Let’s say you’re into the idea of mobile games based on augmented reality, but neither collecting pocket monsters nor firing darts at dinosaurs to steal their DNA sound like your jam. Maybe what you’re looking for is The Walking Dead: Our World (Free), which takes the still popular zombie IP and uses the wonders of location-based AR to create a struggle for survival right on your phone.
Well, kind of, anyway. Our World definitely gets across the idea that the world is overrun with the undead, and it has more of a focus on combat than any other big AR game so far, albeit in very simple form. You do have to worry about other humans, too (though not other players, a small but important difference), since the TV series has hammered into our heads over the years that the Real Threat™ is people, not walkers.
There is still something of a collection element as well, except now you’re not hunting cute creatures but more weapons and heroes to help you send those zombies to the great beyond. Um, send them there again, we mean. It would all be pretty cool except for the annoying free-to-play energy system that limits how long you can play at one time and the fact that there are no real serious long term ramifications for failure, which is kind of the exact opposite of The Walking Dead in other forms of media.
But hey, AR zombies, which are actually pretty cool. Plus we can help you minimize the other not as fun parts, so let’s begin with explaining exactly what you’re doing in this game anyway.
The Walking Dead: Our World Basics — Combat, Companions and Safe Houses
As you might expect, one of the main things you’ll be doing is clearing out walkers. You’ll find them just about everywhere, in both Encounters and Infestations. Encounters have a single skull icon and you can start one just by tapping on it.
Within an Encounter, your job is simply to eliminate all of the walkers. Happily, you’ll always have a gun of some sort to do that, and you can fire simply by tapping on the screen where you want to shoot. Walkers have health bars that will deplete when you damage them, and head shots will do more damage than body shots. But you already knew that, because you’ve seen zombie movies or shows before.
There are four different kinds of walkers in the game at the moment:
- Regular – Your average Joe reanimated as a flesh-hungry walker.
- Slim – Speed kills, even for the undead. These walkers have less health but move faster.
- Armored – When people die wearing riot gear, they reanimate in it too, apparently. Harder to kill again, obviously.
- Heavy – These big dudes move slowly and shrug off body shots like they are going out of style. Aim for the head and be prepare to empty the whole clip.
Bonus tip: Getting swarmed by walkers? Tap the grenade button and you will drop a grenade right in front of you to damage or destroy any undead that are close by. Of course, this would also hurt you in real life, but we’re already talking about a game where the dead have risen so it’s best not to get caught up in small bits of logic like that.
Along with a weapon, you can also bring a single Hero who is known as your Companion when in battle. These can include well-known personalities from the comics and TV series, like Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Carol. Companions take down walkers with their own weapons, but they also can be overwhelmed if facing too many. Damaged Companions go on a cooldown timer before they can be used again, so unless you feel like spending premium currency to speed it up, your main goal should be to drop the walkers closest to your Companion. Figure they can handle every other one by themselves, so you can pick off the others and keep them in good health.
That is, of course, unless your Encounter is to rescue a survivor, which you can tell because they have a little stick figure beside them on the game map. In these cases, there will be an innocent human you want to prevent from becoming walker chow, so your primary goal should be to kill the zombies closest to them first. Rescued survivors can be dropped off at Safe Houses, which you can build yourself once you have enough materials, for different rewards based on which kind of structure you build:
- Shelter – Hero cards
- Armory – weapon cards
- Trading Post – coins
- Warehouse – perk cards
Every time you drop off a survivor at a Safe House, you’ll receive a reward of the designated type. Rounding up enough survivors allows you to level up the Safe House, which resets the timer (Safe Houses that don’t level up will disappear in 10 days) and gives you a better chance at rarer rewards.
Not enough walker-slaying fun for you? Then check out Infestations, which are marked on the map with multi-skull icons. These battles have between three and five separate battles and generally feature a lot more walkers at one time. Completing an entire Infestation will get you building materials for Safe Houses, as well as potential rare or epic cards.
Wait, Do You Even Have to Walk Around Playing This Game?
