Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall

App review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
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Tactical tale based on show has violence, in-app purchases.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Tutorials lead players through all the basics. Combat difficulty ramps up gradually, and auto-battle and auto-party assembly can keep things moving swiftly. But it may take time to grow familiar with and comfortable using non-battle systems, including character growth and management/use of resources.

Violence

Players engage in turn-based fantasy combat viewed from a raised perspective. Heroes use medieval-style weapons, including swords, axes, and bows and arrows, to fight humans, animals, fantasy characters such as White Walkers. Successful strikes are accompanied by a flash of light, without blood or gore. Defeated characters fall to the ground and disappear.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Spin-off of popular Game of Thrones TV show and the books it's based on. Players can spend real money within game on advantages -- such as ability to recruit and promote units -- to speed progress.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall is a turn-based strategy game for iOS and Android devices. The game is inspired by the popular Game of Thrones TV show and A Song of Ice and Fire books. It pits heroes against human, animal, and nonhuman enemies (such as undead White Walkers) on a gridded field of combat, allowing players to control the movement and actions of each member of the party. Attacks involve sword swipes and arrows shot from bows, but there's no blood or gore. Successful strikes are accompanied by flashes of light, and characters fall to the ground and disappear once defeated. Parents should be aware that while this is a free-to-play game, players will be prompted to make optional purchases within the app -- such as items that permit the recruitment of new units and promotion of existing units -- that may help them progress more quickly. In-app purchases can be switched off in your device's settings menu.

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What's it about?

GAME OF THRONES: BEYOND THE WALL puts players in control of a mix of new characters -- mostly members of the Night's Watch, defending the south from the creatures and wildlings to the north. You also get to control familiar heroes found in the Game of Thrones TV show and A Song of Ice and Fire books. These warriors are set upon gridded battlefields and can be moved square-by-square to approach, flank, and attack enemy characters in chess-like fashion, with players given time to weigh their options before selecting actions and abilities. Between battles, players spend time in their castle on the wall, where several management activities are available. Players can recruit new characters, upgrade existing heroes, and choose to take on legendary missions with some of the franchise's most popular characters, such as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. All activities are governed by limited resources -- such as bread sticks, wood, and coins -- that are earned through battle or, in some cases, purchased with real money within the in-game store.  

Is it any good?

This licensed TV show spin-off was clearly inspired by other tactical strategy apps featuring familiar faces, most notably Fire Emblem Heroes. Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall features simple maps and basic combat that ought to prove easy to understand for anyone experienced with the genre. Movements, attacks, and ability selections require intuitive taps, and many missions are easy enough that there's no need to control the party manually, since autoplay will be sufficient to wipe out all enemies and still score three stars, earning all possible rewards. This can make the combat feel a little repetitive and even pointless at times, but certain missions require the player to take control in order to properly leverage special abilities -- such as Daenerys' fiery dragon attack -- or to strategically take out the strongest enemies first, or risk failure.

Players are likely to spend at least as much time back at the wall engaging in management and growth activities as they do in battle. Like many similar games, a big part of the Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall experience is collecting heroes and managing your roster, enhancing their armor and weapons, and acquiring special abilities. There are many ways to earn rewards for completing various tasks, or for simply logging on each day, week, and month, which is how players are meant to be drawn back to the game day after day. Whether this appeals will depend heavily on not just the player's affinity for the source material, but also on whether they mind the limitations placed on progression without spending money (or whether they're willing to spend money). Game of Thrones: Beyond the Walls isn't exploring any new territory, but patient tactical RPG (role-playing game) fans who watched the show and/or read the books are bound to have at least a little fun with it.      

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall is broken into a series of very short battles, making it a good game for brief idle moments. What about when you have more time? Can you play just a couple of battles and be satisfied?

  • What calculation do you use to determine the value of virtual items? Have you ever regretted spending money on in-app purchases?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strategy

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