Reigns: Game of Thrones iOS & Android Review
Developing a game for mobile will have its limitations. The idea is to focus on what makes a mobile game, a mobile game. Understanding that will result in a fantastic end-product. Do that, and you will end up with something like Reigns: Game of Thrones.
And just the idea of putting one of the biggest TV shows on the planet with one of the best games on mobile, has to be worth a lot, right? I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like Game of Thrones and neither have I met anyone without a mobile phone.
How can you go wrong?
Reigns: Game of Thrones
Back in the old days of gaming, there was rarely a good reason to get excited about a game based on a license. Usually, these kinds of games are made to make a quick buck off a brand rather than giving something with value back to the fans.
Reigns: Game of Thrones is very different. As Reigns fans will already know, you play a Monarch ruling your kingdom who needs to make difficult decisions.
Along the top of the screen, there are meters that represent your popularity with different factions in the world.
If any of these ever fill up or empty out completely its game over. You are trying to rule for as long as possible, whilst also attempting to discover the secrets and mysteries that underpin the world.
Reigns: Game of Thrones follows a similar path, but it throws in a few twists along the way. For one thing, you play as multiple characters in the show.
Certain characters can trigger events and protect them from the whims of their populous. Let’s put it this way, if you are playing as Daenerys Targaryen and you have woken up your dragon, there is a pretty good chance people are going to do what you say.
You can also travel between destinations in the realm of Westeros. There are battles and tourneys to engage in, plus plenty of wheeling, dealing, and subterfuge as well.
But, no matter how complex the politics, everything still plays out with a super simple swipe right or swipe left mechanic in Reigns: Game of Thrones.
You can always think of this interpretation of reigns as a bit of a Metroidvania game, be it without the platforming or the boss fights.
There are things to discover that will further unlock new opportunities and characters. And those opportunities are always well signposted before you have the knowledge to get them.
Because it’s not new powers or skills that will save you. It is information. Secrets you discover at one end of your empire might well change the way you act with people at the other end.
Even short Reigns can alter the way you think about your favorite characters. Slivers of information can shift your perspective in incredibly subtle ways, and working out what to do with the secrets you uncover is a good chunk of the fun in Reigns: Game of Thrones.
You will find the exploration really satisfying too. Not just the world of Game of Thrones but at the character paths. Flipping between the different kings and queens and generating new relationships and stories.
Then there is Winter.
Survive on the Iron Throne for enough time and eventually, the long night descends on Westeros. Then, your decisions become more difficult, and the consequences more deadly, as the Night King haunts everything you do.
Now there are some issues in Reigns: Game of Thrones as well. For one thing, the writing in the game, while still good, isn’t up to the standard of Reigns: Her Majesty. We spotted spelling and grammar mistakes which are a bit of a kicker in a game that is all reading and swiping.
And there is a danger inherent in all Reigns games. A couple of bad stints in charge and you are going to wonder what the point in playing is. Reigns: Game of Thrones counters that by with face that you recognize.
You are far more likely to push on if you are unlocking characters you are familiar with. Sometimes stories fizzle out before you get to the bottom of things. And there is no way to keep track of what you know and what you think you know, except in your own head.
Importantly, this mash-up of prestige TV and mobile gaming does work. Neither franchise has been forced into an unnatural mold just for the sake of cash. It is a coming together of two concepts that gel in really interesting ways.
Reigns grows from the connection to Game of Thrones, as Game of Thrones does. And whether you are looking for a decent sequel to Reigns or a Game of Thrones distraction to keep you going till the next season drops, you will definitely find something to love here.
Download Reigns: Game of Thrones for iOS and Android below: