The 5 Best Licensed Game of Thrones Board Games
Game of Thrones is a certified smash hit that has gone from a nerdy, cult-fantasy show to a full-blown cultural phenomenon. With this success, it shouldn’t be surprising that the action-packed world filled with knights, sorceresses, and intrigue has been reproduced in more than a few board games. It’s no secret that board games have been experiencing a huge resurgence in the last several years and, frankly, we couldn’t be happier about it. These are five of the greatest games centred on the series, from new inventions to fresh takes on old classics.
Game of Thrones: The Board Game 2nd Edition
Any board gamer worth their salt is likely already familiar with the stellar output from Fantasy Flight, and it should be obvious that their licensed offerings are top notch. Well, this is one of their best. The Game of Thrones board game is an incredibly complex title that is not only fun to play, but also further immerses fans in the world of Westeros through lovingly illustrated cards and detailed maps. With its in-depth play mechanics, it’s a far cry from being just a Risk clone with Game of Thrones characters. Be warned though: while this game is incredibly rewarding, it comes with a fairly steep learning curve. We highly recommend perusing a few tutorials on how to win, because you should know that in the Game of Thrones, it’s victory or death.
Game of Thrones Risk
Now, that previous comment wasn’t a knock to Risk by any means. The classic strategy game has been around for more than half a century and continues to be loved by fans of all ages. The relatively simple gameplay (by strategy standards) lends the game well to a number of licenses with notable editions include the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Lord of the Rings. Game of Thrones is another adaptation that works perfectly with a map and armies practically begging for the treatment. The Game of Thrones Risk is a fun take that breathes new life into the game, while its unique map affects the strategic approach you’ll take.
Game of Thrones: The Card Game
Westeros can also be explored beyond the confines of a board. Your fate can be found in the cards of this Living Card Game (LCG) from Fantasy Flight. For those unwilling to undertake the lengthy set-up process and rule explanations required by the larger board game, the LCG is a quick and easy way to jump right into the world and play with up to four different people. The game makes use of colourful, beautifully illustrated cards in a much more accessible, and significantly less time-consuming, alternative to its boarded big brother.
Game of Thrones Clue
We wouldn’t have immediately thought of Clue as a game ripe for the licensing treatment but now that we see it in action, it’s actually quite obvious. For a series that involves more than its fair share of murder and underhanded deeds, we’re surprised we didn’t think of it before. The classic formula for Clue adapts incredibly well to the treachery surrounding the Seven Kingdoms. It was Stannis, with the unholy baby shadow demon, in the tent.
Game of Thrones Monopoly
This one is a no-brainer. It seems these days as though every franchise under the sun, from movies to universities, has its own Monopoly and there’s a reason for that. Monopoly is a classic game that’s understood by just about everyone, and its format makes it relatively easy to work for a number of licenses. Pick some locations, make some new game pieces, and you’re good to go. One review of the game joked that, much like the show itself, Monopoly can last for what seems like forever and occasionally destroys your faith in humanity. The game is a must-have for die-hard GoT devotees and features a number of die-cast metal tokens, including the Iron Throne, a dragon’s egg, a crown and, in lieu of the Scottie dog, a dire wolf.
For those who aren’t necessarily into board games and prefer to experience their entertainment in the digital realm, there are a number of choices available for you, too. A casual take on the series has appeared online alongside similar, pop culture-themed options hosted on popular online platforms. It features several of the great houses while providing a unique spin on the Seven Kingdoms and everything it entails. Additionally, there’s an action-RPG based on the series that’s available on Steam along with the recent Telltale adventure. The latter is particularly great, and it does a wonderful job of expanding the lore of the books.
It’s really just a great time to be a fan of Game of Thrones. As we prepare to enter into the final two seasons, we expect companies to do everything they can to cash in while they still can. Thankfully, many of those products are actually pretty great, with a few being downright brilliant.