When I saw the words “Game of Thrones” written down on the schedule for PAX East, my eyes widened and I rushed to the computer to sign up. The day came and I ran down to the showfloor to Disruptor Beams’ booth…. and I was sadly disappointed.
Game of Thrones: Ascent is a social strategy game that is set in the realm of Westeros that has players take on the identity of a lowly noble in a minor house. Your goal is to accumulate resources and gather your strength in order to make the necessary moves to become a powerful force in the land. Acquiring weapons, armor, materials, and sworn swords will increase the player’s level and allow them to acquire higher level items. An endless loop that will send players searching for that ever-moving target of total power.
Long story short? It’s the Game of Thrones version of Farmville. Players will grind level by level by clicking to gather virtual resources and send their virtual lackeys onto faraway quests. It’s not a game that requires your full attention or can even be played for long periods at a time (timers will block you at certain points). Ideally, this is something you’d play while watching commercials on TV.
The most interesting aspect of the game that helps give it some unique identity is the presence of alliances. Alliances are partnerships between players to help each other out by sending supplies and sworn swords or by teaming up and attacking another player. There are over 10,000 alliances that can range up to 500 players each. This provides a compelling aspect to the game that makes it interesting to continually check back and see if your alliance won the battle or if your keep was destroyed in
While the game is free to play (as almost all games of this type are), grinding can be skipped by using real-life money to purchase higher tier items. People may find this feature annoying but it’s easy to appreciate Disruptor Beam’s effort to provide more options for players (and ability to provide the game for free).
An interesting fact the developer explained is that though the main characters from the show are in the game, their likenesses could not be used because HBO does not have any formal agreement with its actors.
Game of Thrones: Ascent is available now and is free to play on Facebook, Kongregate, and iPad (cross-play between all 3).