Review | Game Of Thrones Winter Is Coming
Game Of Thrones Winter Is Coming is a kingdom builder strategy game that can be played from a browser where players battle others with their alliance for control of King’s Landing and other castles.
The game itself does follow some very standard practices when it comes to browser games and kingdom builder in regards to building, working with an alliance, PvP, PvE, and microtransactions. On top of that, you get some heavy flavor from the Game of Thrones that shapes the world, how combat is, and the lore inside of the game itself.
Browser Game Elements
While this game can be played from the browser I noticed how quickly it was pointing out that load times might be slow, and there might be other issues as well. They also reminded and even rewarded the player for downloading the Gtarcade launcher and switching over to playing from the desktop. It solved many of the performance issues I noticed and provide a much better experience overall once I did.
The game is very focused around the questing system for progression. Unlike other browser games where they might give you a couple hours’ worth of resources and booster-- they made it rain. I had millions in grain, wood, stone, and iron. Along with more Gold Dragons then I needed for quite some time. They were also generous in one of the two paid for currencies Diamonds. I ended up boosting my way to Castle 10 in just a couple of days.
The game can be rather flashy and in your face about everything that is going on. From deals, they are trying to sell you to events going on in the game. They also have a very in-depth notifications system where you can turn off other kinds of things regarding player mail, stuff going on in your alliance, building and so more. I liked the fact you least had some control in how much information you are being given with indicators popping up on things. While I wish they were not trying to push too hard so hard on microtransactions sales that is something you will need to get used to if you end up playing.
Unlike other games that have a similar play style, they did an extremely good job at keeping you active in the game at the start. As you quickly progress in this game they give you more and more things to do. There is almost always something going on from the small rewards out of the chest that reset every couple of minutes for being active. Along with normal and elite events that happen every couple of hours that rotates with different things to do to score points for rewards. Finally, you have bunch stuff going on from alliance, and things to attack on the map as well. You can easily spend a couple of hours a day playing this at the start.
The quest system does a very good job of letting you know the basics of the building while quickly having new types unlocked. They also shower you in resources to the point you can make mistakes an early game and not be punished by waiting around days to collect enough to build what would have been a better choice.
You start off with a 24-hour real-time shield to get some defense and building set up before other players can attack you. While I'm used to other games giving you up to a week of shield to slowly build up that would be too long for how quick the early stages are. If you are an active player 24 hours is more than enough to get going.
If not there are some easy ways to protect your stuff until you are in a better place. The warehouse building, for instance, was quite generous in how much it protected with 100k resources per type at level one and 300k at level five. The bulk of the rewards were given in items that you need to activate to get the resources so those millions I had were also protected until I claimed them. There is a shelter you end up unlocking where you can hide your lord and troops in for 1 to 12 hours and they will remain safe. Finally, you have the wall defense that you can upgrade and even research further into for adding on fortifications like falling rocks to sentry towers.
While you can only build one building at a time you also get a considerable amount of space for different production buildings. You end up unlocking these from completing different quest chapters and defeating rebels that have taken over that area. I did not feel a need to invest a lot of time in upgrading them in the short term. Over time as I use up the bulk of my resources these buildings will become more important I feel.
There is also a bunch of things to research to help specialize if you want to go more of a PvE or PvP route in this game. It is similar to building as you can use boosters to speed up research times but you are limiting to only upgrade one at a time. As far as areas you can focus on it can be higher tier troops, wall defensive, resource gathering, having cheaper attacks on rebel leaders and on so. Which is spilt into different categories such as production, military, and expeditions.
Later on, you end up unlocking building used for PvE and PvP combat. Building starts having prerequisites of needing to level up other resource buildings first. You also start to level up your castle as that is the limiting factor on how high a building can be.
I found from an early stage one of the bests things you can do is join an alliance right away. It does not matter it if was a random invite you want the benefits it provides right away. You can always once you learn things go out and find a better one if you are unhappy with the one you joined.
Early game one of the more powerful abilities the alliance has is to help each other out with speeding up timers for buildings and research. As you start to increase your castle more and more people can assist by simply clicking a button. It reduces timers by a minimum of one minute and becomes stronger later on sometimes hours of time saved per person helping. While that might not sound like a lot if you have ten people who reduce your building time by 10 minutes you can nail out a lot of lower level buildings very quickly. A level 5 building, for instance, is only 19 minutes and if you have some VIP levels you are not waiting around long.
There is also an Alliance Gift system where just by doing certain actions everyone gets free chests to open. These can have a couple of thousand resources to hundreds of thousands that everyone gets or more. You get these by taking out rebel leaders or by someone spending money on buying certain microtransactions. Later on, as the alliance progresses the rewards get better and you even unlock a massive chest. The alliance I joined had one guy who rewarded the alliance with almost a million in resource from his spending.
One of the more fun elements of an alliance is working together. That can be from helping each other out with understanding the game better to set up rally points for members to join in and attack stronger targets for instance Rebel camps that drop chests for you to open.
The end goal for many alliances will be castles sieges where they fight it out with others for one of the eight places to control. I feel this is a decent amount of areas to fight as your top alliance will seek control over King’s Landing that provides a lot of bonuses. There are also lesser ones that an organized enough alliance might be able to hold such as Eyrie or Casterly Rock for a smaller bonus.
With this being a war game being in an alliance will be quite key. Even more so since in games like these those that are not face getting raided more since they are seen as an easy lone target. There are other aspects to the alliance but these where just the ones that stood out for me.
