And “Game Of Thrones” finally became an excellent video game
With its minimalist aesthetic, its interface inspired by the Tinder app and its amazing narrative depth “ “Reigns: Game of Thrones” surpasses all other videogame adaptations of the work of George R. R. Martin. It is, however, the work of a very small London studio founded by Frenchman Elliot
It’s a long shot. “The meeting of Tinder and Game Of Thrones”: This is how François Elliot, the French founder of the London studio Neral, was said to have pitched the first Reigns at Devolver Digital at the time he was looking for a publisher. Game Of Thrones because this strategy game, unlike the others, installed us on the throne of a kingdom torn by plots and struggles of influence where we died a lot (and in as many as picturesque ways). The comparison with Tinder, however, comes from the very interface of Reigns, thought for touch screen machines: on the screen are displayed successively cards with the effigy of one or the other of the many characters of the game (advisers, rivals, courtiers…) that we will slide to the right or the left depending on whether we decide to give an answer favorable or not to what he asks us.
Nine candidates for the Iron Throne
After Reigns (2016), which was both a pretty critical success and a best-seller on mobiles, there was Reigns : Her Majesty (2017), even better (and with the help of journalist Leigh Alexander’s help in writing), who took up the formula by putting us in the skin of a queen this time. Or rather several, because it is less a character than a lineage that we play in the first two lines : when, after two, ten or fifty years of Reign, our sovereign leaves this world generally in excruciating sufferings (burned alive, devoured by rats…), it is with the person who succeeds him or her that one follows, determined, according to the formula, to do better next time thanks to the experience acquired and, sometimes, to some useful objects and small special powers. And finally, the growing reputation of Materials (in the absence of its size which remains “microscopic” according to Elliot himself), the fantasy” meeting ” finally took place. And there is every reason to be pleased: after various more or less conclusive tests, the best game adapted from Game Of Thrones has arrived.
Adapted from Game Of Thrones but, also, adapted from Reigns, because this spin-off is not limited to shifting the principle of the two previous games (which, incidentally, have benefited from a recently released port on the Switch that you can’t recommend to those who would have missed the original versions). This time, logically, we will not jump from an heir to the crown to following hundreds of virtual years, because the goal is nevertheless to make us control (as much as possible) the fate of the heroes of the novels of George R. R. Martin and the series HBO. Nine of them are called to take the throne in the game, which will be unlocked as we progress, including the respective narrative lines of each, from Daenerys Targaryen to Jon Snow to Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark.
Simplicity and depth
Each appearance of a new face on the nine-square grid where we choose our alter ego at the beginning of each game is a joyful moment: it is the promise of new events, new cases of consciousness and New turns in this crazy series of variations on the mythology of Game Of Thrones. That it is probably better to know on your fingertips to appreciate all the nuances, but it is not necessary to appreciate the game. The author of this article confesses that he has only a rather vague idea of who all these people are.
In Reigns : Game Of Thrones, we find the choices at the origin of the success of the previous Reigns which, by their mixture of simplicity-the minimalism evocative of the form-and depth, hold of the actualization in the digital and digital era (we speak well here of fingers) of the ancient books of which you are the hero. And who, along with some other titles that are also thought of first for mobiles and tablets like Burly Men At Sea, Florence or the diptych A Normal Lost Phone and its “suite” Another Lost Phone, tend to show that the future of the interactive narrative could well be as much in the small inventive and bold games as in the more pretentious fat ones.
A political satire and a call for experimentation
One of the key elements is the presence, at the top of the screen, of four icons that act as gauges and that assess our popularity with the people or the Church, the state of our army and the finances of the kingdom. If one of the four measures should reach its minimum value or even, and this is one of the audacity of François Elliot and his accomplices, maximum, and your fate will be sealed. Strangely enough, in the most fanciful adventure, hides a kind of call to the measure, even to the relatively humanistic but not too generous proper management. The good king or queen would thus be the one who does not overdo it and who manages to spare the goat and the cabbage. Knowing this and not leaving the four measures in one’s eyes, one can also choose to flirt with the extreme (decisions) and avoid succumbing to them : more than at the end, the Reigns are cheerful incentives, moreover largely satirical (even the binary nature of pseudo-choices where it is not forbidden to see a critique of our supposedly democratic processes), to experiment.
The difference between this Game Of Thrones section and the front lines lies in nature, let us say, horizontal rather than vertical, of its relation to time. Our parts (often very short, which suits rather well to the mobile game) do not follow each other (passing from a sovereign to his heir, therefore) but complement each other, or even overlap. These are all possible versions, by definition non-canonical, of the history of Game Of Thrones. It’s not “and then” (it happened this, then this, then again this…), it is “and if” (such a thing did such a thing, such a thing would refuse such another…), in a loop, until the giddiness, to intoxication. They are musings, fantasies, more or less delirious jam sessions on the world of novels and series. What might be the best way to adapt a work, whatever it is, at stake.