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The King is dead... Long live the king!
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A Simulation Game by Nerial and Devolver Digital, Reigns puts you in control of a succession of kings. Control of the realm sits at your fingertips; a single swipe left or right determines how you respond to each situation that your royal court brings to your attention. Each decision, no matter how minor it might seem at the time, dictates how your story unfolds over generations. As a result Reigns has a deck-building mechanic: Certain choices will add new cards, and thus new events and problems. How will your story unfold? How will each of your rulers be remembered?

Hit Steam, Android and iOS on August 11th, 2016. A sequel, Reigns: Her Majesty came out on December 6th, 2017. A third game Reigns: Kings & Queens (with all content from both games and enabling local co-op) for Nintendo Switch would release in summer 2018, with a spinoff based on Game of Thrones released in October 2018.

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This Simulation Game contains instances of:

  • And I Must Scream: The bad endings where you either rot in Hell for eternity or keep your immortality. Both are a painful eternal punishment.
  • Anything That Moves: You actually get an achievement for romancing a pigeon.
  • Artistic License – History: There weren't actually dragons or skeleton-filled dungeons in history, and your medieval kingdom can continue reigning on long after the Middle Ages ended in real life.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Used frequently to mask the actual outcomes of choices. For example, when the King is informed of an expy of Santa Claus operating in the city, one option is to call for the Executioner; implying that the King wishes Santa to be executed. In fact, calling the Executioner has him confess that he's the alleged Saint Nick and just wants to spread joy because he's so dissatisfied with his job of executing criminals all day.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Letting the people meter overflow but treating them well results in the king getting overthrown peacefully and being well-regarded by history.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Out of boredom, the Devil places a death curse upon you, so that the first person you say "Yes" to thereafter will die. It can be undone however and screw up the Deal with the Devil too. Wait long enough, until you come across the skeleton and answer "Yes" to its question. The Devil realizes he's now trapped in a paradox, as he cannot kill someone who is already dead.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: As you might expect, the members of your court aren't always trustworthy, and can potentially betray you for their own ends... especially if you've given their faction too much power.
  • Deal with the Devil: At a certain point, you learn that you once sold your soul for eternal power. Too bad you didn't ask for immortality as well...
  • Death by Childbirth: One choice that might come is whether to avert this or play it straight: Do you tell the Doctor to save the Queen or your Child?
  • Dem Bones: The Dungeon seems to be filled with skeletons.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: A core element of gameplay. You don't want any of your meters to bottom out, but maxing one out completely can lead to your reign ending as well.
  • Earn Your Title: Depending upon your actions, your current monarch can earn a variety of titles, which always take the form of 'Name The Whatever'. Not all of these are complimentary. And of course, they may not live long enough to be remembered as anything.
  • Everyone Is Bi: If you ask the Witch for a way to find love, you can choose male characters as well as female, all of which are potentially receptive to your affections.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: The Royal Dog gets very distressed whenever The Devil's about to pay a visit.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Word of God says the game invokes this intentionally through its primary mechanic of swiping to make a binary choice. The player is meant to feel rather uncomfortable with the disconnect between the simplicity of the control scheme and the wide-spanning (and often terrible) consequences their decisions lead to.
    • Fatal Flaw: That the King's choices are always so limited by the structure of the game itself almost invariably leads to his demise at the end of each reign.
    • Another aspect of the game is that the game states that each King is a reincarnation of the last (even if the previous king hasn't technically died yet). Each King seems to have his own memories and his own personality based on his actions, but can't remember his previous lives. Of course, the player does remember the previous kings' actions.
  • Guide Dang It!: Trying to unlock the better endings of the game is almost outright impossible just from the scarce hints in the game itself.
    • Even the developers have advised against trying to get the achievement for reading every available card (there are over 700, and some for extremely rare and specific circumstances).
  • Heir Club for Men: Only a Prince is considered worthy of inheriting the Throne. Justified as the ruler must be male for the Deal with the Devil to work.
  • Interface Screw: Some of the effects you can trigger alter how you perceive the game. For instance, a King can become hard of hearing, turning random parts of the dialogue into gibberish and making it harder to determine which choice to make.
  • The Jester: A member of your court who offers advice that can seem... questionable or foolish. Particularly fond of Bread and Circuses.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Decisions you make can catch up to you. For instance, a King who neglects and exploits his people can end up usurped, or losing his power because there's nobody left to rule over.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Taking a Lover prevents you from telling them 'No', no matter what they propose to you. On the bright side, your kingdom's filled with shippers.
  • The Magnificent: All of the titles you can earn take this form, though some aren't as nice-sounding as others.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: If someone starts claiming that your king is the father of her son, they can choose to accept the boy as their own or have the problem quietly dealt with.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Your kings can meet any number of grisly ends: murdered by a pagan mob, burnt by a dragon, drowned, heart attack, tortured and fed to dogs, etc. Dying of old age is considered a major achievement.
  • Morton's Fork: On some runs and individual reigns you will get screwed by some of the choices given to you, and its not a case of Guide Dang It!. Critical events will happen every so often where you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Answering will result in either your military failing, your population crashing, or your treasury going bust.
  • Multiple Endings: There are three basic outcomes:
    • Golden Ending: You figure out how to trick The Devil into attempting an impossible task.
    • Out-Gambitted: You attempt to do the above, but fail, and burn eternally in Hell.
    • If you fail the conditions for either of the above, you get to keep playing... forever.
  • Mushroom Samba: There are several color-coded mushrooms you can eat. Some of these effects are naturally better than others.
  • Number of the Beast: Significant in that the Devil checks in on you every 666 years.
  • The Plague: One death has you die from this due to the Doctor's experiments, and your population can end up decimated by the Black Death.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Glowing red eyes let you know that The Devil is speaking through somebody/has taken their form.
  • Rule of Three: The Devil will only visit you three times.
  • Sadistic Choice: Some decisions place you in a no-win situation.
    • The Devil is particularly fond of presenting you with these. For instance, they can make it so that the next person you say 'Yes' to dies.
  • Shout-Out: One objective is to date a bird. Said bird is a white pigeon named Sakuya, and completing the objective earns you the title "the Boyfriend".
  • Technical Pacifist: It's possible to subvert The Devil's curse on you by surviving one hundred years without saying 'Yes' to anyone and thus saving the other characters from a horrible death. The Devil will appear to grudgingly congratulate you for your efforts and remove the curse, earning you the True Pacifist achievement... even if you may well have caused plenty of death through various other means.
  • The Theocracy: One of the Status Effects. It makes money no longer an issue, but you can no longer say 'no' to the Church's demands
  • Torches and Pitchforks: There's quite a few ways to get your king lynched by an angry mob.
  • Un-person: In one death, it's noted that your king's name is erased from the records of history.
  • Witch Hunt: The Church seems to specialize in these, seeking your permission to go after actual (or accused) witches as well as others they distrust and despise.
  • Your Cheating Heart: You can cheat on The Queen, or she might be caught cheating on you... in which case, you can decide whether to have her or her lover executed.

