Fans of the Walking Dead franchise rejoiced on August 27th when the Walking Dead: Road to Survival mobile game was finally given its official worldwide release for Android and iOS devices. Walking Dead: Road to Survival was soft launched earlier this year to limited markets outside of the US. One of the cool things about this game is that the developers, Scopely, IUGO Mobile Entertainment, and Skybound Entertainment, worked in collaboration with the esteemed creator of the Original Walking dead comic book series Robert Kirkman and they also drew inspiration from Road to Survival, the story by Walking Dead writer Jay Bonansinga.
Walking Dead: Road to Survival takes place in the town of Woodbury, where you must fortify your barracks and put an end to the tyrannous activities of the Governor. Developers were careful not to make this a one dimensional game, they wanted to incorporate both city building, rpg, MMO, and strategic aspects all rolled into one, to provide their fans with as many options as possible.
“This game is all about character building, and community building, and trying to farm resources and being safe and trying to have stability,” Kirkman says. “It’s also a community based game where you’ll be able to play with The Walking Dead fans from around the world.”
The primary objective of course is to make sure your self-sustaining town is in order. This can be as simple as rationing food, or as complex and dramatic as having to choose who lives and who dies. Also, in a fashion similar to other town creating games like Clash of Clans, you engage in economic activities to build up your town, create specialized buildings, house characters, etc. Then there is the action aspect where you must fight off zombies, and finally there is the PvP online aspect where you have the option of going head to head against other real life players. Recently added was the factions feature, where you can team up and form alliances with friends and other gamers and battle against zombies and other factions.
In reference to their collaborative efforts, Kirkman recently said in a statement “Working with the Scopely team, we’ve had the unique opportunity to translate The Walking Dead story into a deeply interactive and engaging mobile experience,” adding to that he later said “The game design, the aesthetic, the tone and the writing have all come together in an authentic way that we know Walking Dead fans will love.”
The story behind Walking Dead: Road to Survival is perhaps just as interesting as the gameplay itself, while communicating with Robert Kirkman, the folks over at Scopely knew that in the Walking Dead franchise they had a special brand on their hands. They knew this would be an ambitious project and the only way to appease the 500 million fans of this remarkable franchise is to do it in an authentic manner that celebrates the rich, complex, and engaging story lines that make the Walking Dead.
To do this they read every manuscript, article, and comic book even remotely related to the walking dead. In doing so, they inadvertently became hardcore fans themselves, thus enabling them to create something that rather than exploit the franchise, actually added to it. From this experience they learned that it wasn’t just the story lines that captivated audiences, but also the dynamic characters that populate the Walking Dead universe. These experiences were translated into the Walking Dead: Road to Survival, creating a mature, character driven RPG. So far it seems their efforts have paid off.
During the soft release in Australia, early adopters took out more walkers than the entire population of Australia, that’s over 23 million walkers. Available in 10 languages, the developers at Scopely are confident in this games ability to connect with their core audience, in a statement released by Scopely they said “After months of qualitative and quantitative analyses through player research studies and geolocked beta testing we are confident we have an engaging, sticky and authentic product that RPG and Walking Dead fans alike will enjoy”.
This is a free game which offers in app purchases. Based on the user’s preference this can be seen as either a positive or negative trait. On the one hand free games are more accessible to the public and are likely to be downloaded more, on the other hand free games with in app purchases are likely to require consistent small time purchases of in app products in order to progress at a reasonable pace. Rather than having a onetime payment at a reasonable price, having to pay in small increments over a prolonged period of time will ultimately result in shelling out more cash in the long run. If you don’t like to pay, a game with IAP’s is going to take you considerably longer to complete than if you were a premium user, and you will often times find yourself in situations where you are vastly out done in terms of resources because the other player simply paid more.
Only a few days after its release, the Walking Dead: Road to Survival boasts between 500,000 and 1 million downloads on the Google Play Store. On the iTunes App Store it’s received several notable achievements, including ranking at #5 on the Best New Games list, and #3 on the Summer Thrillers list. As far as ratings go, the Walking Dead: Road to Survival received a 4.3 on the Google Play Store and a 4.5 on the iTunes App Store. This game is rated as suitable only for users aged 16 and over, due to the graphic nature of the subject matter, so parents make sure your kids don’t get their hands on it at least for another couple of years.