Happy weekend Night’s Watchmen!
Today I will be starting a new regular segment entitled Games of Thrones, where I will be looking at one of the many different games out there inspired by the Song of Ice and Fire. We will be looking at video games, board games, card games. Virtually any game I can find and test out is fair game. I’ll also gladly take your suggestions for new games to try out for this segment.
This week I want to take a look at Disruptor Beam’s Game of Thrones: Ascent, which is a browser-based game that I found on Facebook but it can be played online via Disruptor Beam’s homepage. Essentially Game of Thrones: Ascent (Hereafter: GOTA) is a click-farming game, where you make choices about your character’s actions by clicking on options when they are given to you. Each action will require time to complete and you will have to wait until a given action is complete before beginning another one. Even more exciting than the gameplay engine is the fantastic art they have in the game. Everything from the wallpapers to the in game quest dialogue is polished and looks like it could be a $19.99 steam game without much trouble.
This game is different from other click farms, such a Dawn of the Dragons or Emerald Empire in that you are not limited in this game by an energy bar. Actions don’t cost ‘stamina points’ that refill over time, instead you can playat your pace, taking on longer actions when you have free time or are going away from your computer for a while, and taking on shorter actions when you want to keep playing for a while. I’ve tried both of the games above, and while both of them have enjoyable aspects, the fact that they simply ask you to mash buttons over and over again until your stamina bar is empty left me feeling dissatisfied. The variety of action that you undertake in GOTA (constructing buildings to improve your lands, hiring sworn swords in order to fight off brigands for you) gives this game a lot more depth than I found in any of the other click farm games I’ve played over the years.
The depth of the game is also expanded by the number of choices you can make as you play the game. Early on, you are asked to select a background for your character which can provide bonuses to battle skill or your wealth. This simple choice can have a huge impact on the game later on, and a player who is more interested in having the best character might choose a different background than a player who is interested in building a character that looks like them. It is this level of pseudo customizability that brings out a bit of an RPG element to the tired old click farm game structure.
I haven’t played much more than a few hours of this game, but already I know that GOTA is a game that I could be playing for months. As long as Disruptor Beam keeps putting out regular content and fixing the various bugs that keep popping up, I could see them having a winner on their hands.
Next time around, I’m going to be taking a look at Fantasy Flight Games’ “Battles of Weteros: A Battlelore Game” that I fouund at my LGS this afternoon for quite the bargain!