Game of Thrones was a wild ride for those of us who watched it all the way through. From the dizzying heights of narrative quality and rich writing with which the first season hooked us, all the way through the brilliant acting and direction performances of the middle seasons, we were left poised and filled with excitement for the grand and rewarding finale that we were all promised. Alas, it was not to be – the final season of Game of Thrones will go down in history as one of the greatest disappointments to TV audiences all over the world.
Yet while we were left without the satisfying conclusion to the story that we were all longing for, the world of Westeros with its many and diverse regions, houses and characters remains available both through the books that are yet to come from George R. R. Martin himself, but also through the surprisingly varied offering of Game of Thrones themed games both for the tabletop and video game consoles. Indeed, Westeros has gifted us such a rich canvas of gaming experiences that these days you can play the Game of Thrones casino game and even play the browser-based role playing game Blood of Dragons!
In this article we’ve collected a list of the best video and board games set in the Game of Thrones universe and hope that you’ll find something to your liking so that your continued lockdown board game nights with the family or socially-distanced digital video game evenings might take place in Westeros!
A Game of Thrones: Genesis
Genesis is an odd game for this list, but we thought we’d start with it as it makes chronological sense both in terms of gameplay setting as well as year of release. It came out back in 2011 and was developed by the relatively indie studio Amusement Cyanide Inc. It isn’t a hugely known adaptation of Martin’s world perhaps because the storyline features much of the history before the events of the books and TV series. It’s a strategy game in which the player must seize and defend land through a mixture of diplomatic and military means. It’s available for Windows and is still for sale on Steam.
Game of Thrones
The eponymous Game of Thrones was released in 2014 by trend-setting indie developers Telltale Games who had already been wowing their audience with brilliant narrative-driven adventure games for years. Game of Thrones turned out to be no different and was received with huge critical acclaim. The game sees the player take on the roles of a minor House through a timeline roughly equivalent to season four of the TV show. Although the developers were disappointedly and surprisingly shut down before they could complete work on their second instalment of their take on Game of Thrones, this game is still available across Xbox, PlayStation and Windows but can be tricky to find across certain platforms since the studio shut down.
Reigns: Game of Thrones
Developers Nerial had already met with huge success following the release of their game Reigns – a simple swiping game perfectly suited for mobile, although it obviously also had a successful port to other platforms. Although Reigns: Game of Thrones is a relatively simple reskinning of that original game, it turned out to be hugely popular with players and critics alike, winning multiple awards and holding a strong rating on review aggregator sites. It’s an innovative design that might not be to everyone’s liking, but it’s definitely worth a look and is available across a wide range of platforms!
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
From designer Christian T. Peterson, this board game is a solid mix of the classics Risk and Diplomacy with a sprinkling of some novel mechanics to keep it fresh. It’s a lengthy sitting though, especially with an increasing number of players, so make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks before diving into it. Essentially the game revolves around each player taking on the role of one of the major Houses and competing for dominance over Westeros through chiefly military means, although there is always a diplomatic element to a board game, and the game does go some way to supporting this mechanically! It’s probably the most widely known and popular Game of Thrones board game, so should also be the easiest to find and pick up!
A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
From designers Nate French and Eric M. Lang, this card game differs from the board game in that it is best played with fewer players. Although the box states that it supports up to four players, the community consensus is that it plays best with two – so a great option for the couple looking for a new pastime! It belongs to the Living Card Game (LCG) genre and is a solid take on its deck-building mechanics. It feels extremely thematic and the designers have cleverly worked in Westerosi law together with its vibrant imagery. A terrific game for anyone into LCGs!
Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne
The Iron Throne is more of a social deduction and bluffing game with a focus on negotiation and interpersonal mechanics and diplomacy. Up to five players, and it really is best with all five, represent one of the major Houses of Westeros competing for the ultimate prize – the iron throne. It’s totally worth a look if you are into more social board games that play out in under an hour rather than the other two multiple hour board games listed above!