To rule a kingdom, you must make tough choices. Keeping your people happy is a priority, but there is also a balance that needs to be made so that you don’t go broke. Your role in Yes, Your Grace is to be an actual king. Using a strategy-based choice system, you must appease the peasants as well as your own family. It seems like all problems are your problems too. Besides just taking care of business, there is also a story on offer. Making peace and alliances with other kingdoms is a must, seeing as there is a war at hand that you must prepare for. All of these things collide into a stressful but entertaining job simulation. So, your grace, are you ready to rule?
Here’s what I liked:
Resource Management — There are two main types of resources that you need to worry about. One, of course, is gold. The other is supplies which I guess is mainly food but has other uses. You need both when preparing for war as well as to help people solve their problems. They will ask for help and you can give them resources which makes them content. There is another thing to worry about, and that’s the happiness of the people in your kingdom. You get more tax money out of them if the happiness number is higher. Your budget can get tight if you keep helping everyone though, and you can run out of money fast. You will have to make a judgment call when helping because you can’t appease everyone. But if you deny too many people help, the happiness level goes down – as does your earnings from taxes. You will listen to countless sob stories and they’re not only entertaining but real problems that will need to be dealt with. I enjoyed making these tough decisions!
Agent System — To go alongside managing your resources, you also have agents at your disposal. You end up getting a general, witch, and a hunter. Instead of throwing money and supplies to solve problems, you can have these agents go take care of the issues. It’s not free, however, because each week you employ them you must spend gold. However, spending 11 gold on an agent versus 25 gold without one to solve the same issue is better. But, the tricky part is not all agents can solve all problems. You may only be able to send the witch out, but have only paid the general and the hunter that week. Sure, you can always reload a checkpoint and hire the right people, but it’s a fantastic game of rock, paper, scissors in a sense. If you keep employing all three you’ll lose too much money. If no-one needs the help from an agent, you can just send them to explore other areas around the world that can possibly gain you rewards.
For the Alliance — We can’t do this alone now, can we? You’re able to seek the help of allies. They are an important part of the system because they increase your army size. Having all these friends is great, except sometimes they don’t like each other! Politics comes into play as you must often choose someone to side with, causing a whole bunch of drama and broken alliances. Some of them actually end up dead! For example, one ally wants to sell drugs (essentially). Another ally will not side with you if you allow it. So you have to choose which resources you want more; or you can base it off your own moral compass. They all have their own little backstories and are each intriguing in their own respects. I actually got to know them and, while at first they seem forgettable, the personalities and history shine through to make them quite memorable. My favorite is Grego. He desires to buy paintings from you. Another person tells you he is actually burning all the paintings so that his own is the only thing around (I think). Do you want to benefit from money by allowing an “artist” to burn other works? Needless to say, I had some extra money in my pockets.
Worthy Storyline — The story in
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Getting Around — Controls can be a little bit awkward at first. You have a split screen, one that allows you to move and interact with your surroundings and another that shows you a menu. To switch between these two you must press the Y button. While in the Throne Room you can go either direction to exit the area; in other parts of the castle you can only exit through one side. This means if you venture to the far right, you have to walk all the way back to the other side of the screen. I don’t want to have to leave an area like that. If I could just press a button that took me back to the castle selection that would be much better for navigation purposes. I felt like I wasted a lot of time going the wrong way.
Dark Times — Loading times seem generally fast for most things, except when you’re passing to the next week. You are met with a black screen that lasts long enough for you to question whether or not it just froze. Then it finally comes back. I’m not sure why it’s just a black screen. Normally with any long period of loading, there is at least some kind of animation going. Something at least, to let you know things are just working in the background. I just need a sign that things are all right!
The opening scene of the movie The Emperor’s New Groove shows peasants asking favors from the ruler. It is a short scene but highlights the fact that the poor are asking for help and the leader is approving and denying these requests. It’s such a fun idea to be the person in charge of fulfilling or rejecting them. To be put into the king’s shoes and have that type of power is exciting. I have played so many different genres and strategy has never really been one that appealed to me. However, this game exceeded my expectations with a brilliant storyline and a genius method of utilizing resources and politics. I adore the hints of humor as well. I’ll stop short of calling it a masterpiece but it is certainly exceptional. It plays out almost like a movie or a book. There seems to be an underlying message about family, loyalty, and that strength can be found in morality. I often got lost in the game for hours without ever feeling bored. Each week is like a mini-episode leading up the finale. I would not hesitate to play a sequel if there ever is one.
Score: Must Buy
Yes, Your Grace was published by No More Robots and developed by Brave at Night on Xbox One. It was released on June 26, 2020, for $19.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.