Yes, Your Grace Review
My all-time favorite life and political simulation game, Long Live the Queen, revolves around the concept of building stats over a week until a certain amount of time has passed. Story-wise, it sounds more entertaining: the player educates a young princess for forty weeks, at which point she is crowned as queen and the game ends. The choices that she made during the game as well as her stats determine what happens in the epilogue and the kind of queen that her subjects view her as. The new queen could be anything from a benevolent monarch to a hostile dictator, it all comes down to how you play the game.
I’ve always looked for games similar to Long Live the Queen, and I recently found the game that feels like its spiritual successor. I’ve never been fond of tactical mechanics in games, but in spite of that, I chose to play Yes, Your Grace. Although they have different stylesーLong Live the Queen is a visual novel with an anime-influenced art style and Yes, Your Grace is more of a RPG with pixel graphicsーthere are so many similarities that I couldn’t help but make a comparison.
The player assumes control of King Eryk in Yes, Your Grace. As the king, Eryk needs to keep a decent amount of gold and supplies on hand, but his subjects visit him weekly to ask for his aid. The player can choose which requests Eryk can ignore, but if the demands are not completed to the satisfaction of the subject, the commoners will become unhappy. Although some players might be tempted to say, “Fuck the peasants, I’ll hoard all of my supplies and money,” it is extremely important to keep the less fortunate people satisfied. Every request that the king faces comes back either to haunt him or help him in an hour of need.
And Eryk is constantly in need of assistance. There is never a moment of peace in the kingdom. On top of meeting the peasants’ demands, Eryk also deals with the four women of his family: his beloved queen and the three princesses. His eldest daughter, Lorsulia, has become spiteful because she fears that she’ll be married off to a stranger. The second-born, Asalia, is bored with her royal life and finds entertainment in mocking her siblings and challenging her parents’ authority. The youngest and most innocent, Cedani, cannot deal with the loss of a family member, even if it’s just an animal, and constantly seeks to fill any absences with bizarre and dangerous pets. Meanwhile, the beautiful Queen Aurelea is desperate to provide a son and heir for the throne, even if she has to resort to unorthodox means to do so. (Fans of Game of Thrones should be able to spot where the developers took inspiration from the books for the characters in this game.)
And on top of managing a kingdom and family, Eryk also deals with threats from other territories. Supplies and gold are needed to keep the army strong, in addition to satisfying the pleas of petitioners. With each week that passes, the amount of supplies and gold changes, but if either one should run out, the game ends. Here’s where the similarities to Long Live the Queen come into play: a war approaches with each week that passes. The protagonist has a limited amount of time to prepare, and some of the decisions made in the past will either harm or help the chances of winning upcoming battles. The first time playing is a learning experience, and the player can make note of the mistakes that were made and try to correct them in the following playthrough. However, there are some parts of the narrative that cannot be changed, no matter what the player does, and because of this, there is no such thing as a “perfect ending”.
Honestly, once you get the hang of it, it’s a pretty easy and short game. It only took me three playthroughs to get 100% completion with the Steam achievements. If you’re looking for a short RPG with resource management and well-written lore, this game is definitely worth checking out.
Look for Yes, Your Grace on Steam.
You can also find it on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.