Review: Reigns: Three Kingdoms – When Strategic Mastery Meets Historical Saga

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital gaming, where genres blend and narratives expand to encompass histories both real and imagined, the Reigns series by Nerial Development Studios has carved a unique niche. Known for its innovative approach to storytelling through card-based gameplay, the series has captivated players with its blend of historical depth and strategic decision-making. As we delve into the latest addition to this acclaimed franchise, “Reigns: Three Kingdoms,” we uncover a game that not only pays homage to its predecessors but also introduces players to a rich tapestry of ancient Chinese history.

Set against the backdrop of the Han dynasty’s decline, this game invites players into a world where every choice can alter the course of history. Join us as we explore how “Reigns: Three Kingdoms” stands as a testament to the series’ enduring appeal and its ability to engage players in the complex interplay of power, strategy, and fate.

To me, until this very day, Reigns: Three Kingdoms remained an unknown card game. As it turns out to be, Nerial Development Studios had already released five titles within the Reigns series. Three Kingdoms is the freshest installment, and, with a naked eye, one can notice that it draws inspiration from the previous parts.

The story begins in the year 2024. The protagonist meets a woman called Lucy. After a short chitchat, our hero sets out for a simulation journey, which takes him back to the times of the Han dynasty’s twilight. Going back to the past, players can play the role of various characters, including Buda, prince or even a governor. You’re gonna face multiple choices, which will strongly impact the further part of the gameplay and your position in social hierarchy.

The choice seems to be simple

First of all, the choice cards are the most important elements of the gameplay. When you come across other characters and start to chat, you face a choice of two possible answers. I need to stress that it’s important to think about your answers from the very start because they have a strong bearing on your future fortune. What is more, in the upper section of the screen, you will find four simple bars, which indicate sequentially: wealth, charisma, army force and values. Players must bear in mind the importance of keeping a balance between those indicators. Huge differences between them will eventually cause the demise of our hero, which, obviously, means game over.

Put your cards on the table

Getting the hang of the dialogues and choices associated with them is just the early days. The second most important elements are the turn-based battles in the form of a card game. The very first step for you is to pick up four cards (out of max. nine). The chosen cards will take part in the fight. As in the most games of this genre, every card has its attack and defense value. During each turn, players have only two or three actions to carry out, so every decision has to be carefully thought out. To beat an enemy, you have to crush his defense and starve him of hit points. I must admit that despite the visual simplicity, battles are extremely engaging and, sometimes, exceptionally difficult. In addition, the developers included the multiplayer mode, which makes the fights a lot more fun, even though the battle system doesn’t differ from the single-player mode at all. It’s the playing against a real opponent, I guess. Nevertheless, if you are more into exciting combats that happen in the real time, Reign: Three Kingdoms might not be the game you are looking for.

Another thing that deserves praise is the atmospheric game world. The action takes place in ancient China. Reign: Three Kingdoms takes you on a journey throughout the various regions of the country, and Jingzhou, Luoyang, or Chang’an, are just the beginning of your adventure. Advancing to another region allows you to meet stronger companions. What is interesting is that every region has its own background color. Taking into account that Reigns: Three Kingdoms was originally designed to be a smartphone game, it’s no wonder that the action screen is located in the center, and the sides are filled with a colorful background. It’s a pity that the developers didn’t manage to stretch the action screen.

Pros:

– Engaging dialogues

– Simple and exciting battles

– Understandable language

– Atmospheric soundtrack

Cons:

– Repetitive actions

– Lack of the full-screen mode

– Not to many innovations in comparison to previous installments

As well as the previous installments within the series, Reigns: Three Kingdoms has been appreciated amongst gamers. It does not differ much from the previous titles when it comes to gameplay and visuals. However, is it something bad? If something worked out so well in the past, why wouldn’t they stick to the original concept? The story that revolves around dialogues between you and NPCs is extremely engaging. The impact of the given answers on the story made me think hard about my next move. Exploration of China is an interesting aspect of the game, but it should be more tied to the general progress of the story. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the wonderful soundtrack, which perfectly fulfills the whole adventure. Reigns: Three Kingdoms is a must-have for every die-hard fan of the card games genre.

In Conclusion

“Reigns: Three Kingdoms” emerges as a compelling blend of historical narrative and strategic gameplay, a hallmark of Nerial Development Studios’ commitment to innovative game design. By weaving together the rich tapestry of ancient Chinese history with the engaging mechanics of card-based strategy, this installment not only honors its predecessors but also enhances the series’ legacy. The game’s ability to immerse players in a world where their choices have significant consequences, coupled with the strategic depth of its combat system and the atmospheric depth of its setting, underscores the unique position “Reigns: Three Kingdoms” holds within the digital gaming landscape.

It’s a game that not only entertains but also invites players to ponder the weight of their decisions against the backdrop of history, making each playthrough a unique journey through the twilight of the Han dynasty. In the realm of card games and beyond, “Reigns: Three Kingdoms” is indeed a must-have, promising hours of engaging gameplay and strategic exploration.

Game avaiable for platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, Microsoft Windows (Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/2437040/Reigns_Three_Kingdoms/).

Price 2.99$.

About Author
Meet Jack, a passionate gamer and esteemed video game reviewer whose journey with video games began in childhood. With a deep-seated love for gaming, Jack has dedicated countless hours to playing, meticulously analyzing every facet of gameplay, graphics, and storylines, developing an expert eye for quality and innovation in the gaming world. His vast experience encompasses testing over 1,500 games across various genres and platforms, showcasing his commitment and expertise in the field. Jack is not only recognized for his profound knowledge and insights into video games but also for his professional accomplishments. As a top-rated PRO freelancer on Fiverr (nickname: jackvonthor), he has established a remarkable reputation for his high-quality game testing services, offering invaluable feedback and detailed reports to developers looking to refine their creations. His professionalism and skill set make him a sought-after professional game tester in the industry. Jack's journey into the realm of video games began with classic consoles and computers such as Atari, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Amstrad, Commodore, and PC. Growing up with these iconic platforms, he not only developed a deep appreciation for the evolution of video games but also gained a unique perspective on how gaming has transformed over the years. This rich history with games from an early age has equipped Jack with a comprehensive understanding of the medium, allowing him to connect with a wide audience through his insightful reviews and professional testing services.