Sort the Court is a simple, free, browser game available on itch.io. It was originally made for Ludum Dare 34, but the team are still working on it.

You play as the king of a city that has seen better days. Each day, you must make the right decisions to grow your population, and keep the people happy, while managing your treasury. You never know when you are going to need to bribe a dragon, or lift a curse. Don’t worry if you do get low though, as you can always make a deal with the devil.

There are only three controls in Sort the Court; ‘y’, ‘n’, and spacebar. Every day people make their way into your court one by one with a question or request. You simply respond with a yes or no answer, and see what happens next. Sometimes the effects are imminent, while other times it could be a few days. And as you interact with civilians more, they come to you with tougher situations. Despite the simplicity, it’s hard not to smile at the range of characters.

The art style is what really makes Sort the Court a joyful experience. You can’t help but smile at the different characters, especially the more fantastical ones. There are also a couple of cats which I absolutely adore, especially Pancakes.

Writing this, I feel as though the game tapped into my inner child. That may be going too far, or too deeply, but it definitely made me smile wildly at 5am in the morning. And I think that is a challenging feat for anyone.

My only niggle with Sort the Court is that there a few characters who keep on coming back with the same request most days, and that can get annoying after a while. There was the option to banish one of them after I had said no several times, but others just don’t know what ‘No’ means.

You can play the game on itch.io, or download it for Windows at the bottom of the same page. If you do feel something is missing, there is also thread where you can make suggestions.