Reigns Beyond Review - Endless Choices 3453

Reigns Beyond Review – Endless Choices

Typically when players think of visual novels it’s a classic like Steins;Gate. Presentation is similar to an RPG, just with diverging paths based-off player choices, and preferences. While this can make for a unique experience, or something like Ace Attorney, Nerial went in a different direction with their Reigns series. By simplifying the process, along with making choice a constant element, they delivered an experience that resonated with a number of players. With Reigns Beyond they hope to take this vision to other worlds, but is it an adventure worth exploring?

Reigns Beyond starts with a rather simple premise. The player character ends up being leader of a ship when everything is going south, and in my case poor decisions resulted in said ship crashing on a nearby planet. Naturally, this event would lead to finding a crew, and creating an indie rock band.

Reigns Beyond Review - An Unique Take on a Visual Novel 3453

As silly as it sounds, it largely works due to Nerial not sweating the details. Easy hand waves like the members immediately accepting the player character as leader due to their previous, arguably unearned, rank drive the plot towards more interesting things.

Where things start to stand out is the overall approach. Reigns Beyond is essentially a series of prompts that have one of two responses. Some of these are simple, like listening to what a character has to say, or simply moving on; whereas other’s ask a bit more from players. Many of these choices will also have a positive, or negative impact on the experience.

Ignoring a crew member’s needs will often negatively impact, though sometimes this is a choice that must be made to keep the ship running smoothly. Part of what makes things truly interesting isn’t the constant exploration of each character, as much as the seemingly endless possibilities.

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For better or worse, enjoyment hinges on stepping into the role as leader. Since choices are binary, players need to be invested to see the weight of each choice. Without that a lot of options have no real meaning. Do I care about exploring the ship? Is there a reason to entertain this crew member? Should I buy this thing? It stacks up over time.

That being said, the simplistic nature also makes things incredibly friendly for quick investments over long periods of time. There simply isn’t a complex narrative that one must pay attention to, nor are the choices enough to completely change the course of this adventure.

In a lot of ways this is Reigns Beyond‘s greatest strength. The outlandish setting allows for quirky characters like a shark person, or fun references to things like KISS, without feeling out of place. It also makes some of the choices fun, as they reveal increasingly outlandish situations.

Reigns Beyond Review - Endless Choices 3453

A Friendly Face

Outside of gameplay, Reigns Beyond is an incredibly simple, and straightforward game. With few exceptions every scene is a characters face, and the option to swipe right, or left. Even if the design isn’t particularly complicated, the simplistic nature is memorable in its own sense. It says a lot about how far rather basic designs can go from Star Trek, to rock band.

Beyond choices there are also game play sections that involve obtaining collectibles. These stages are interesting, though not particularly special. The basic idea is to control a guitar to collect a series of hearts. Later stages remove the guiding line, a few stages opt to have a more elaborate path, though none of them are particularly difficult. If nothing else they function well as a different experience from simply answering one thing, or another, to a seemingly endless case of characters.

Reigns Beyond Review Verdict

Reigns Beyond: At the end of the day Reigns Beyond speaks to a very specific type of player. It's an experience centered on living in the moment, and playing the role of leader. For those it resonates with there will likely be untold hours of fun, whereas anyone else might find it hard to find the motivation to go through thousands of questions. Mark

von 10

Editor’s Note: Reigns Beyond was reviewed on PC, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.

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