After recruiting more than four and a half million gamers from all over the world to its iOS and browser versions, Game of Thrones Ascent has finally arrived on Android devices at the hands of Kongregate and Disruptor Beam. Ironically, although the titles for PC and desktop console are usually more potent than their counterparts for mobile devices, in the case of Game of Thrones the opposite is true, with a title that at the moment is seated on the (iron) throne of games from the GoT franchise.
In Game of Thrones Ascent players have to create their own avatar by selecting just its face, sex, and name. While these personalization options might seem a bit scant, that’s precisely because all your character’s features will develop as you advance: you can choose to worship the Seven or the Old Gods, be a merciful leader or a cruel one, swear allegiance to the House of Stark or Martell or Lannister or Tully… in short, you can shape every detail of your avatar’s background and character. All these decisions will have a crucial impact on the development of the events.
The storyline of Game of Thrones Ascent takes place in parallel to that of the TV series (and books, of course): everything begins with the mysterious death of Jon Arryn, the hand of the king Robert Baratheon. This means that in spite of the fact that you can create your own avatar and will come across many new characters, you’ll also have the possibility of interacting with the canonical characters of the series, and could even become the standard-bearers of one of the big houses, like the Starks or the Tyrells. Your actions, in sum, have the potential to change the story of Westeros as you know it.
Story and characters aside, the main gameplay of Game of Thrones Ascent is as simple as it is traditional. Normally you just have to select one of several options you are presented with and then face the consequences. For example, showing mercy will bring you closer to a certain type of character, while using a firmer hand might bring you other benefits. Beyond this decision-making, of course, you also have to construct buildings in your territories and gather resources, all with the aim of growing your House further and further.
Game of Thrones Ascent is certainly the best game of the franchise to this point. Also, despite the fact that it’s a free-to-play game, it doesn’t constantly pester the player to spend money from the beginning, but rather allows you to develop your character and world naturally. Of course, you can’t access all the available content without spending a penny, but it is indeed possible to enjoy several hours of gameplay without digging into your pocket at all. It’s a real joy to see a release for Android that’s up to scratch for the franchise it represents.