect too seriously.
All of our favourite characters are here (at least they haven’t all died). If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, then not much of this game’s plots will make sense to you (and I also question why you are reading this review in the first place).
You proceed onwards throughout the game, and therefore unlocking more story opportunities, by completing the missions laid out in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Some of these mission may be “Give a speech” or “Win a battle against Dorne”, so this is good to keep in mind as you proceed through the many dialogue choices. These missions break up the monotony that Reigns: Game of Thrones could have been riddled with.
Graphics / Art Direction
The art direction keeps true to the other Reigns games that have come before it. However with the recognisable Game of Thrones themes, the art style is now beginning to play to its strengths.
Seeing the world of Westeros in Reigns: Game of Thrones in this simplified way is both cute and charming. Recognising beloved characters drawn this way creates a unique sense of nostalgia, allowing this iteration to be more powerful than its predecessors.
Music / Sound Design
The Game of Thrones theme may well be one of the most iconic TV show themes ever, and it works very well throughout Reigns: Game of Thrones. The DEVELOPER could have easily overkilled it by playing it constantly throughout, but thankfully they didn’t and it’s spaced out well throughout the game. That all being said, it’s fun to hear the theme when it does begin playing.
Final Score: 70%
It’s quite a relief to see that Reigns: Game of Thrones is not just a mere coat of paint, rather its characters, plots and themes are well presented throughout the game. However, its gameplay execution can quickly become frustrating and often leaving you question why you were punished for your decisions. I understand that All Men Must Die, but this is just a bit much.