Reigns is a choose-your-own-adventure game based around resource management and random events.
Gameplay is essentially a series of yes or no questions, in which you try to do what is best for your kingdom. You can see a visual representation of the state of your kingdom, but only a general idea of how each decision will affect it. For example, giving funding to the military instead of the clergy will improve your relations with the military and hurt your relations with the clergy, but it is unclear exactly how much of an effect it will have. This helps encourage you to role play your character, rather than just picking all the options that help you win.
You are also tasked with a number of goals, which can be completed during any playthrough. They range from simple goals, like winning a duel, to elaborate goals that require a significant amount of effort to achieve. Time is constantly passing, so every time that you die, your bloodline moves on to another time period. The passage of time also brings in new events, helping to stretch the length of the game by evolving the types of events you deal with. It gives Reigns a fair amount of replay value, although it can get boring if you play for long stretches of time.
Reigns has a crisp and refined presentation style that helps to sell the game as a casual card game. The visuals aren’t stunning in a technical sense, but they are heavily stylized in a way that gives the game a lot of character. The UI is fairly intuitive and makes the game easy to pick up and play. Being able to look at the timeline of your rulers is a great feature that adds some life to your past characters and lets you see what they accomplished. The sound design is good, with some decent sound effects and enjoyable music. Nothing to write home about, but it does the job.
Reigns is a well-made adventure game that easily outperforms its price tag. It is a simple, casual experience that manages to remain engaging each time you play it.