Yes, Your Grace: it’s tough being the king – Still Brewing
Sometimes you have a choice. Other times, your choice doesn’t matter. Then there are times you don’t even have the illusion of choice.
Choices become harder when you’re a king. Your generosity, your coffers, and your supplies determine who you can help and who gets turned away. And, sometimes, the choices you make not only leave a pit in your stomach but have consequences further down the road.
An Unexpected Roller Coaster Ride
When I jumped into Yes, Your Grace by Brave at Night, I was kind of expecting something like Sort the Court but with fancy bit-style graphics and cut scenes. Maybe give some gold here, take a risk there, go all Cookie Clicker and try and accumulate as much wealth as possible.
I was not at all expecting to be biting my nails with anxiety as I tried to make the right choices. To be immediately pulled into the lives of the characters and develop sympathies for their problems. To be left floored when everything you thought you were saving ended up being lost to forces you couldn’t control.
In short, I’m dying for more.
Court Politics with a Twist
Yes, Your Grace puts you in the shoes of Eryk, a Slavic king from the 14th century. Every week you greet nobles, peasants, and soldiers alike who are all coming to you to ask for something. A child is missing, will you help find him? A bandit raided our village, can you get the supplies back? Someone is sick, spare some gold for medicine? You get the idea.
It breaks your heart a little every time you have to turn someone away, more so than other games of the genre. Furthermore, Yes, Your Grace pulls at your heart outside of the throne room. The king and queen have a dark secret they’re keeping from the rest of the kingdom. A curse. A promise. A promise soon broken.
The thing that lingers with me the most with this game is how much I agonized over every decision, and yet, in the end, I wonder if any of my choices actually mattered. Sure, I spared or saved a life sometimes, but I have a feeling that I’d end up in the same place no matter what.
Managing Your Resources and Your Life
As a small kingdom, resources are not plentiful. From the get-go, you have to be wise in your spending, not only of gold and food but your soldiers as well. Soldiers are needed to prepare for war, but they can also be sent out to find lost children.
With an army knocking on your front door and no way to defend yourself, you can turn to allies. But allies will want something in return, say, your daughter’s hand in marriage? What exactly are you willing to give up for the health and safety of your kingdom? What will get taken away from you if you refuse?
Meanwhile, Eryk is a dad. His children squabble regularly and get into trouble. Keeping the family happy is almost as hard as running an entire kingdom. These people are painfully human despite their status and difficulties.
The Big Picture
Yes, Your Grace, in addition to its unique spin on the court formula, is also just darn beautiful. The very first scene of the castle made me gasp out loud. For such a simple style, the details in the game are incredibly on point. The boost the game got on Kickstarter really was worth every penny to make those graphics come to life.
The sound lends much to the feeling of the game as well. Sometimes it can be cheery, and other times it is all too sobering, giving you a foreboding feeling like something bad is about to happen. There is a haunting beauty to the sound that pairs perfectly with the theme.
The gameplay is surprisingly smooth. Not that I didn’t expect it to, but when the movements of characters are just super smooth you really notice it. Even the pacing is seamless as the story unfolds, something as a writer I really appreciate.
Waiting for More
Honestly, I can’t say anything negative about the demo except that the cliffhanger jostled my poor feels. I didn’t want to stop playing! I will definitely be going back into the demo to see if I can effect the outcome of the story. There may be hope yet for a happy ending.
You can check out Yes, My Grace on Steam and add it to your wish list: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1115690/Yes_Your_Grace/
Dana is a published urban fantasy author and writing industry speaker. When she’s not writing novels, she enjoys playing video games and writing gaming articles. A little bit zany, a little all over the place, mostly just happy to be here.