You are the young (sometimes very young) king of the Kingdom.
You are greeted by an Old Spirit. He too was the king of the Kingdom.
He tells you good luck with keeping the kingdom in line, then vanishes into the mist, leaving you to rule . . . which mostly seems to be keeping the four major factions in your kingdom-- the church, the people, the army, and the money-- from killing each other and ruining the kingdom.
You're gonna wish you'd went with him.
Reigns is a game created by Devolver Digital (and available on Steam and iOS) wherein you are, as mentioned, the reigning monarch. You must keep a balance of power between the factions in your kingdom lest you be messily killed, or usurped, or sacrificed, or executed as a martyr, or banished into the wilds, or any of the other 26 possible deaths waiting for you. Don't worry about ruling for too long; chances are you're going to die soon anyways.
The game play is fairly simple: a card with a member of your court appears in front of you. You can click your mouse to the left or the right to answer them. Above, there are the symbols of the four factions. Depending on the decisions you make, either they will be filled or they will be emptied. you get a vague preview of what will happen in the form of floating circles that hover above the affected factions; they don't tell you HOW they will be affected, but their size indicates how extreme it will be.
As you play, you will unlock scenarios and more cards which will give you more options and situations to play through. The best way to try and figure out how to activate new cards is to check out your Royal Deeds and see what you've accomplished and yet to accomplish. Sometimes your decisions will get you bonuses. Some of them will "lock" one of your factions so they cannot be altered. Sometimes they will prevent you from saying no to a member of a certain faction.
You can start a crusade with a neighboring kingdom at the expense of your population continually dropping every second. You can go fight skeletons in the secret dungeons at the expense of everything dropping constantly. You can get kidnapped by a conspirator who has been offing members of your court and then drown in the escape attempt, or you can let the Pope have complete control of your citizens so you never pay money but can never tell them no, or you can attack a dragon, or you can take some shrooms, or you can talk to Satan--
And so on.
Eventually you will die. But that's okay, because you come back. You return as a new king out of the ashes of the old king, and the only one who knows that it's you is the old spirit who doesn't hang around to help aside from letting you know that you're screwed. Because there is a reason why you keep reincarnating over and over and over again, though you won't find out for certain until year 666.
This game is so neat. It's so simple, but it is weirdly addicting. There are a few minor story lines that you can encounter (like the conspiracy surrounding the Senator) and the major plot of "tricking the Devil" -- which I still haven't managed to do. There apparently is a Good Ending.
I started playing this after watching a markiplier Let's Play (which I highly recommend) and found that the game is still highly entertaining even after seeing someone else play.