Heavy Is The Crown

HIGH Dynamic characters and decisions.

LOW Keeping track of which petitioner is which.

WTF Deaths that are spoilers.

When first laying eyes on Yes, Your Grace, I immediately thought of the popular mobile game Reigns, as they both take place in a fictional medieval world that mirrors our own — think Game of Thrones or a low-magic fantasy universe. Also like Reigns, the primary mechanic of Yes, Your Grace is sitting on a throne and listening to the pleas of petitioners, balancing the resources of gold, supplies, and happiness to ensure the survival of my kingdom.

Where does it differ? Well, have I mentioned that while managing my kingdom I was also trying to build an army to defend against a barbarian invasion? And let’s not forget the rival lords whom I must make alliances with. Oh, and what about my daughter — should I marry her off, or put her happiness first? Yes, Your Grace is a game about making choices, but every decision is more complicated than making a meter rise or fall, and the consequences are never obvious at first.

When play begins, petitioners and family members will line up in the throne room or ask for a private audience. At first the requests seem minor or inconsequential, but eventually I had to turn down far more than I wished to because of limited resources. At the end of the game I was extremely thankful for some decisions I made, while bitterly regretting others.

For instance, my soldiers captured a barbarian who was raiding villages. My general brought him to me, and when I elected to throw him in the dungeons, he mocked me for not having the backbone to kill him, but eventually a noble came and wanted to make an example of him. If I had executed him on the spot back then, I wouldn’t have had access to the noble’s troops later on when I needed them. By the end of the campaign I was crossing my fingers at every choice, hoping things would work out and I wouldn’t find myself hanging from the gallows thanks to some unforeseen turn of events.

I did far more than sit on my throne, though. Each week found me speaking to agents and members of my family about their concerns, practicing swordsmanship with my daughter, helping another with her ever-growing menagerie of pets, and comforting my wife. Each of these interactions played a part in the larger whole — it’s a spiderweb of decisions, and I feel as though someone would have to replay Yes, Your Grace a multitude of times to see how every choice impacts the other. Additionally, these interactions add a level of emotional impact — there was always something at stake, and it gave me something to fight for.

Besides being an intricate decision-making simulation, Yes, Your Grace uses a variety of other systems, such as managing resources and my people’s happiness, plus, I gathered a general, a witch, and a hunter over the course of the campaign. Each of them could bring aid on quests or in battle, be envoys to villages and towns, and perform investigations. Finally, when battles occurred, they could assist me in battle.

While Yes, Your Grace does a great job of building up its systems and giving me reason to play, by the end of the game I was juggling so many requests and consequences that it was as a task unto itself to track them in the game’s journal. Also, some important story components felt somewhat non-intuitive — they were more like making progress by process of elimination or just waiting for things to fall into my lap.

Also, I’m not sure whether certain outcomes were based entirely on player choice or not… No spoilers here, but while specific things have to happen to keep the story moving, I might have liked more “game over” screens that gave me a chance to skip back to where I made a poor choice.

As a fan of character-driven stories and making choices in games, Yes, Your Grace stood out as one of the best I’d played in a long time — even after the credits rolled, I still felt regret over some decisions and joy for others. The creators did a fantastic job weaving their interconnected stories together and deliver more emotion and intrigue than most triple-A studios manage. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time to come.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by Brave At Night and published by No More Robots. It is currently available on PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on PC. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: This game has not been rated by the ESRB. It has written depictions of execution including burning at the stake, and being killed by monsters. Prostitution and drunkenness are all mentioned, though they happen offscreen. There are some pixel art depictions of blood and violence.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Playing a good portion of the game without sound, I did not encounter any gameplay difficulties. All dialogue must be read and there are no necessary audio cues. I’d say this one is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. There is no control diagram. The controls function in a point-and-click style. The mouse is used to select all options throughout the game, from movement to character choices and menu navigation. 

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

— Nikki Waln

Disclosures: This game is developed by Brave At Night and published by No More Robots. It is currently available on PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on PC. Approximately 5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: This game has not been rated by the ESRB. gimme your take on it. anything to look out for? any examples of risque content?

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: REWRITE THIS. there are lots of examples on the site.

Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. There is no control diagram. GIMME A CONTROL BREAKDOWN HERE.

Nikki Waln
Latest posts by Nikki Waln (see all)
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments