Decisions are the essence of drama. You can have ten thousand explosions go off in every second of your story, but until someone decides what to do about them, nobody will care. The latest mobile game from prolific publisher Devolver Digital gets that: it's an odd mix between a card game and Tinder with a cartoon medieval setting. In Reigns, each tiny decision builds up a procedurally-generated story of your time spent as king.
Follow along with me here: in Reigns, players make decisions by swiping cards right or left, broadly interpreted as "yes" and "no." The story progresses through years of your reign as king as you respond to new situations. You might get a proposal of political marriage from a neighboring kingdom, or a request from the pope for a new cathedral, or even just a call for a feast from your castle chef. Each decision, big or small as it may be, makes your inevitable death a little more or less likely in the short term.
Reigns is decidedly mobile and single-player, and while the mechanics of the game are simple, the underlying rules governing the results of your decisions are not. It's the good kind of procedural generation where your actions have consequences that, while the pattern can be discerned, still force some surprisingly compelling decisions. The game's art style is minimal but endearing, and like most of Devolver's Android offerings, $3 will get you the full experience with no ads or in-app purchases.