Kind of? Unlike some other AR games we won’t name here but are industry leaders, there’s no game mechanic that inherently rewards you for moving around in The Walking Dead: Our World. If you simply sit around and just check into the game every so often, you’re going to have Encounters spawn randomly that are close enough to tackle without even moving. If you’re lucky, Infestations may arise nearby as well, respawning every few hours, and since you can build Safe Houses anywhere there is space (the game doesn’t let you build them too close to other “points of interest," which include other Safe Houses), there ‘s a decent chance you can play regularly without ever hoofing it.
On the other hand, there are Supply Drops scattered around the map, which can give you things like grenades, coins and other goodies, so that’s one reason to move about. You’ll also see other Encounters and things to do that are often tantalizingly close but you can’t reach. So yes, to reach those, you’ll need to move around, but just know that it isn’t quite as essential a part of this game as it is others of its ilk.
How to Level Up Yourself, Your Weapons and Your Companions
The Walking Dead: Our World uses the ever popular, or at least omnipresent, card-based system for improving weapon power, Companion strength and even perks, which govern things like you max energy, grenade capacity, how many survivors can follow you at one time, etc. Gather enough of the same type of card and you can level up the item in question just by spending the required amount of coins.
Cards can be found pretty much everywhere, as rewards for successfully completing Encounters or Infestations, every time you drop off a survivor at a Safe House and for doing things like checking off daily missions or assisting in the completion of missions for your Group, which is this game’s version of a clan or alliance. So you’re never going to be short on ways to find more cards, and in a bit of nice synergy, you also earn XP toward increasing your player level every time you level up any of your weapons, Heroes or perks.
What you’re definitely going to run out of is coins with which to put those cards to good use. That gives us a perfect segue into …
How to Get Free Coins
This is likely to be the bane of your Our World existence, even more so than the energy system. Since you need coins to improve all of your cards and you’re constantly acquiring new cards, it’s extremely likely you will be spending coins faster than you earn them. You know, kind of like you feel about your bank account once bills start arriving.
The game would undoubtedly like you to spend money on gold, the premium currency, which you can then turn around and exchange for more coins in a pinch. We’re going to help you try to avoid that if we can. Here are all the ways we know of so far to earn coins for free:
- Play Infestations – Every stage of an Infestation except for the final one provides you with some coins for your trouble.
- Do your daily mission – Fulfilling your daily mission (which arrives once a day, in case you had any doubt about that) will give you a really nice amount of coins, along with other rewards.
- Check the Challenges for your Group – Should you decide to join a Group — and except for some potentially annoying chat, there’s really no compelling reason not to do so — you’ll find the current Challenges under the tab of the same name on the game’s main nav bar. Challenges can be completed by any member of the Group, and some even allow you to pool your efforts. Either way, a completed Challenge will show up in green on the grid, and you can tap it to grab some coins.
- Finish leveling up a Safe House – Every time a Safe House levels up, you’ll get a coin reward based on how many survivors you dropped off there over the time it was at the previous level. It pays to save as many people as possible, plus it’ll help you sleep better at night.
- Go find more Supply Drops – We’re not backing off what we said earlier about not having to walk around while playing Our World, but if you do, you stand a pretty good chance of stumbling into more Supply Drops, some of which have coins in them.
How to Turn On the AR Feature and See Walkers Come to Life
It wouldn’t be too cool to have an AR game where zombies look like they are shambling around the real world and then not tell you how to make that happen. Fortunately, it’s quite simple.
Right after you launch an Encounter or Infestation stage, you’ll see a green button in the upper-left corner of the screen that says ‘AR AVAILABLE.’ Tap on that and you’re good to go.
The game itself recommends that for the best experience, you’ll want to point the camera toward the floor or ground from about the height of your hips. Once you do and the game has loaded the proper assets, you’ll see a message pop up that says “Look Up."
Tilt your device up and maybe pan around a bit and presto, you’re surrounded by walkers. Not sure why you’d actually want to have that happen, but enjoy proving how much of a badass you are!