It’s every Game of Thrones fan’s dream to be able to walk around the land of Westeros, so the only surprising thing about this videogame adaptation is that it’s taken this long to come about. And what better studio to tackle it than Telltale, maker of the astounding Walking Dead game?
As per Telltale’s usual formula, it’s a point-and-click episodic title (the first of six outings), with an emphasis on dialogue, choice and the impacts of those choices. While there are no right and wrong responses, there are ones that will rile those around you. Whether it’s backing yourself into a King’s Landing corner or angering the new Warden of the North, you’ll fail at keeping everyone happy. While it often feels like you’re trying to keep an entire table’s worth of plates spinning, it also feels true to the source material — in Game of Thrones, every alliance must be weighed up, and the world exists solely in shades of grey.
It is undeniably exciting to take a role in the proceedings of the Seven Kingdoms, even if you are lurking on the peripheries. True, HBO was never going to let you mess with canon, but it does mean you don’t have an instant attachment to the characters. Taking control of various members of House Forrester — mentioned once in the books, and never in the TV show — you do come face-to-face with plasticine-faced versions of favorites like Tyrion, Margaery, and the wholly formidable Cersei. Voiced by their actors from the TV series, they’ll feel fantastically familiar. A fair amount of knowledge is assumed: if you’ve not watched as far as the end of the third season, don’t get this yet.
The biggest disappointment is in how Game of Thrones looks — objects often appear jaggy, and the game occasionally runs slightly jerkily, even on an iPad Air 2. But if you’re a fan itching for a fix, don’t let that put you off. Plenty of seeds have been sown here, and we’re excited to see how this series blossoms.
The bottom line. A slow start that sets up several strands of intrigue.