Reigns is a kingdom management game which boils narrative choice down to its simplest form, by presenting the player with a long series of binary choices they swipe left or right on. From that basic interaction, it spins enjoyable yarns with some strategic underpinnings.
It’s had several followups and spin-offs since, and it’s about to get another. Reigns: Three Kingdoms, which lets you swipe your way through anccient China, will launch on January 11th.
“Inspired by the beloved Chinese epic ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms,’ this game thrusts players into the turbulent final years of the Han dynasty. Players will encounter the many factions, wars, and heroes of the saga as they swipe through to make high-stakes decisions, team up with the right army at the right time, gain power, and more,” says the Steam page.
Three Kingdoms launched on mobile back in 2022 via the Netflix app, as part of Devolver Digital’s deal with the streaming platform. This is its first appearance on PC.
This iteration expands on the formula somewhat, adding turn-based card battles (pictued above) and various minigames in among the narrative swiping.
The last Reigns game we reviewed was the original, I think, which Alec had a great time with:
It’s got an economy of writing paired with a malevolent-but-not-too-malevolent streak, which simultaneously mean my mind’s cheerfully spooling out all the detail that the simple, poly-faced characters do not give and that I’m believing I’m actually in with a chance of doing well this time. Of course I’m not. The snowball of minor and major disasters are going to put paid to my time on the throne before too long, yet somehow I think tonight’s the night. This time, I’m going to make it.
Alice B also had a good time learning about the large cast of characters in the Reigns: Game Of Thrones spin-off.