The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land is brought to you by none other than AMC. Yes, the TV studio that currently airs the series. As rare as it is for a TV channel to publish a mobile game, the result is a well polished free-to-play title that works very well on mobile devices.
As the title suggests, the game is set in the Walking Dead universe, where the zombie outbreak is currently happening. You play brand new characters that are helped by a very popular character in the TV series: Daryl Dixon. In conjunction with that, AMC has brought in Norman Reedus to feature as his likeness.
Gameplay is simple turn-based combat. Each character is given two action points to spend on his or her turn. You can either move a few spaces with one action point and then attack with the other, or you can spend both action points in moving further or attacking off the bat. Then, it is the zombies turn to move. Just like in other turn-based games such as XCOM, you can also end the turn with an action point to put the character into “Overwatch”. Characters in overwatch will attack any zombies it encounters during the zombie’s turn. This helps stave off incoming threats and defend against attacking zombies.
The main episodes feature the story of Daryl helping a bunch of noobs to a safe haven called the Terminus. Fans of the show should be familiar with that. As you progress, you meet and recruit more survivors who will help build and populate your camp. The main missions are a mix between gathering resources, retrieving a survivor or just getting to the exit as fast as possible. There isn’t as much variety to these missions and environments as I had hoped.
At the beginning of the game, characters are divided into three classes: scout, bruiser and hunter. After completing Episode 4, you will unlock the Shooter class. At the end of Episode 7, you unlock the Warrior class. Finally, the Assault class will unlock when you finish Episode 9. More classes and episodes may be patched in later, but for now, these 6 classes provide a nice uniqueness to each class, making you think of who you want to bring in your party of three.
After successfully completing a mission, you will receive rewards in the form of resources, experience points and items. Resources is the currency used to build and upgrade structures back at camp, while experience points are used to level up your characters and their equipment. You can also build Farms and Tents in your camp to provide resources and experience points respectively.
Any characters that are injured will end up at the hospital to be patched up. How long will depend on the severity of the injury. Fortunately, the game doesn’t kill off your characters even if they die on missions, they just suffer a “heavy injury” and take the maximum time to recover. However, there are “deadly missions” you can attempt that will permanently kill your character if he or she dies. For those brave souls, the rewards are much better than the normal missions. A memorial can be built in the camp to remember the characters you have lost.
The game also encourages you to join a guild and help earn stars towards getting guild rewards. Stars are obtained by doing special missions that are really just normal missions. You can earn individual rewards as you collect stars and, at the same time, guild rewards that are usually very good. I earned my first legendary item from a guild reward.
If you have read until here, you can see that there is significant amount of content for a free-to-play game. The free-to-play currency doesn’t really intrude upon the gameplay. It allows you to speed up recovery time, building time and upgrade time. It also allows you to get more rewards after finishing a mission. You can also use it to substitute any insufficient currency. None of the above are absolutely necessary with a little bit of patience.
Overall, I like it a lot. My only complain is that the environment, music and missions are not varied enough, so you keep feeling like you’re doing the same thing over and over. This complain is however offset by having unique character classes that plays differently and a polished combat system. Great game. 5/5