"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground," said Cersei Lannister to Ned Stark during a pivotal scene of the popular HBO series. Now, Cersei's warning has taken on an entirely new meaning with the release of a different kind of "game of thrones" — a fan-made, 8-bit computer game that gives the series' devotees the chance to win or die for themselves.

Though several official Game of Thrones video games have already been released, their reviews have been tepid at best. It's hard to argue, however, with the home-brewed charm of this 8-bit sidescroller version by Spanish programmer Abel Alves, which gives fans the chance to take characters like Tyrion and Jon Snow through four Mario-esque levels. Free to play (and unofficial, of course), Alves' 8-bit Game of Thrones has clearly been designed with a loving and careful eye for the series' most memorable characters and tropes. (Jon Snow can even shoot his direwolf, Ghost, at his enemies.)

Ready to play the Game of Thrones? You can download the game for free, right now, from GameOfThrones8Bit.com.

[h/t Westeros.org]