If at first you don’t succeed, promise your daughter’s hand to a bandit.
That’s the lesson to take away from Yes, Your Grace, which casts you as a ruler whose kingdom is already short on resources. This is a game that lets you postpone the consequences of your bad decisions by making more bad decisions. Worried about the bandit turning up to claim his prize? Simply promise your daughter’s hand to another king and he’ll gladly assist you. What could possibly go wrong?
Yes, Your Grace doesn’t force you to make these decisions but when you’re already dealing with a queue of subjects asking for money, short-term safety is all you can hope for. You’re always aware how acutely tenuous your position is; maybe the final version of Yes, Your Grace will let you sit atop a mound of gold coins but I suspect not. Its pixel-art aesthetic is thoroughly appealing but it doesn’t hide the fact that you’re only days away from disaster.
It’s more story-driven then Reigns (a similar game) and hits some familiar fairy-tale beats. There aren’t any large scale battles in the game (or weren’t in the version I played) but sending agents to root out small bands of enemy soldiers was satisfying, as was adding their funds to my coffers. But my satisfaction was short lived, as, having offered my daughter’s hand in marriage, I’d forgotten that I’d also have to pay for a wedding. Sorry, darling – a full orchestra’s out, but we can get Dungy Pete to play his cack-encrusted fiddle.
I was mildly disappointed that I couldn’t go full Cersei Lannister but I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with Yes, Your Grace. It’s fun in the same way that spinning plates is fun, hoping that the decision you just made isn’t going to bring the whole lot crashing down. Does that merchant really need 10 gold to build a tavern or is he going to run off and leave you looking like a fool? And how do you juggle your own family problems?
I went into Yes, Your Grace thinking I was going to make logical, measured decisions and face-palmed when learning about my character’s daughter-trading mess-up. But Yes, Your Grace piles on the pressure so much that you’re willing to make bad choices, just to stay on the throne for a few weeks more. I’ve resolved to be more measured if I get my hands on the final game but I’ve got the nagging feeling I’ll end up breaking my own promises.
If the idea of making a string of bad leadership decisions appeals to you (also known as ‘Doing a Jon Snow’) you can take the throne when Yes, Your Grace hits the PC early next year.