Mobile Gaming Double Bill: Our First Look at 'The Walking Dead: March to War' and 'Valerian: City of Alpha'

Thursday, 08 June 2017 - 2:52PM
The Walking Dead
Valerian
Thursday, 08 June 2017 - 2:52PM
Mobile Gaming Double Bill: Our First Look at 'The Walking Dead: March to War' and 'Valerian: City of Alpha'
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Image credit: Disruptor Beam, Spil Games
In our experience, there's a couple different kinds of mobile games: there's the addictive, time-killing ones with 850 levels (Plants vs. Zombies, Candy Crush, Crossy Road, etc), there's the sprawling, real-life digital conspiracies disguised as games, which wait for the day when they can mobilize their player base into a highly coordinated revolution (Ingress, Pokemon GO), and then there's your surprisingly ambitious media tie-in games, like Game of Thrones: Ascent and Pocket Mortys. The new Walking Dead and Valerian mobile games, The March to War and City of Alpha, respectively, fall into the latter category.

Here's a look at both titles, which are slated for release this year.

The Walking Dead: March to War


If there's one thing Disruptor Beam, the team behind March to War, does right, it's narrative and interface design. They put in a lot of care to make sure their games fit into the ongoing stories on TV, even synching in-game events to plot points in the shows (they handle mobile games tied into Game of Thrones and Star Trek, too), and they make sure it's easy to navigate a home screen that feels robust, but not super cluttered (remember, we're working with 5-7 inches of display here).

For March to War, the team is looking to tackle All-Out War, Robert Kirkman's epic chapter in the comic saga that has Rick teaming up with the Hilltop and Kingdom survivor communities to bring down Negan's Saviors. March starts out just before the war breaks out and follows the player character's small but growing community, which has to decide which side they want to join in the brewing throw-down, as well as what moves to make to ensure their survivors live through the night. When the war finally breaks out, the game shifts gears into a new chapter of the Walking Dead universe, where the player has the chance to change the course of the story.

The art for March to War is one of the major selling points of the game—the combination of almost watercolor-like sketches and softer edges makes the characters and landscapes feel more stylized and intense, and it keeps the whole game from falling into the grey-brown palettes that haunt post-apocalyptic games like Fallout.

You can learn more about the gameplay, characters, and story of March to War here and sign up for the game here. March to War is set to release this year.

Valerian: City of Alpha


Hands-down, the coolest things about the new Valerian trailers have been the glimpses of the titular 'City of a Thousand Planets', which look like James Cameron's Avatar meets The Fifth Element and the Citadel from Mass Effect. The new prequel game for the movie, City of Alpha, takes full advantage of the insane amount of creativity and detail poured into that setting and says "Here kid, make your own." The game revolves around building up your own version of Alpha, complete with alien races, resources, and tech advancements.

The game looks like a relatively conventional Sim City-style resource and city management game with some sci-fi flavor, but what makes it stand out is the sleek, futuristic aesthetics and the promise that the game will delve deeper into the worldbuilding and backstory of the Valerian universe. As Mass Effect and even Starcraft showed, lore can be its own reward when it comes to gaming, and with a whole new universe to establish and explore, it'll be cool to see how races and tech trees match up with different strategies in the game.

City of Alpha comes from Spil Games, which doesn't have quite the same track record as Disruptor Beam when it comes to media tie-ins, but judging by the photos and assets released so far, it certainly looks like a triple-AAA mobile title, if such a thing can exist. The game is set to come out this July, ahead of the film, and you can check out more about it on its snazzy website here.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Games
The Walking Dead
Valerian
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