Game of Thrones fans just sat down for the season finale, and maybe…just maybe…you’re all looking for something to fill the emptiness inside. We suggest video games! Here are six games (and one honorable mention) that’ll get you through till next year’s season premiere of Game of Thrones.
1. Game of Thrones: Ascent
Surpringly, Game of Thrones: Ascent is one of the best actual Game of Thrones games—despite being a Facebook social game (a genre often looked down on). It’s officially sanctioned and integrated with the HBO show, so there are some neat extras and tie-ins with every new episode, and players get to choose their House and interact with the wider expanded universe.
2. Civilization V
Civ V is a good choice for Game of Thrones fans because it’s all about top-down strategy. While many like the series for its human-centered drama, Game of Thrones is also all about political strategy, and fans who enjoy watching the wider impact of that strategy unfold will enjoy Civilization V.
3. Banner Saga
According to Banner Saga’s developers, they actually intended the game to be a “mature game for adults in the vein of Game of Thrones.” Banner Saga takes place in a Viking-based, hand-drawn setting and features turn-based combat and strategy, but also places emphasis on the relationships between its characters and the impact of the choices you, as their leader, make.
4. Dragon Age
The Dragon Age series has a lot in common with Game of Thrones: intrigue, secrecy, and politics wrapped up in world where magic—and most importantly, dragons—are the norm. RPGs are often good at eliciting emotion in gamers, but Dragon Age is particularly good at it, and its human-centered stories are its true strength. (Though the dragon graphics are pretty cool too.) Most importantly, it’s not always easy to know what the “right” path is in these games; you never know who might knock your moral compass off course, and you’ll wonder why you let it happen.
5. Mass Effect
This might seem like a weird choice, but I’m standing by it. Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect is a Bioware series, so it shares a lot of the same dynamics. It’s set in space, so don’t come for the trappings—you might stay for the drama, though. Mass Effect 3 in particular is all about the politics. You must forge alliances, change opinions, and figure out how to get everyone working together so that you can face the real threat—in this case, the Reapers, rather than the White Walkers—instead of quibbling over history and power.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Okay, okay, so this game isn’t out yet. But it looks pretty neat. The Witcher series is based on a Polish medieval fantasy book about monster hunters. The newest game is probably at least a little bit inspired by Game of Thrones’ popularity, so expect a few nods in that direction. Think The Night’s Watch, but with a little less black.
Honorable Mention: Crusader Kings II Game of Thrones Mod
I’m including this one because I’ve heard great things about it. The game itself is pretty well-received, and the mod simply overlays characters and scenarios we recognize as Westeros-based. Something to test out if the above options just aren’t doing it for you!
What do you think? Ready to try out some new games to get your Game of Thrones fix? Oh, and if you’re a fan of the books, you might be really hurting for some Song of Ice and Fire action—the years between installments will definitely give you time to explore these new fantasy worlds.