When Reigns: Her Majesty – sequel to the Game of Thrones meets Tinder medieval decision-making game Reigns – was first announced I was pleased because Reigns is a good game, but curious as to how the game would deal with you playing as Queen rather than King. The first game had a medieval setting, so I assumed that for Her Majesty it would either be modernised or you would just be allowed to be queen and nobody would say anything; the first game, except you are a lady. I didn’t consider option c, which is that you’re a medieval monarch who runs the country and deals with the associated baggage of being female at the same time.
In Reigns: Her Majesty you play a queen who has been shipped to your new kingdom from a neighbouring country, married to a king with a name like Whacksbourg to strengthen various political positions. Her Majesty uses the same mechanics as Reigns: you’re presented with decisions from a deck, and swipe the card left or right to decide what to do. Each decision affects the power of the church, the army, the populace, and your money. If any of these becomes too powerful or too weak, you’ll die in a spectacular, horrible, or occasionally commonplace way, so you have to keep everything balanced. In Her Majesty, more and more of the decisions fall to you because it turns out that the King is pretty lazy and bad at kinging, so you decide on who your maid marries as well as how the garrison responds to a lack of respect from the people but, crucially, you are still not the King, so you regularly have to deal with a nun telling you your tits are too far out or the Cardinal saying that not producing an heir is evidence of sin.
Her Majesty’s decisions are more interwoven than they were in Reigns, and Reigns got pretty complicated. I decided to actually try for a baby as the Cardinal suggested, only to discover that the castle didn’t have a doctor and so I immediately died in childbirth; it was only later, through a separate set of actions, that I actually found said doctor. By exploring different options as you reign, you receive more odd people to your court: a warrior from a far off land, an unmarried woman and/or witch, and men in snake masks who complain that you censor anyone whose opinion you disagree with.