Once upon a time, there was a company called Penguin Random House that published A World of Ice and Fire, what’s still the only app that’s both not a game and can claim to be the official mobile tie-in to the amazing fantasy world dreamed up by George R.R. Martin. Many summers later (not that many but let’s keep the dramatic effect going), its creators decided to update it so as to cash in on the absolute peak of the Game of Thrones craze, at least until the series gets remade 20 years from now.
If we’re not being super-cynical, A World of Ice and Fire isn’t that tough of a sell even if you’re not an avid fan of arguably Martin’s greatest and certainly the most epic body of work. This is both a lore book and a guide rolled into one, meant to help you make sense of the chapters you’ve just read and complement your knowledge of A Song of Ice and Fire.
Yes, this Android app, currently available on the Google Play Store as a technically free download, shares the name with an encyclopedia of sorts Martin released in 2014, the same one that spun off the Fire & Blood compendium late last year. While that similarity is certainly a reflection of its codex-like nature, the two aren’t that close seeing how the app is actually meant to be used while you’re reading the main books in the series, whereas both Fire and Blood and The World of Ice and Fire deliver largely standalone writings. Sure, you won’t find them to be particularly compelling without having read the main books but still, they weren’t written to be consumed simultaneously with the original saga.
On the other hand, the mobile app at hand not only delivers a vast library of knowledge categorized by book chapters so that you can dive into Martin’s world like never before and enhance your experience of the books but it even contains a robust spoiler mechanism meant to keep you away from the any and all twists the famous author wanted you to first experience while reading the main series.
That final selling point may not actually be that massive seeing how it’s 2019 already and the number people completely new to the franchise isn’t that huge, though it’s worth remembering that the books and the TV show actually differ quite a bit when it comes to pretty much every side character and occasionally even in the manner in which they handle the main ones.
Ultimately, the best recommendation one can give to A World of Ice and Fire is the value one; following the first eight chapters of A Game of Thrones, you’re asked to purchase the rest of its contents which may be a red flag when it comes to most apps but here, it’s the best pitch you’ll get all week seeing how the developers ask for only $1/€1 per book or $5/€5 in total.
So, even if you’re not the largest aficionado of ASOIAF works that ever was, you’re likely to find A World of Ice and Fire to be a compelling proposition that will assist you on your re-reads and deepen your appreciation of the amazing one-of-a-kind world created by one of the most popular authors of the 21st century.
Now, if only the final season picks up the moment episode two starts, we were kind of underwhelmed with tonight’s showing.