Game of Thrones: Conquest is the latest soft launch title whose APK I have gotten my hands on for testing purposes. I do this in order to give everyone an idea of what to expect when the game is officially released. While the Play Store listing for Game of Thrones: Conquest is described as a combat strategy game that is most obviously based on the Game of Thrones license, all I could hope for is that it doesn't turn out to be yet another Clash of Clans clone. Apparently I was being too optimistic.

I would like to briefly mention that Game of Thrones: Conquest is a soft-launch title. Due to its unavailability in my region I have sideloaded the APK (version 1.0.210342) in order to test the gameplay. There may be a few more adjustments to the game before it officially launches, so please take that into consideration when reading this hands-on.

Now, before I even installed the game, it was pretty clear from looking at the Play Store listing that it was going to be a Clash of Clans clone. I was, of course, hopeful that I would find some semblance of originality once I dug into the gameplay, but obviously I was being too optimistic. It is apparent that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s development studio Turbine Inc. has pumped out what is hands down an uninspired Clash of Clans clone filled with all of the trappings you would expect of a free-to-play release of this caliber.

What I truly find troubling though is the fact that Game of Thrones: Conquest was set to be Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s most expensive mobile game to date. The thing is I do not see where this money has gone. It most definitely did not go into the design of the title, as anyone could paint by numbers to create the gameplay found within. The only thing I can figure is that it all went towards the Game of Thrones licensing. Which makes sense, but still has me scratching my head as to why it was wasted on such uninspired gameplay.

Now, if you are actually curious as to what this gameplay entails, I may have already mentioned that it uses the all too familiar playbook set forth by Supercell. For the unfamiliar, it is your job to grow your very own kingdom within the land of Westeros through an assortment of menial tasks. Build this, upgrade that, pillage other players... you get the picture. You perform these tasks over and over again in the hopes that you will slowly improve your kingdom. Considering that many of us have already performed these actions ad nauseam in too many mobile games to count, I honestly wonder why it is that studios keep creating what is essentially the same exact game over and over again? I mean seriously, Turbine Inc. couldn't be bothered to create a single mechanic that is original to this release. But I guess why would they when they can just cash in on a lucrative license and gameplay design already proven to rake in the dough?

When it comes to any type of Google Play Games Services support, I have yet to see an inkling of groundwork on that front. Maybe it will come before Game of Thrones: Conquest is officially released, but I would not hold my breath waiting on that outcome. The good news is that there is at least support for a Facebook sign-in that will keep your save in the cloud. This way you can play with the same account on multiple devices.

As far as in-app purchases are concerned, well it is as bad as you would expect. While so far I have only seen special offers that range up to $19.99 listed in the game, it's apparent that other purchases are planned since the Play Store lists them as ranging much much higher at $99.99 per item.

All in all, I would say there is little new in the mobile kingdom building genre coming from Game of Thrones: Conquest. If you are looking for a Clash of Clans replacement and are hip to the Game of Thrones franchise, then you might just enjoy what is on offer here. But for the rest of us, yeah, this is just another in a long line of clones on the Play Store that was built with the sole intention of separating you from your money through annoyance.