The Queen’s Dilemma, the sequel to acclaimed narrative legacy game The King’s Dilemma, won’t see a release date next year, publisher Horrible Guild has said.
The publisher confirmed to Dicebreaker at this year’s Essen Spiel 2021 convention that The Queen’s Dilemma was currently in development, having been announced over the summer, but stressed that the upcoming board game would not be released in 2022.
Created by Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva - who also co-designed Railroad Ink and Dragon Castle - The King’s Dilemma put players in control of the members of a fantasy kingdom’s council. Each round, the group would resolve a different dilemma affecting the kingdom by voting on how to resolve it - answering ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ to the given prompt. As well as seeking to maintain the kingdom’s success and wellbeing - avoiding the risks of war, rebellion and famine, among other threats caused by instability - the players also secretly sought power and wealth for their own house. (You can see what Sara thought about their time with the game in our preview of The King's Dilemma from 2019.)
A legacy game, The King’s Dilemma played over approximately 15 connected sessions, with players tracking the permanent evolution of the kingdom and their houses using stickers and by signing their house’s name on the board to mark their responsibility for more weighty decisions, giving each choice more weight as the land was shaped by their machinations. Inside the box were dozens of sealed envelopes, opened at given points in the campaign, that would add further complications to the players’ interactions with both each other and the inhabitants of the world.
The King’s Dilemma garnered critical acclaim following its release in late 2019, receiving nominations for both the 2020 Kennerspiel des Jahres - Germany’s illustrious ‘Expert Game of the Year’ prize - and this year’s Expert Game award at the French As d'Or awards.
A Horrible Guild representative told Dicebreaker that The Queen’s Dilemma would expand on the first game, using the same voting system and Dilemma Card System seen in The King’s Dilemma, but with greater narrative and mechanical variety. Hach and Silva return as lead designers. Instead of representing the separate houses that make up the fantasy world’s ruling government, players will now take charge of entire regions of the Kingdom of Ankist.
The returning setting and players’ expanded control over the land will be represented by a larger main map board on the table, replacing the small paper map of Ankist provided in The King’s Dilemma and the realm board used to track elements such as wealth, morale, military power and welfare during sessions. In The King’s Dilemma, increasing any one aspect too far in either direction would lead to either chaos or the monarchy’s redundancy, requiring a balancing of decisions as each choice shifted multiple tokens.
A new building mechanic will provide new ways for players to construct buildings and unlock personal achievements during The Queen’s Dilemma’s campaign, with Horrible Guild describing the experience as “more impactful” than the house achievements and their associated gameplay powers gained during The King’s Dilemma.
Also new to The Queen’s Dilemma is the option for players to buy and sell various resources, as well as trading them around the table. Players will remain able to bribe their fellow rulers with coins to influence decisions.
The Queen’s Dilemma’s story will feature “levels of continuity” from The King’s Dilemma, Horrible Guild revealed, adding that the sequel’s narrative will provide “links between stories” in the two games.
Horrible Guild did not confirm whether The Queen’s Dilemma would release directly at retail, with The King’s Dilemma having avoided a crowdfunding campaign for a direct release. A player count and estimated length - The King’s Dilemma played with between three and five people in around an hour per session - is also yet to be confirmed.