With a hugely popular series of books, HBO TV show, board games, and boatloads of related merchandise, George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones is one of the most popular and commercially successful multimedia franchises today. But there has been one area where Thrones has yet to have success: video games. Now, an unofficial fan-made video game released online earlier today addresses that void with a minimalist, Mario-style adventure. It's not perfect, but for true addicts, it will just have to do.
The game is the production of Abel Alves, a Uruguay-based comic artist and unabashed fan of the series and the Game of Thrones universe. "The world of GoT is very easy to transform into a platform game," Alves wrote in an interview over email today. "You have great battles, fantasy creatures, cool characters,... so the decision was clear [to make the game]."
In the game, players take control of several of the main characters from the show and books, including Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Daenerys (see photo below). The game even includes a nice retro-video-game-style background music of the HBO show's main theme song, as well as the chilling tune of the Lannisters, "The Rains of Castamere," in a combination of 8-bit and 16-bit graphics.
The gameplay shows that it is clearly the work of a fan. Note that Jon can attack using his white direwolf Ghost, Daenerys has her main dragon Drogon perched on her shoulder — and is that a crossbow in Tyrion's hands? (It may just be an axe. Frankly, it's a bit hard to tell with the low-def quality.)
But don't expect everything to be exactly true to the story, Alves explained. "I preferred the fun, not the fidelity, so you will see things that are not exactly as you can see in the books, or the TV show," he explained. And if you survive far enough, the creator wrote that he is particularly fond of his third stage, 'The Battle of Blackwater.' Watch out for wildfire.
It's certainly no official sanctioned video game production, but those haven't had much success this far for Thrones. Both the online A Game of Thrones: Genesis and the action role-playing Game of Thrones have come out to mild reviews and have not caught on like the other adaptations of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. This game may have the best chance yet, and The Week's Scott Meslow is certainly a fan of this new version: "It's hard to argue, however, with the home-brewed charm of this 8-bit sidescroller version."
If you enjoy, just know that there could be more on the way, Alves wrote. "Who knows, maybe I could make a sequel, in the near future..." If we're lucky, those sequels will come out a bit faster than those from Martin himself.