If Age of Thrones makes you think of a popular HBO fantasy series that's filled with dragons and deception, the similarity is definitely intentional. Whether it's a homage or a humorous riff on Game of Thrones really doesn't matter in the end. It's a tower defense game tailor made for RPG nuts, but upon closer inspection, does one size truly fit all?
You already know the mission behind Age of Thrones, since you've probably embarked on this crusade dozens of times in other games. Evil has gripped the land, and unless you defeat the Dark Lord of Thrones, all hope is . . . well, you get the idea. But even if it's the same old song, as long as the melody sticks in your head, who doesn't want to play it over and over again?
One of the wonderful aspects of tower defense titles lies in the innate humor developers infuse within the narrative, and Age of Thrones thankfully doesn't take itself so seriously. The voiceovers are my favorite aspect of this adventure, as everyone consistently calls our protagonist "Your grace" in a respectful yet slightly obsequious manner, and it's an obvious nod to Ser Jorah Mormont's insistence on calling Daenerys Targaryen by her Dothraki title ("Khaleesi") every chance he gets. When building specific towers, you'll be treated to comments such as, "The wrath of nature is yours, your grace," or "Our arrows will blot out the sun" delivered with either ridiculous brio or overreaching introspection, and this seemingly nonsensical approach when put into context with the rest of the title's tone, actually works. Speaking of wordsmiths, say hello to your right hand man, the strong jawed and eloquent Sir Darius!!
There are 16 different towers available to build, with certain towers available only after you complete each mission. Whether it's archery, wizardry, or cannons, your choice of weaponry is readily available from the first level. Thanks to its medieval aesthetic, there are also destructive spells you can employ on the field when your towers aren't killing enough creatures. You can choose two spells for each level, and they will take at least a minute to power up once they're used, so these puppies need to be employed at the right time.
Strategically placing your towers in a maze like fashion, wherein you drown the orcs, goblins, and ogres in a barrage of a gunfire and spells, takes a bit of brainpower. Since you're given a pretty big field to cover, and there are 40 waves to deal with during each stage, chances are a few of these monsters will escape your clutches and decimate one of your hearts. Just make sure those hearts, which are located on the upper left hand side of your device don't get to zero and you'll be fine. These two dragons did a bit of damage thanks to the horrible placement of my towers.
Although Age of Thrones can also be played on an iPad, it's best to play it on the smart phone since you really don't get a total full screen experience on your tablet. On both devices you can zoom in and out of the battlefield to get a closer look at your troops, and if you love checking out every detail, you probably will still prefer the iPad experience. For a $1.99 download, it's really not that much of a sticking point with me, but I just don't like seeing my tablet's battery life photo bomb its way into my tower defense fantasies.
If you're a tower defense addict and need a bit of role playing flavor added to the mix, Age of Thrones is a more than worthy download. It may not offer anything innovative or new to the party, but when you're busy gleefully blasting a horde of enemies planning to lay waste to your kingdom, who cares? Plus, this game has dragons, so maybe that's all you need to know, even if Khaleesi is nowhere to be found.