After last year's success, Reigns comes back with another Tinder-esque diplomacy game (you can read our review of the original here). Like its predecessor, you once again rule over a medieval kingdom. However, as the title suggests, this time around you play as a queen instead of the king.
If you've played Reigns before, you will notice the basics of the game are the same; you will be presented with cards and in a Tinder-like way, you swipe left or right to either accept or decline the choice presented to you. Depending on the choices you make, you will unlock new characters to meet and new cards to swipe through. At the top of the screen, you can see the four most important aspects of your kingdom: the church, your subjects, the army, and the treasury. Each of your choices directly affects your popularity with every single one of them. As soon as one drops to zero you will die, but be warned, getting too popular also means certain death. You must find a good balance to keep all four bars filled, just not too much and not too little. You will soon find out that this is a difficult task; don't be put off if your first game only lasts a round or two!
When you die, you're immediately reborn as the queen's successor. Why you are stuck in this endless cycle of (often prematurely) dying and reincarnating queens will be explained through an ominous spirit visiting you early on in the game, but we won't give any spoilers here.
Whilst the basics of Reigns: Her Majesty are the same as they were in the first instalment, it's certainly a different experience being queen: you get presented with all new female-specific obstacles such as dying at childbirth or accusations of being a witch. There is also a fair amount of sexism in the game, and you may get told to smile more or to dress in a certain way. You don't need to obey of course; as the queen, you can simply command people to go fornicate themselves over yonder.
Also added to the sequel is the availability of more items, as well as a penalty for attempting to use items inappropriately. Just like its predecessor, Reigns: Her Majesty contains a lot of dark humour. Dying has never been more fun with the frequently outrageous ways you will lose your life often a highlight during any play-through.
Whilst the game hints at choices you could (or should) make, you are entirely free to either abide or ignore the hints. You are free to have affairs with other men or women. You can anger the church or insult your general. Some choices may be wiser than others, but what keeps the game fun is just that: you always have a choice. This makes Reigns highly replayable; just like a choose-your-own-adventure book, you will get a different outcome every time you pick it up. You can reign however you like, if you don't mind dying a few times along the way, that is.