Published Jan 16, 2015Much like the Khaleesi herself, TellTale has carved out its own kingdom in a fiercely competitive world.
With roots in the point-and-click tradition, TellTale has created an ever-growing empire of original takes on pre-existing properties. Their work on seasons of The Walking Dead and Fables spinoff The Wolf Among Us has almost single-handedly resurrected the adventure genre and rescued the reputation of licensed games, but they've taken on an even riskier road with their latest effort, Game of Thrones.
While Dead was a comics-inspired story unrelated to the TV show and Wolf was a prequel to the Fables comic, this Game of Thrones spinoff is not only concurrent with the HBO series but even makes use of several of the famous characters' likenesses and voices, including Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon).
That will certainly help bring in the show's hardcore fan base (which is precisely who this game is designed for), and what they'll find is a uniquely TellTale experience in which quick thinking is more important than combat and each decision impacts (or at least seems to impact) the unfolding narrative in the style of those old choose-your-own-adventure books.
The plot centers on House Forrester, a not-yet-seen-on-TV and barely-in-the-books noble family that controls the militarily valuable Ironwood forests and was a centuries-long ally of House Stark. That is, until the infamous Red Wedding, which is where this game begins. Finding themselves on the losing side of the War of the Five Armies, you control a handful of family members, both in their homestead of Ironrath and in the capital of King's Landing, struggling to keep their forest and their fortress from falling into enemy hands. Basically, they're the Starks Lite.
Complex internal politics is what has always helped Game of Thrones — both the George R. R. Martin books and cable TV series — transcend its fantasy trappings, and that remains true here, where oft-rushed decisions must be made while quickly evaluating short and long-term implications. TellTale has pulled this off so far, but as with their past works, this is a six-episode arc — we'll have to wait to see how our story-setting choices play out to see if the studio can once again claim the throne. (TellTale Games)