Paige FTW: The Best ‘Game of Thrones’ Is Mobile

The true mark of a successful franchise is its ability to translate that success to other platforms. Game of Thrones, cultural juggernaut that it is, has done … OK by that front. It’s not perfect.

That was until I finally decided to give Reigns: Game of Thrones a shot.

My affection for this Tinder-style strategy series is clear if you’re a regular reader of this column. Refresher: You make binary choices, trying to balance competing interests, and try to solve a larger mystery. Each death teaches you something new for the next round.

I had previously dismissed this spinoff as a cash grab, but since things are wrapping up on HBO, I thought I’d at least give it a whirl.

I was not disappointed!

The premise: Melisandre peers into the fire to see alternate futures for Westeros. Nine rulers can ascend to the Iron Throne to combat the White Walkers — some you’d expect, like Daenerys, Cersei or Jon, and quite a few others that you wouldn’t.

From there, you have to juggle intrigue, heresy, traitors and Varys (that guy will not leave me alone) to survive your reign and bring summer back to Westeros.

And it is a joy. Each character has their own signature skill and storyline that matches their previously established character arc: Cersei is indifferent to the whims of the church, while Daenerys can quash unruly lords with Drogon. Each have a different approach to the White Walker threat — some immensely satisfying, to the point that you wish these were the canon stories of the TV show. (Two of the secret rulers, neither with canonical ambitions to sit on the Iron Throne, have particularly delightful, in-character approaches to the conflict.)  

The game will set you back $3.99, and is available on PC and mobile devices (and Nintendo Switch).