Return to Westeros in TellTale's Game of Thrones video game

While I talk about gaming consoles and gaming hardware fairly often, I don't normally discuss software. There are plenty of gaming sites where enthusiasts go for reviews of the latest Call of Duty or other blockbuster "AAA" titles.

But today I'm going to make an exception because today a game launches that might be of interest to folks who don't consider themselves gamers. It's TellTale's Game of Thrones: Iron from Ice and it launches today for PC, Mac and PS4 (US only), with the Xbox One & Xbox 360 version following Wednesday and an iOS version releasing on Thursday. PS3 owners will have to wait until December 9th to play. European PS4 owners will get it on Wednesday. An Android version is coming sometime later in December.

If you're not familiar with TellTale games, they're something a bit different. First of all they come out as a series of episodes, each somewhere around 2 hours long. Iron from Ice is the first episode, and it will cost $5. Six episodes are planned. If the game does well I expect will see future 'seasons' as well.

These are not action games and so generally don't need a state of the art system to run well (as evidenced by the iOS port) or require you to be a gaming enthusiast in order to enjoy them. Instead the games focus on storytelling and asking the player to make tough decisions. Earlier titles from TellTale such as The Walking Dead have won numerous awards.

TellTale has based their game on the HBO version of Game of Thrones and actors such as Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer and Iwan Rheon voice the digital versions of their characters. The story takes place after Season 3 of the show and follows the trials and tribulations of House Forrester, a noble house from the north of Westeros who were loyal to the Starks, which must be an uncomfortable position to be in at this point in the story. (TellTale says you can still enjoy the game if you haven't watched the show or read the books but that you'll probably enjoy it more if you have the background info that comes with being a viewer/reader.)

To be clear, I haven't played Game of Thrones: Iron from Ice yet; I'm basing my enthusiasm for the title on TellTale's history and the subject matter. If you're a Game of Thrones fan like I am, this might be a great way for us to get through the remaining cold months until the next season begins. Look at it this way: all you have to lose is $5 and a couple hours of your time. If you want to learn more before making a commitment TellTale has a FAQ filled with details about who you play as, who the Forresters are and a lot more info. 

Here's the trailer for the PS4 version but I expect all versions will look pretty much identical.

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