Yes, Your Grace from developers Brave at Night is a PC role-playing game that puts you on the throne and gives you the nearly impossible task of managing an entire kingdom on the brink of war. Because 2020 is the perfect time to release a game about trying to herd a city full of proverbial cats while the world burns around you.
You play as the king of Davern, as you rule over a kingdom full of generals, servants, citizens and your own family. You rule by getting nice and comfy on your throne and listening to townspeople, royal dignitaries, family members and visitors from outside the walls of the kingdom.
You’ll be asked to give advice, settle disputes, lend money, accept money (with interest of course) and form alliances with royals from other kingdoms, as you prepare for an incoming attack by an army of “barbarians” from the other side of the mountains nearby.
Each “round” takes place during the first day of the week, when you’ll make some key decisions. You’ll start each week by sitting in the throne room and listening to people as they bring things to your attention.
One villager from a neighboring town outside of the kingdom walls may ask for protection from rampaging bandits. A banker may visit and offer a loan of gold or resources as long as you pay it back. But each request will almost always come with a price.
You have four different pools of resources: gold, supplies, an army, and the morale of your people. So reject a plan for a festival that will take up supplies? Take a hit to your kingdom’s morale.
If you offer up gold to help someone recoup the losses of a recent flood, you run the risk of not having enough for other basic necessities and might need a loan from that banker guy you initially turned away. Keeping that in mind, you’ll never be able to satisfy everybody’s requests.
Additionally, you have to stay sharp and keep a close watch for scammers. Some folks might slip, and it’s up to you to catch them in their lies before you get robbed of those precious resources.
Now if you’ll forgive me for getting “political” for a second, some things feel like conservative radio nightmare simulations with invading barbarians and poor people “abusing the system,” but it never completely took me out of the game.It’s still a fun exercise in resource management and problem solving, because... video games. It helps that this is a fantasy world, I guess?
After listening to everyone in your throne room, you can visit parts of your castle to follow up with certain characters. Throw someone in prison and you can then follow up with them afterwards to extract any additional information regarding an ongoing investigation. Accept a marriage proposal from another royal family to forge an alliance, and track down your daughter inside of the castle to break the news. It can get pretty brutal. Rarely are decisions ever easy no-brainers.
What makes things even spicier is the fact that some decisions will play out over the course of several weeks. So things that don’t seem as dire at first, might gain some urgency as the stakes continue to get raised. For example, if you don’t believe the one townsperson who claims he’s being tormented by a ghost, he might do something drastic that will make you wish you listened to him.
You’ll also eventually gain the ability to send generals or witches to handle requests outside of the castle walls that you can’t just throw money or resources at. That will usually mean that they’re out of commission for weeks at a time, which can be a problem when an issue arises that requires their expertise when they’re away.
All in all, Yes, Your Grace is a really cool throwback that makes me feel like I have the responsibility of a king in Game of Thrones. That\ makes for a fun anxiety outlet in many ways. This game’s perfect for professional managers and group project leaders of all kinds out there and folks who actually enjoy budgeting and making lists. Y’all are gonna have a good time.
It also falls neatly into one of my favorite categories, like my boy Chase Carter wrote about in Rock, Paper, Shotgun: a game that I can comfortably play one-handed with a hot cup of coffee in the other.
Yes, Your Grace is available on PC, and Brave at Night says a console release is coming at a later date.