Reigns Beyond

Posted:  Apr 17, 2024
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Reigns Beyond was provided by Devolver Digital for review. Thank you!

When the first game in the Reigns series came out in 2016, I remember thinking how simple it was. Sliding a card to the left or the right to make decisions with simple visuals seemed so out of the blue, yet I knew I was wrong as soon as I played it. It was simple, addicting, and so much fun making decisions to manage your control and expand your kingdom. It was the perfect mobile app, and it is still a lot of fun to play on a PC, but it is definitely more catered to a mobile experience. The Steam Deck is the perfect way to enjoy Reigns Beyond, the newest entry in the series, and I love how it evolved from the first game.

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Like the others in the series, Reigns Beyond puts you in the captain's chair, where you must make decisions that affect your four resources, which in Realms Beyond are Power, Oxygen, Ship Hull, and Crew Morale. As you play, different scenarios will be thrown at you, and you must make one of two decisions. These can affect your resources, increasing or decreasing them. And, if they get too low, you lose. Each decision can also change the course of the story, change your crew's focus, and lead to new scenarios, which can add more cards to your deck.

While this core concept is followed similarly here, there are a couple of changes that actually make it feel less like a two-choice decision and way more open-ended. While the core gameplay described above takes place while flying from planet to planet, you do have more choices you can make that decide on what you do next. When selecting where to go next, you are taken to a space-like wheel where you can choose your path, which will show what planets and space stations you will encounter and what you can do on them. And, while on the planets, you can choose whether you want to have a concert, get drinks with the crew/meet new people, shop for new gear and food, or just leave. I love having these options, as it makes me feel like I have a lot more decisions than just the two to choose what happens next.

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You may have noticed that I mentioned concerts in the last paragraph. Well, that's because you are in a band! The backstory in Reigns Beyond sees you waking up randomly on a super advanced ship, you accidentally land and kill a guitarist, and then become the guitarist in a band where the members are also your crew. These concerts do have different gameplay, which consists of a 30 second or so song with hearts coming towards you on a track. You control a guitar, which you move left and right to try hitting all the hearts. It's a nice change of pace that is a bit more engaging, and as the main way you make money, it encourages you to essentially take a break from the main gameplay loop. And yes, all the music is awesome.

The story changes as you go along, but it continues to stay engaging as you make all the choices yourself. I also really enjoy all the different characters, scenery, and events that can happen. I am a huge sci-fi lover, so having the game take place in this environment was already a huge win for me.

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Now, if you don't enjoy these kinds of games, you will not be happy with Reigns Beyond. I would consider this an interactive visual novel, and because of that, those who enjoy more action-oriented gameplay in their titles won't feel as fulfilled. While it is fun to play, I did find myself wanting to take breaks since a lot of the gameplay is very similar and can feel tedious in longer sessions. But this is why the game is so perfect for a mobile/Steam Deck platform. We can set it down easily whenever we want!

Reigns Beyond - Steam Deck Performance

With the kind of game Reigns Beyond is, I would have been shocked if the performance on the Steam Deck wasn't perfect. Thankfully, I remain unshocked since it runs extremely well. At 90 FPS, we can get an 8W - 10W battery drain, while 60 FPS sticks around 7W - 9W, giving us an extra hour of battery. Because of this, I recommend setting the frame rate to 60 since it will still feel very smooth and give 8 hours of battery instead of 7.

But regardless of how you choose to play, the framerate will stay stable no matter what!


There aren't really any accessibility settings for Reigns Beyond. We can change volume, language, and toggle vibrations and voice-over characters, but that's about it.

We do have 16:10 resolution support, cloud saves, and gamepad support too, which is awesome to see. There are no HDR settings.


Reigns Beyond doesn't reinvent what the series is known for and instead focuses on refining and expanding what has already been established in the previous games. I love the extra choices I have that keep it going past the two-choice system. I also love the sci-fi world and the story that goes along with it. And while it can feel a bit monotonous with long play sessions, this is mitigated when playing on the Steam Deck, which handles it perfectly! It feels right at home on the Deck, and it's the only way I can play and enjoy.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Reigns Beyond is a fantastic evolution of the series with a great setting, interesting story, and enjoyable gameplay elements. And it is perfect on the Steam Deck!


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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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