I'm now wrapping up my fourth playthrough. With an asterisk for King of Dragon Pass, I cannot say that I have ever played another strategy game with a more engrossing narrative structure, or a narrative game with a more compelling (if very light) story-driving strategy layer.

Suzerain is as close to a one-of-a-kind experience as video games get, even as it flirts with grand strategy and VNs. I wouldn't hesitate to call it a must-play.

The biggest criticism I can bring against it, besides some copywriting and translation issues, is the almost criminal lack of a rewind or reload system—particularly for subsequent playthroughs. You can get around this with some manual save file manipulation, but these in-game tools really are long-standard for the visual novel genre and any of its subgenres at this point.

Reviewed on May 25, 2021