It seems we can't go a full month without another augmented reality mobile game launch. The latest franchise to try its hand at the AR craze is The Walking Dead: Our World, a game developed by Next Games based around the popular post-apocalyptic zombie drama on AMC.
An augmented reality game for fans of zombies survival
For the hardcore fans of The Walking Dead franchise, this game is pretty cool and delivers a ton of zombie survival awesomeness. Using Google Maps, the game has you set up sheltered havens for survivors around your city, which has been overrun by hordes of zombies.
This is a game you can technically play from your sofa seat (or at least regularly check into the app during your day) but there are loot crates and events scattered everywhere if you're willing to go out exploring your city. You'll find Encounters with walkers which require you to shoot down a horde of zombies for a reward, and Infestations which are rarer and offer a three-part challenge for a bigger reward.
Along the way, you will collect weapons and hero cards featuring characters from the TV series who will help you out in your battles. Those cards are also key to collecting XP and leveling up, and you'll need to reach level 6 to unlock the Raiders, which add an additional event that has you battling against armed opponents.
You'll also need to build an maintain shelters, which require survivors to level them up and reset the defenses. By rescuing survivors, you also unlock new Hero cards.
Where is the AR camera mode?
Currently, the ability to battle in AR or use the Photo Booth to take photos of your heroes or weapons in the real world is currently only available for iPhones with ARKit.
There's no date set on when Android will get the full AR features, but support documents state that the developers will be using Google's ARCore, which is only available on a limited number of supported devices.
Tips for starting out
- You can change your weapons and heroes in the pre-mission screen: This is a sort of weird game quirk that isn't explained anywhere and can be quite frustrating to figure out on your own. As you play and collect new weapon and hero cards, you might think you can go into your card collection and set a new weapon or hero for your missions. This is not the case. The only place you can swap out weapons or heroes is on the briefing screen before you jump into the mission. Tap the weapon or hero card to swap in the one you want. This is done, in part, because you'll want to see the zombie types you're facing so you can choose weapons and heroes that give you an advantage against the zombie horde.
- Joining a group is very advantageous: It's a good idea to join a group early on. You can create a group with some friends but you're best off trying to find a big group that's nearly full and join them to Get in on the weekly challenges. You'll get a bunch of coins if you complete tiers, which will help you level up. As such, you don't need to be playing with local players necessarily but I did find that the game recommended local groups. Playing with local players might be important to keep your structures up and running, as you need to constantly rescue survivors to level them up and reset the defense timer to 10 days.
- The XP leveling system is designed to be a major grind or pay-to-win: The XP system for leveling up in TWD: Our World is pretty confusing, to say the least. You only gain XP by upgrading cards or completing some challenges and gain no experience from the direct action of shooting down zombies in Encounters or Infestations. From those interactions you collect cards or rescue survivors which eventually lets you upgrade cards, and you'll need a steady supply of coins to upgrade cards. Once you inevitably run out of coins, you're stuck with either going for a walk and finding zombie events to raid and collect coins, spend some in-game gold to buy some coins, or spend your own cash and just spend your way to the top. The journey may be worth it for some, but it's
Will it work on my phone?
The Walking Dead: Our World for Android requires a device with "more than 2GB" of RAM and running on Android 5.0 or later. Not all phones will support the AR functionality and there have been some reports of the app crashing on phones that should certainly support it — I had it crash a couple times on a Galaxy S8.
Other than those first few hiccups during setup, I've had no issues running the game since.
Ready for a zombie walk?
Are you excited about this new take on AR mobile gaming? Let us know in the comments!
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