“Royals” Takes You From Rags to Riches…Provided You Win
You begin life as a 13-year old peasant with grandiose ambitions of one day living in a castle of your own. Billed as “optimistic peasant simulator,” Royals seems like a fun, low-key, and above all forgiving game–and while the first two are accurate, the last is not. Or, in the game’s own words: “You have died as a lowly peasant and will be forgotten.”
Each action costs a year of your life. To maximize your efforts, amass a following…but play too fast and loose, and they’ll vanish or die. Sometimes chopping down trees nets you a nice bundle of wood, but sometimes the royal family gets angry at this environmental disaster and demands reparations.
There’s a logic to Royals, but it takes awhile and a whole lot of trial and error to parse. Once you get the hang of it though, you can settle down to chart your meteoric rise to power, so long as you don’t make the wrong choice and end up shooting yourself in the foot for the rest of the game. Even failure is entertaining, whether in the details of how you got there or in the determination to try again.
And if you make it to that castle and set up shop as the new ruler? Well, rumor has it that death comes for you anyway. But hey, at least you’re not a peasant.