Some mobile games offer simple gameplay but surprise you to the upside with how difficult they are to stop playing. Reigns fits that description perfectly, as it turns the act of ruling a medieval country into a card game where you only have two choices (and sometimes not even that) per card.
Before you make each decision in Reigns, you'll be able to see whether or not your choice will affect the land's church, people, army, and treasury. The tricky part is that common sense can sometimes tell you whether swiping that direction will be good or bad in those areas, but you never really know for sure until you do it.
Over time, you'll see some cards appear enough times that you'll know exactly what to expect from both decisions on them. But that still doesn't mean you'll escape from the precarious balancing act required to extend your time on the throne. Seeing any one of the four facets of the kingdom fall all the way to nothing means instant death.
Yet there's another important thing to keep in mind, the biggest secret to success in Reigns by far. We'll share it, but it's worth a spoiler warning here if you'd rather uncover all of the delights of the game on your own.
Still with us?
Then here it is: Too much success in Reigns is just as bad as too much failure.
What that means is that permitting the church, people, army, or treasury meters to fill all the way up will also end in your death, or at least the end of your time as king. To point out two examples, a full church meter leads to the Pope ruling over your country, while allowing the treasury to fill ends with a huge party where you choke on what is undoubtedly the finest food available.
That means that while it's a good idea to make choices that will buff the weaker aspects of your kingdom, you may occasionally need to do counterintuitive things to tank sectors of the country on purpose. This is even more true when you have power-ups artificially making one area stronger than it would normally be.
Take the Silk Road power-up, for instance. It adds money to your treasury every year, leading to little chance that a depleted treasury will end your reign. Instead, you'll want to spend more freely than you usually would, especially if it will benefit you in other areas.
Obviously, this knowledge alone won't help you stay a king for decades, but it's extremely helpful in order to maximize your chances at success. May you rule wisely, and in the immortal words of the Spice Girls, "Too much of something is bad enough."