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Augmented reality games are the new hot property in mobile gaming. Thanks to the success of Pokemon GO, other popular games, like one based on the Harry Potter franchise, are on the way that look to take advantage of the idea of combining the game with the real world. However, the developers of The Walking Dead: Our World, which brings the walkers from the TV series into, well, our world, hopes to fix one glaring problem that the genre has, the fact that there isn't always a lot to do if you don't want to travel anywhere. I recently had an opportunity to speak with Clayton Neuman of AMC who told me how Our World was specifically designed so that players would always have something to do in the game, even if they only wanted to play from their own couch. According to Neuman...
One of the ways that we feel like this genre may be falling short is that if you're not running around the city, moving around, there's really not a lot to do in the game. We wanted to make sure, even if you wanted to sit on your couch, sleep in on a Sunday, whenever you power up the game, there's always something fun for you to do.
The entire point of augmented reality games is that they use real-world information, like maps and location data, to overlay the game onto the real world. This allows you to find a Pokemon on your coffee table, or, in the case of The Walking Dead: Our World, to find a walker standing in your kitchen. The downside to that, however, is that since activities are tied to real locations, if you're not standing in that location, you can't take advantage of that activity.
The solution for The Walking Dead: Our World, is to fill the game with multiple types of activities, some of which, are always available right where you are. For the most part, it seems to work pretty well. I live in your average neighborhood subdivision, the sort of place that in PokemonGO is full of Rattatas and Pidgeys and little else, and found my court crawling with walkers to blast at. Multiple missions were available, including the ability to clear our areas of walkers and rescue survivors. I was also able to build a safe house right near my own house, so traveling wasn't even necessary to drop off the survivors I had rescued.
Traveling around and finding new and interesting things to do is part of the fun of AR games, to be sure, but it isn't always something you're able to do. If you spend too much time not opening the game because you know there's nothing to do where you are, eventually you find yourself forgetting to open it when you might have something you could do. The Walking Dead: Our World is hoping that won't happen here. The game is now available on Android and iOS platforms.