You press a button on the joycon to select the throne. King Eryk stands up and steps down. You walk him over to the crown, select it from his inventory to wear and walk off-screen. The castle gates appear, a soldier is tied before another and the King is informed that this is a deserter. You have a decision to make. Do you spare the coward and trust his courage helps him fight on? Or do you have him killed as a statement to others that may want to flee the battle? Make your choice and then step up to the ramparts with your archers and decide on the speech for King Eryk’s last stand. This is how Yes, Your Grace opens before taking you back a year to the lead up to these events and playing almost the entirety of the game from that time. It’s a fantastic way to both introduce the mechanics, tone and what your role in the game is. You’re expected to make hard choices in the knowledge that you’re leading towards a difficult situation.
I’ve previously covered the open beta for the PC version of Yes, Your Grace (over here) and despite having the game since launch on PC I’ve never found the time for a complete playthrough. Now I’ve a copy for the Switch it’s a lot easier to finish. Yes, Your Grace is the kind of adventure game that fits nicely on the Switch. You control King Eryk for an in-game day in which you are given a chunk of story, decisions to make and a statistical look at the week ahead. It’s at this status screen that you can save and quit or save and continue which allows for bite sized chunks of the rich story telling that allows the decisions you’ve made to sink in. These saves are locked and the game does encourage you to live with the choices you make for better or worst, you can’t play multiple runs at the same time and you’ll have to just go back to a previous save if you screw up too badly but Yes, Your Grace encourages you to keep at it even if you do mess up.
As King Eryk you’re tasked with balancing the resources of Gold, Supplies, Army and Happiness along with a few side tasks for each act. Petitioners will line up each day with their problems or offers and you’ll need to decide on actions that will either cost those resources or an agent. You’ll be recruiting a General, Witch and Hunter as agents and sending them to locations throughout the story and if you do task them with helping a petitioner with the troubles of the day you’ll be left without anyone to explore or deal with key locations. It becomes a balancing act until you start to understand that it will never be perfectly level, at some point you’ll have to focus on one path and lead in that direction. Once you get the nature of that direction you’ve chosen the tasks per act become easier to prioritise. Although Yes, Your Grace doesn’t specifically calls them acts, the story is broken up into an opening, middle and end each with their own priorities and side missions.
What starts off as a simple problem of a small army at your gates escalates and I would love to go into more detail but that would spoil the many twists and turns of the story. I do feel there needs to be a slight warning as there is domestic abuse in the story and although it is handled well (you neither cause or experience it directly) some people could use a heads up. Yes, Your Grace feels like a fantastic epic that could only be told in a video game. Despite the subtle influences to the story as you progress the big events are largely fixed and the outcomes will essentially change the individual characters endings. It results in an experience akin to a fantasy series with light moments, comical nonsense, horror of the time period it’s set in and the occasional magical spice.
Yes, Your Grace is a real looker on the Switch, the artwork, sprites and animations are fantastic. Looking back on the PC version the Switch port definitely feels a little smoother and everything has a little more polish as a result. When characters talk they make sim-ish style grunts and warbles that anyone who’s played Not Tonight will instantly recognise and it’s absolutely charming. This simple feature not only helps make the cast more memorable but the inflections and reactions with certain lines is genius. Yes, Your Grace also has a lot of great music with some really powerful stand out tracks during harsh moments. It’s not perfect though as when people talk the music drops instantly to a mummer, as if someone has just tapped ‘mute’ on the tv and then blares back up after they’re finished talking. When there’s multiple conversations it can sound like someone is playing with the volume dial.
For a game that warns you at the very start that there are tough choices to be made and not everyone will be satisfied, Yes, Your Grace strangely feels like a game where you’ve a chance at achieving everything and it can be frustrating when you don’t get there. There are moments that feel like you need to experience them once to see how to deal with them properly and on a second playthrough you will get the satisfaction of a better resolution. The problem is Yes, Your Grace doesn’t want a better resolution. It wants a messy terrible King that is struggling to hold everything together because that’s what he is. The tale told in Yes, Your Grace is superb but it’s a game all about making decisions and hoping for the best which can be a tough choice.
8/10 – Yes, it’s worth gracing your Switch with this.
A physical edition of Yes, Your Grace by Super Rare Games is out now (which is the copy being reviewed here) The case has fantastic artwork on the outside and inside, 3 of 5 collectable trading cards, a sticker and a really nice little book. I got pretty lucky by having Asalia and Maya in my edition as they are 2 of the most interesting characters in the story.
If you’re interested in this edition you can check that out here
*Review copy provided by Super Rare Games – Check them out here! *
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