Get ready for Games of Thrones with these iPhone apps fit for a king

by Dan Kricke

Kings and their struggle for power have been making for great gaming moments for longer than I can remember. Even back as a tyke I remember, very vaguely, checking out the old Intellivision Dungeons and Dragons game and being drawn to the game’s dungeon ruling premise. That battle for power has spread onto the small screen with the second season of HBO’s own medieval power struggle showcase, Game of Thrones, set to begin on April 1. Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or you’ve read all of George R. R. Martin’s books, there are plenty of apps to get you in the mood for the show.

If the previous paragraph made you curious but also made very little sense, there are two apps in particular that are essential to getting a bit of the Game of Thrones fever. The first is the free HBO Go app. As long as you subscribe to HBO on your current cable package, HBO Go lets you watch any of your favorite HBO shows on your iPhone (or laptop or iPad) no matter where you are. It is absolutely fantastic for serious TV viewers, and as a bonus, will allow you to catch up on the episodes you missed in season one in time for season two.

The other app that newcomers might find useful, especially if they’re binge watching the first season of the show, is the Game of Thrones Companion ($2.99). The show is filled with characters – kings, queens, former-kings, future-kings and large families – spread over numerous continents and it can all be a little overwhelming at first. The Game of Thrones Companion is like having a Wikipedia specifically for the show. Users can see maps of the lands that are discussed on the show, entries on the places mapped and thorough posts on the show’s characters.

More seasoned Game of Thrones fans may be more interested in trying to collect every app associated with the show. While there are plenty available to download, way too many of them are variations on guides or maps of the show. For something a little different there’s Game of Thrones: Ice and Fire (free). Ice and Fire is basically a weather app in a GoT skin. For a show that threatens constantly that “winter is coming,” you’ll know it’s here when the app shows you photos of snowy Westeros landscapes during the chillier months.

There are also plenty of apps that, while not exactly affiliated with Game of Thrones, certainly carry the torch for the fantasy genre that the books and show from which it emerged. Kill the Dragon (free), for instance, would appeal greatly to the enemies of the House Targaryen, whose sigil is a three-headed dragon. The game itself puts the player in control of a dwarf who tries to get rid of dragons by any means necessary over the course of nearly 200 levels. Players can build castles, smash rocks and throw dynamite to try and rid each level of its dragons.

For something with a little more flash to it, there’s Medieval ($0.99) The arcade-style castle defense game lets users choose from a variety of options, including six different troop types and eight unique weapons as they try to defend their castle from the encroaching enemy. The game has four distinct difficulty levels so there should be a challenge for both novice players and those with a little more experience under their gaming belts.