Next Games has released some new details and visuals for its upcoming gameThe Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. The game will revolve around a group of people as they struggle to survive the walker apocalypse. There are not many details about the game yet, but Next says it will be more open and less story driven, giving you a continuing experience without a set end.
While there is no set release date, Next Games and AMC have decided to launchThe Walking Dead: No Man’s Landaround the beginning of season 6 this fall. We'll just have to wait a bit longer to sate our zombie hunger.
[Wondering if it's worth dramatically pushing the swinging doors open on this saloon? Check out our review]
You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you if you want to turn your little patch of dirt into a bonafide frontier town, and Orville Driller and his cronies aren’t exactly rolling out the welcome mat. But don’t worry, even the toughest hombres need help every now and then (okay I’m done with the old west jokes, I swear).
Be mindful of Gold and Goods limits - Starting out, you’ll only be able to hold a maximum of 2,000 of either resource. It sounds like a lot, but it’ll fill up quickly. Try not to let your earnings go to waste.
If you’re about to exceed the limit, spend it - Successful attacks on Orville’s occupied territories will always yield Gold and Goods, so if you’re really close to the maximum you should try to spend some of either (or both) before continuing on. Build or upgrade stuff if you can, but if that’s not an option you can also clear out trees and rocks.
Watch videos when able - There’s a covered wagon with a film strip icon over it that sometimes appears on the road. Tap it and you’ll be prompted to watch a video. You definitely want to watch, as once you’re finished you’ll be able to pick a random card from a group of four. These can include diamonds (used to speed things up), sidekicks, workers, or even piles of resources.
Use Jakob Ammann to keep things moving - The basic version of his card will take up to 15 minutes off of one upgrade, which is great for when you’re starting out and things don’t take hours to finish.
Use William Wealth when you need a cash boost - The basic form of William nets you 500 Gold, so use it if you’re a little short. Make sure you remember that resource limit, though!
If developers insist on making even more Clash of Clans clones, they’d better gin up a better excuse than “we just want a lot of money.” Fortunately for Compass Point: West, the Wild West setting actually proves to be pretty thematically appropriate for the genre. But is that a good enough reason to continue the gold rush? Find out in this edition of It Came From Canada!
Like I said, Compass Point: West's biggest coup is that the Clash of Clans template of building a town from scratch, populating it, defending it from invaders, and exploring uncharted parts of the map is basically the western cowboy pioneer spirit in a nutshell. So while the gameplay remains virtually unchanged, unlike other clones, it rarely feels like a nonsensical chore. Plus, the lush 3D graphics really sell players on the organic world. The texture of the ground, the swaying of the trees, and the flashes of the guns give the game that crucial, if cartoonish, frontier feel. True grit.
But Compass Point: West does offer slightly more than just a cowboy cover of Clash of Clans, even if all of its new ideas don’t exactly work. When enemies invade, players place hero units like the sheriff on top of buildings, which mixes up the standard tower defense and alters the nature of town design. To find new missions, players manually send out the Pony Express to reveal new parts of the map via charming animations. Finally, instead of recruiting offensive troops, players earn all their units - from cowboys to bankers - through a randomized playing card system. After completing missions, or by paying, players draw several cards and reap the rewards. On one hand this adds a neat element of chance, and units eventually revive after death so the stakes aren’t punishingly high. But taking away player choice also makes them more likely to depend on freemium currency, which is always dubious. At least players can choose to fuse units into stronger allies, so their strategic options aren’t entirely beyond their control.
At this point Clash of Clans clones are as ubiquitous as cowboy movies were in the 1950s. So if the idea of the two of them finally coming together sounds good to you, check out Compass Point: West when it launches everywhere soon.
Next Games' Compass Point: West is a town builder and town defender in the same wheelhouse as Clash of Clans. In the same wheelhouse, but mercifully still doing its own thing with the... I guess it's kind of a genre now?
Much like other similar games you'll be building up your own town - this time in the Wild West - and sending all sorts of characters out to attack other players' territory. Along with figuring out how best to defend your own, of course. There are also non-player bases to raid if you'd rather not stir up trouble with your neighbors.
One of the biggest differences with Compass Point: West is that the characters you get to use are represented by cards (much like an online CCG). These cards can be stockpiled, and multiples may be fused to create more powerful versions. Although, while I found the card elements interesting, I was even more interested in the lack of character death that's obnoxiously prevalent in other games of this type.
In similar titles, once you use a character to attack a base they're gone forever and you have to spend time and money training more. Some games will allow you to keep anybody that isn't killed during an attack, but Compass Point: West has an even more user-friendly approach: after a battle your characters simply rest up at the saloon. You might have to wait a little while before you can use them again, but they're never gone for good. And because battles only let you bring a handful of folks along, chances are you'll have more waiting in reserve and can go on the attack a few times before you'll have to wait it out.
Oh, and it actually looks really pretty. I forgot to mention that. Everything you see in those screenshots up above is in 3D, too.
Compass Point: West will be coming to the App Store as a free download soon. I can't say for certain when that will be, but you won't have to wait for very long.