King’s Dilemma, a…video game?

Written by Paige Tamasi

Some may be familiar with King’s Dilemma, a political problem-solving legacy board game, but for those who aren’t, let me give you a quick run-through of, in my opinion, the best board game.

You play as one of the twelve political houses pull a card from the ‘dilemma’ deck and debate which solution to choose. You bribe, pitch, and argue with your co-players until you vote to pick. Then, you must deal with the repercussions of your actions and the effect on your house’s reputation (which may make it hard to win). King’s Dilemma is a breakthrough game that achieves the tension, hilarity, and unique narration that rival other fantasy political worlds, like Game of Thrones. The immersion is intense, as you witness the consequences and benefits of your actions, whilst also managing multiple warring houses and the country’s citizens. It’s as if you took Call to Adventure, Poker, and Microscope and shoved them into a blender. 

But why am I bringing up a years-old board game, even if it’s absolutely superb? Well, Big Trouble Game Studios and Horrible Guild, the video and board game companies created by the original creators of King’s Dilemma, have released some… sequels? Spin-offs? 

King’s Dilemma: Chronicles was released just over a year ago. It is a single-player video game that does a brilliant job of adapting the seriously time-consuming board game into a digital form. The immersion that highlights the original is also present in King’s Dilemma: Chronicles. Whilst the nature of King’s Dilemma doesn’t lend itself to a video game format with invested gameplay (e.g. Skyrim, Dark Souls, Grimm’s Hollow, or Baldur’s Gate 3),  the adaptation does have a unique story and stays accurate to the board game. 

My main issue with King’s Dilemma: Chronicles is that it is single-player. One of the best parts of the board game is debating with friends about a nonsensical decision; playing by yourself removes that and makes it feel isolated. I would recommend buying the video game if you cannot buy the board game or prefer playing solo games, but otherwise, I’d recommend getting the original. 

Horrible Guild wasn’t happy with just a video game adaptation of their beloved board game, oh no. They launched a Kickstarter for The Queen’s Dilemma on October 25, 2022. Pitching it as a “standalone sequel” with a brand new story and mechanics, Horrible Guild has reached their goal and is currently playtesting the new game. They claim to have increased the immersion, which I didn’t think was possible because it was already so immersive. 

But wait, there’s more! Horrible Guild is also creating an expansion, not for The King’s Dilemma but for The Queen’s, adding at least five hours of play onto the predicted thirty-plus hour playtime of the base game. This expansion, the Age of Disorder, is the interim between The King’s Dilemma and The Queen’s, blending the stories and making the transition seamless. 

Fans of Horrible Guild’s fantastic IP just have to wait. I’ll be joining in waiting for this massive board game’s sequel, and I’ll be waiting to play its days’ worth of content- will you join me?

Written by Paige Tamasi, Edited by Kayla Delaney, Photography by Paige TamasiPublished by Paige Tamasi.