Reigns: Game of Thrones Reminds Us That Ruling The Iron Throne is Bloody Hard

Winter is coming.

Should Daenerys Targaryen actually end up on the Iron Throne in the last season of Game of Thrones, I hope she lasts a lot longer than she did in my game of Reigns: Game of Thrones.

Two moons. Just two moons. That’s it, before she rode off on the back of one of her dragons, never to be seen again.

Sansa and Tyrion didn’t fare much better either when their time to rule from the Red Keep came. 11 and 15 moons respectively, so slightly better than the Mother of Dragons, but it’s still hardly a term to scream from the rooftops about. Sansa was stabbed with 40 swords from the Gold Cloaks, while Tyrion was thrown into a cauldron of Wildfire. Jeez. Yeah, life ruling Westeros is hard.

Having much more success than ruling for a dozen or so moons in Reigns: Game of Thrones doesn’t come easy. The latest iteration of the popular mobile and PC game from Nerial (published by Devolver Digital) lets us take control of a handful of popular Game of Thrones characters, guiding them through various scenarios while attempting to keep order and balance across the Seven Kingdoms. With most decisions you make being a one-or-the-other scenario, it seems pretty straightforward. And in terms of gameplay, it is. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have much luck.

Just the smallest decision can set the wheels in motion for your demise. Balancing each of Game of Thrones‘ factions can be difficult; you want the respect of your people, but you also don’t want to upset the church. After all, we know how corrupt and wicked they can be should you defy the Gods.

Don’t expect a game of Reigns: Game of Thrones to last particularly long – in the six-minute video above, I managed to play through two different characters. But the joy of the game comes in trying again, making different decisions, and seeing how you can make things turn out for the better (or worse). Managing to achieve certain scenarios as you play will unlock new characters to play as, with a total of nine altogether. Do expect to have to play the same few several times, though, before you unlock the final characters.

Accompanied by the TV series’ official music, Reigns: Game of Thrones is a nice little package for any Game of Thrones fan. It might not be the sprawling open world RPG we’re all hoping to see set in Westeros some day, but it’s a pleasant little taster of just how brutal life on the Iron Throne actually is.

Oh, and it only costs £2.99/$3.99. Even your master of coin won’t shake his head at that.