Outside of what I’ve already talked about such as alliances and building defenses, there is the offensive side of combat regarding pvp. Everything from attacking the unprotected player’s units while they are trying farm a resource node to capturing their lord and putting them in a dungeon.
First, there is the information gathering phase. Where you can send out a scout and pay a small amount of gold to get a report back on the player’s military, resources, and other information. How much information you get depends on how high your spying research is.
Then you have the attacking phase where you select what commanders you want to be in that army and how many of each unit to send. Units have different counters so if someone was heavily focused on one type that leaves you with the opportunity to have the unit that counters it. While It’s quite simple at face value you could spend some time trying to work out what is best to send for dealing with what the player has.
As far as where you can attack the player this can their units out gathering resources at a node or even at their castle. I can see there is a strong befit by weakening your enemies while they are out farming. That way you can avoid the whole castle defense part but you are also getting a lot less in resources for doing so. Unless they sent everything they have to that resource node leaving their castle wide open for an easy assault.
Finally, if you won you get the spoils of your attack. From resources that were over the protected amount by the warehouse to even captured the player’s lord depending on their level. There are some protections put in place for the lower level players based on the castle level. They need to have at least a level 17 castle for you to be able to execute their lord which sounds quite the devastation blow to that player.
The politics and wars that break out from pvp will be quite an interesting thing to watch. Will realms end up working together or be ruled by the ones sitting in the iron chair? You could have everyone out for themselves or even alliances forming collisions to set up unofficial rules on that realm. Only time will tell how these all unfold.
There is a lot more PvE content then I first thought there would be in this game since its Game Of Thrones after all. You can send your commanders off to the Weirwood Tree. Your armies can farm different nodes on the map for resources. You can even attack rebel leaders and camp NPCs.
I’ve personally really enjoyed the Weirwood Tree the most so far. It was unexpected and allows you to make your commanders stronger than just going out into the world map. It’s like sending them off on a campaign where you can either control them or allow it to auto in a group of six at a time. They gain experience, collect items from equipment that you then can use to promote them or medals to increase the quality.
If you are falling short on a certain resource you can send out your army to farm different nodes all over the map. Some of them even have a chance for you to loot items that the blacksmith than can use to make gear for your lord providing extra stat bonus. These do leave you open for attack from other players as they can take hours to complete depending on how much you are trying to farm at once.
Every so often you gain endurance that than is used to attack rebel groups on the map. They drop everything from needed resources to craft gear to boosters and diamonds. The harder versions of these are rebel camps that require you to work with alliance members to attack them for chests.
There are also different kinds of expedition you can undertake to attack rebel leaders on the map. Trying solo one of these could be quite the undertaking with how they are implemented. You spend motivation that you gain over time to attack them and every couple of hours they vanish if no killed. Your attacks have a compounding effect the more times you attack the same leader. They can end up dropping everything from 24-hour shields, boosters, VIP points, and crafting materials just from attacking.
The way this part of the game is set up you end up being incentivized for logging in a couple of times a day to spend the different bars of resource you have on this content. It was nice to always have something to do as I checked in on building upgrades finishing, having more units be trained and so on.
There is no getting around it this game follows a blueprint that I have seen in a lot of kingdom builder browser games. There is a very vast store where you can buy just about everything you want. From booster to speed up building and resource collection, diamonds for instant completion, more commanders, VIP levels, and many other things.
The game also will remind you quite often of amazing deals going on. They are very heavy into using timers as a way to get people to spend. You will look and see you only have 48 minutes or a day or whatever before some amazing deal goes away. They even have popup windows with a free offer sometimes.
There is also a VIP system where you can acquire points from just logging in daily and getting the item needed to gain more for free. You can also spend diamonds to max it out and get the full benefits of speeding up the last 60 minutes of a building and a lot of other cool stuff.
When it comes to these kinds of games I strongly recommend you come up with a budget and stick with it if you plan on spending money. These games will be set up so spenders of varying levels will feel like a king and be able to enjoy the game. While I have not spent any money as of yet I generally treat these as if the game had a monthly subscription. I find they tend to be very value based on those kinds of budget players around that price point. While someone like a whale spender they know that person is going pay whatever they need to get what they are chasing in the game so deals are not needed as frequently. At the end of the day, there will always be another amazing deal that will feel like you have to get it when in reality they are quite a common occurrence in games like these.
With all the hype around Game of Thrones and noticing this game has only been out a couple of months I thought I would look into it. Out of all the games, I could find that are based around that show this seems to be one of the more solid ones. I have however not played the others so I can only guess on my part.
If I do end up playing this game I am going find a much better alliance then the random one I joined. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find a place where you can find a role to play. There are lots of different ways someone could find themselves useful in a game like this. Some players might just enjoy farming while others will attack anyone who so much as thinks of raiding a member.
There is a lot of stuff to do daily I sure spent more time than I thought I would into playing Game Of Thrones Winter Is Coming. Perhaps one day I’ll be around still playing to see it be winter and the chaos the realm enters.
Another Game Post
If you’re looking for a different browser game that has been around for a while with less of a focus on spending and is a bit simpler Ogame might just be what you are looking for. It is a space-based game where you colonize other planets and work on building up your empire. You can also raise fleets and attack other players for resources and defend yourself.
For anyone who does not have a friend invite (it gives you 500 diamonds and other goodies for level 10 and under castles) feel free to use mine https://got.gtarcade.com/en?refer=IoAAGN9kJuBpp4IC or friendship code IoAAGN9kJuBpp4IC if you are already signed up to the game.
I do get a small in game reward chest if you happen to spend money on the game. You still get the free diamonds if you don’t so it’s a nice bonus regardless for you.