I love videogames, but I’m not really into playing them on phones, since their screens are usually small and the controls for mobile games are generally terrible. That’s probably why it has taken me so long to download No Man’s Land, the official Walking Dead mobile game. I finally broke down though, and decided to try it.
No Man’s Land is fun, so I could see how obsessive gamers who delight in micromanaging characters and camps could get addicted to it, however I’m far from hooked. Part of my middling sentiment comes from its controls (which aren’t great) and the other part comes from the type of game it is (not one of my favorites). Is No Man’s Land worth your time? Here’s a breakdown of the game in greater detail so you can decide.
Story: There’s not much story from what I can tell so far other than the game’s setup. You control a group of three survivors who escape from Terminus and are rescued by Daryl Dixon in the process. Daryl becomes your guide, telling you where to go next or encouraging you to undertake missions through dialogue boxes. Missions involve you killing walkers to acquire items or points you can use toward them. Once you complete all the missions for a particular area you can move on to new ones.
Graphics: The graphics for cutscenes in the game are amazing. If you told me a few years ago that mobile games could achieve these visuals without killing your phone’s battery I would have never believed you. During regular gameplay though, graphics are just okay, particularly on loading screens and when the game zooms out to a wider view during missions.
Controls: You tap items on screen with your fingers, and move characters by dragging your fingers across the screen. This element of the game is especially frustrating. Sometimes the game is under-responsive to your tapping, while other times it is over-responsive. Plus, dragging your finger across the screen in even slightly the wrong direction, can move your character in such a way that they could accidentally finish a turn and be sitting ducks to get damaged by walkers.
Game Type: It’s somewhere between an RPG and a strategy game. During a mission, battles take place in a turn format, where you are limited to a number of moves per turn, and zombies have the opportunity to fight back while you’re waiting for the next turn. When you’re between missions, you have a camp with various areas where you can build things, train characters, and work toward upgrades. You can change who is in your party and you can also adjust the armor and items that they use.
Is it Worth Your Time?: So in the end, is No Man’s Land worth it? Depends on the type of gamer you are. If you get easily addicted to performing repetitive missions and you love micromanaging characters to build them up, then yeah, you’ll probably dig the game. If you prefer something more story-driven with better controls and more challenging puzzles, then you’re better off checking out Telltale’s episodic Walking Dead games on console or PC. Those games are much more fascinating since the decisions you make can affect the entire course of your game. Look out for posts on those in the future too.
No Man’s Land is available for iPhone in the App Store and on Android on the Google Play.