The Walking Dead: Our World

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
The Walking Dead: Our World App Poster Image
Boring shooter has stingy pay-to-play, poorly used tech.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Tap-to-shoot gameplay is easy, but energy system significantly limits play time unless you spend money.

Violence

Combat is main focus. Players blow zombies away with a range of weapons; large amounts of blood and gore, and random human characters can also be killed. Blood can be turned off in the options.

Sex
Language

No bad language in the app, but chat functionality can expose players to inappropriate comments and swearing.

Consumerism

Based on popular comic book and TV franchises. Game's energy system means purchases are required in order to play more than a few minutes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Walking Dead: Our World is a free-to-play augmented reality action game for iOS and Android devices based on AMC's hit television series The Walking Dead. Like the show, the point of the game is to blast zombies with every type of ranged weapon. Bloody violence is constant (though blood and gore can be turned off), and players are rewarded for being efficient killers (making headshots, etc.). The app is made in conjunction with Google Maps, so it uses your phone's GPS to pinpoint your location. Players must move through the real world to access missions and supply drops, but the app's energy-based system means purchases with real money are necessary in order to play longer than a few minutes. A global chat system allows players to freely communicate with one another, which could expose players to inappropriate comments. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

THE WALKING DEAD: OUR WORLD is a freemium action shooter made in conjunction with Google Maps. Using augmented reality (AR) technology, it brings the TV show's zombie apocalypse to life by overlaying animated zombies over real-world locations. Players must move around the real world to gather supplies, take out zombie infestations, and rescue other survivors. Combat requires energy; once it runs out, players must wait for it to refill or purchase energy from the in-app store. Gameplay alternates between shooting zombies and collecting cards. By winning combat encounters, players earn cards representing weapons, supplies, and companion heroes. As you collect these cards and level them up during game sessions, you become more powerful and able to take on more zombies. Gamers can also go it alone or earn better and more frequent rewards by joining groups of people in missions.

Is it any good?

If the idea here is to capture an adult audience with a bloodier version of Pokémon Go, then this action adventure really missed the mark. The Walking Dead: Our World tries to capitalize on the augmented reality (AR) craze by bringing zombies into real-world exploration, but it's full of issues. The most obvious problem is its shoddy GPS tracking. Instead of moving smoothly across the map, your character stutters and turns in place, forcing you to guess how much ground you're really covering. The AR is equally patchy. In order to use it (and only during combat), you point your phone at the ground and hope the AR calibrates. If not, you're looking at a whole lot of nothing.

Those aren't the only technical issues facing The Walking Dead: Our World. Since the most recent patch, server access is spotty, which means frequent interruptions. Not that you'll be playing long anyway: Your energy supply's gone after a few minutes, and if you want to play longer, you're stuck buying more. The consolation for the limited energy is that there's not a ton to do in this repetitive slog of a title. Gameplay consists entirely of boring combat followed by uninspiring reward animations. There's no human drama, no real building, no risky supply runs, none of the stuff that makes The Walking Dead interesting -- just a lot of shooting and gore you and your kids don't need to see. Ultimately, this app amounts to nothing more than a poorly executed promotional tool for a show that's well past its prime.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How is the impact of the violence affected by the augmented reality visuals? Does the gameplay seem more realistic because missions take place in the real world and you have to react to zombies that suddenly appear around you?

  • What's a reasonable amount to spend on microtransactions? Can a game be considered free-to-play if you have to pay cash to significantly extend your game sessions?

App details

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