George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” has been a cult hit among fantasy fans for many, many years, but it wasn’t until HBO adapted it into the critically acclaimed show “Game of Thrones” that the franchise REALLY took off, making the world of Westeros one of the most popular settings in recent memory and its creator – from an ordinary writer into a renowned celebrity. The combination of mature storytelling, brilliant acting, constant danger (as the popular meme goes, never get attached to anyone on “Game of Thrones”) and the myriad of exposed female (and often male) breasts and other parts of the human anatomy have made the show an instant classic, with the Season 5 finale attracting over 8 million viewers in the United States alone. Naturally, something this popular just couldn’t be left alone – we have seen countless adaptations of the conflict between the Houses, including several videogames and even a board game! Considering the show’s mature audience, a slot machine was a logical next step, but the question is, did Microgaming manage to do the franchise justice?
“Game of Thrones” is a very, very basic slot. It makes large promises of “bonus games” and “extra features”, but really, it doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t seen a billion times before. There are free spins, sure, but there isn’t anything that I would call a “game”, really. By far the most interesting part of the game is that certain online casinos offer two variants of it – a more traditional one with 15 paylines as well as one with 243. Both versions are entirely identical, and the number of paylines really doesn’t make much of a difference on how often you win, so feel free to play whichever one you want.
Visually, this casino game is a disappointment. No effort has gone into it whatsoever. The backgrounds and the symbols are all extremely simplistic, and 90% of the designs have been directly copy/pasted from the show. There are very, very few animations – when you win, most symbols just blink awkwardly. Only the two special symbols, Wild and Scatter, give you any kind of animation when triggered. There was very little craftsmanship put into the visual department, but the sound one is, if you can believe it, even worse. The ONLY music in the game is the theme of the show, which just plays over and over and over and over again ad nauseam! You’d be excused for clicking that “Mute” button after even a short while.
“Game of Thrones” has 10 different symbols, and as I said earlier, none of them have a lot of effort put into them. What is less excusable is that the remaining symbols are the 4 crests of the warring houses from the show (Stark, Lannister, Targaryen and Baratheon), which, again, have been taken directly from the TV show with little editing. The only symbol that’s not directly ripped off is the Scatter symbol, which is represented by the Iron Throne… But then again, the Throne has become such an iconic image in the show that it wouldn’t be surprised if that symbol was taken from promotional materials as well.
“Game of Thrones”? More like “Game of Disappointment”. This slot isn’t nearly good enough to bear the game of one of the most beloved fantasy franchises in recent memory. It’s a bare-bones cash-grab with low winnings and ridiculously simplistic graphics and animations, most of which look like they were designed by a first year college student (apologies to college students everywhere). Even if you’re a gigantic fan of the show and/or the books and are just begging to consume as much of it as possible, I’d still recommend that you stay away from it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently bad about it (hence why its rating is a 3.5 and not lower), but when there’s so many other brilliant slots out there, it’s just not worth bothering with the mediocre ones.