If winning is a drooling addiction that sucks up all your free time and headspace. Based on the popular television show, based on an infinitely better book series, Ascent is your typical facebook companion game in the vein of other point and click games…except it’s completely different. You begin as a newly risen lordling or lady from a background of your choosing. As the head of a new house, it’s your mission to establish your family amongst the formidable great houses in Westeros (plus you get to design your own banner– ok, maybe this is only appealing for me). This means building up your holdfast from a puny castle to a bustling and strong fortress of commerce, culture, and defense as well as gaining power and influence in a realm of whispers and lies.
Concurrent to fighting and spying for the interests of your house, the game also plays through quests that follow along the storyline of the series, which you can choose to hinder or help, depending on to which house your swear your fealty (Fire and Blood!). This means if you haven’t worked your way through the first book or the first season of Game of Thrones: spoilers beware. You’ll get to interact with your favorite Starks and Lannisters and the more minor characters that hold the great houses together.
Part of what is so fun about the game is how it adjusts to your decisions and questing. Make a wrong move and you’ll have about a million angry peasants at your virtual door with pitchforks and filth. Your quests are guided by a slew of game-supplied advisors that you may or not be able to trust entirely. Plus, as you upgrade your holdfast, the background of the game changes and adapts (basically becomes more pimped out) based on what you decide to spend your precious silver on. I particular enjoyed seeing my godswood grow prettier and larger as I added upgrades that simultaneously boosted my defense stats.
Oh and apparently you can die in the game, as can your sworn swords that carry out all of your quests. You do reincarnate…but shit. Imagine dying in Farmville? Your poor cows.These are pretty high stakes for a stupid time waster of a game and I enjoy every minute of it.
The interactive level of Ascent is pretty cool, so if you can con your friends in to playing, do it. Besides being sent much needed daily awards from your allies, you can even marry or betroth your children to your real life friends without actually breeding with them in real life. Plus, it’s fun to get a quest request from a pal that asks you to discreetly murder a mouthy whore they may or may not have impregnated after some drunken brawl. I’ve been told that my quest requests, because of a more cunning game play, are particularly disturbing (evil laugh). You can form alliance groups as well (mine is the faceless few, btw).
Ok, now for the bad. The game is still in beta, which means glitches galore and frequent shutdowns for updates. I started playing a week ago and have noticed a lot of improvements in game play, so don’t sweat it. They’re figuring it out. Also, a lot of cool shit is not available to you since it’s only accessible through spending some serious gold, of which you have none. Precious gold is only attainable from spending real life dinero. This is common is many facebook games and it continues to be bullshit. Basically what I’m saying is, no direwolves for you unless you’re willing to drop some change. Like all facebook games, a lot of this content may become available later, so please don’t bother parting with actual money less your dragon be awoken when patient folk get what you paid for for free. It’s already occupying a lot of my time, it’s not getting my money.
So if you want to kill time at work while screaming about not having enough small folk and grain to upgrade your embassy and seriously freaking your coworkers, this is totally the game for you! Plus it will give you something to do while waiting for season 3. At one point I was rereading Clash of Kings while watching season 1 while playing this game. Be like me, guys.
(If I may suggest, first off just upgrade the silver bars of your counting house to gain more silver per hour. Silver really drives a lot of what you can do in the game)
Fire and Blood!