Just in case you were concerned about the phenomenon that is The Walking Dead running out of steam, let me assure you that there are plenty of other irons in that brand’s fire. One of them is The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, a “mature RPG” which is currently in soft launch in Australia on iOS (and also on Google Play in select territories).
Since we have our ways of becoming temporary Aussies, we had a chance to take it for a spin. Road to Survival hews closer to the comic book storyline than the one from the TV series, having your character and a few friends arrive at Woodbury. If you know your lore, you remember who runs that place, and if not, a brief flash-forward shows that you’ll eventually end up facing the Governor.
Like any good survivor, you’ll have to quickly master how to stay alive. Fortunately, the walkers have kindly agreed to attack you in turn-based waves, and the combat system requires simple taps to target, attack or use special abilities. You’ll appreciate the sense of tension that builds when there are more zombies than you can kill in a single turn, with the remainder shuffling ever closer. Eventually, you’ll be able to form a party of five characters, which can include famous faces from the comics if you’re lucky or very patient with the game’s random draws.
In the meantime, you’ll have to help out by rebuilding the town with different structures: houses to hold survivors, small structures to gather building materials and a workshop to craft useful items. Single-player missions can help you gather more supplies, as can raids on other players’ alternate versions of Woodbury.Yes, there’s some Clash of Clans in this.
But there’s also some actual role-playing, in the sense that you’ll have to make some hard choices during the story missions — and really, that’s what The Walking Dead is all about. The storytelling doesn’t look quite as deep as what you’ll find in Telltale’s serialized game, but it’s appropriately gritty.
So, too, are the visuals, which don’t hold back on the blood and partially expired guts. On the Australian App Store, the game is rated 17+ for the following reasons:
- Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
- Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes
- Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor
- Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes
- Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity
That’s only about half the list too. Suffice it to say that this isn’t for kids, but then you hopefully already suspected that.
If you’re a fan of the franchise, you have plenty of options to get your Walking Dead fix already, but Road to Survival has enough of its own identity that you might want to watch for it when it surfaces in North America. There’s always room in your heart for more zombies — as long as they stay away from your brains, right?