Parents' Guide to

Iron Throne

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Confusing fantasy combat lacks identity, clear player goals.

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Sometimes app developers try to take what's popular, and then add new elements to come up with something that feels both familiar and original -- but this game winds up being a confusing mess. Iron Throne takes a complicated approach, tossing everything and every genre the developers could find into the mix at once, hoping for the best. One minute, it's a city building sim, tasking players with building and upgrading a grand castle while collecting and maintaining precious resources. The next minute, it tosses players into epic scale battles with two or more massive armies vying for dominance. It's also got a story-based role-playing element, online deathmatch, and even the ever-popular battle royale formula crammed in for good measure.

This is a game that doesn't ever seem to know what it wants to be. Making matters worse, in its effort to try to do everything at once, Iron Throne never excels at any particular part. Adding to the frustration, the game tends to tell players what they should be doing, but never explains why. When you're maintaining the castle, expect to spend a lot of time in menus trying to figure out which buildings help certain strategic actions, while also keeping your fingers crossed that you won't forget something important in the confusion. In the battle sequences, the game tells you how to position troops, but not what advantages those changes might give. The role-playing aspect is hampered by a cobbled-together story that feels barely half-written. In the end, Iron Throne feels like something that could have been an epic fantasy but winds up a disjointed (yet visually gorgeous) mess.

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