Reigns: Her Majesty also contains examples of:

  • Behind Every Great Man: The King is supposed to be ruling, but that doesn't prevent the Queen from making decisions in his name...
  • Cat/Dog Dichotomy: Where the original game featured a dog as the royal pet, Her Majesty keeps a black and white cat instead.
  • Death by Childbirth: Like the original, can be played straight or avoided. Trying for a baby before recruiting a doctor is a Bad Idea. Having a second baby during a single reign is also pushing your luck.
  • Gainax Ending: The All-Mother is actually The Defragmentantion program designed to eliminate rogue artificial intelligences accidentally constructed while the user is spreading their consciousness in neuralized cyberspace... wait what?
  • Heir Club for Men: Potentially subverted. A character with a legal background points out that the Queen takes power upon the King's death, even if there is a Prince.
  • The High Queen/God Save Us from the Queen!: Depending upon your playstyle.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Over time, the Queen can amass a variety of items which she can use to unlock special interactions. Or make people question why she's randomly throwing things around. They'll eventually progress from bewilderment to a more lethal reaction.
  • Multiple Endings: Like the previous game. The three endings aren't so straightforward, though.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: The citizens are naturally superstitious, and if you build thirteen towers, someone will suggest you add a fourteenth in order to avoid this.
  • Together in Death: Played straight, or potentially subverted. The player can respond to the King initiating this by shooting him, and going on to outlive him.
  • Trigger Happy: Several negative outcomes can be avoided or altered with a pistol shot, or even just by brandishing the pistol. The King can be killed to avoid 3 of the 8 most common game overs.
  • Witch Hunt: There isn't that many instances of this, but a major character is introduced through one. And while the Church never directly calls you one, they take a dim view of any attempt to utilize anything supernatural, and they can put you on trial and/or execute you for heresy.
  • Your Cheating Heart: There isn't much impact if you choose to take lovers other than the King, but the option is there. And while the King never takes another lover, he does get overly friendly with several people throughout the castle.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Like the original game, your queens can meet many deaths such as; Drowning, Burning Alive, Strangled by Vines, Hung for treason, Locked away to perish and much more. Dying of old age as a widow is quite a challenge, but worth it in the end.
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