With season two of the HBO hit Westworld just around the corner, Warner Bros. Interactive is ready to capitalize on that hype with a Fallout Shelter-style simulation that puts the control of the park into your hands. No more blaming upper management or clandestine operations if the park fails miserably – you're in control of host creation, pairing tourists with their ideal companions, and everything in between.
Keeping the game in the series fiction, the Westworld mobile games operations as a Delos training simulator to find out who is well suited for park management. The timeline of your training program begins shortly after the William and Logan timeline in the show, before the park expands rapidly. As the game runs in tandem with season two, don't expect that timeline to prevent developer Behaviour Interactive from integrating new elements of the show into the experience over time.
Like Fallout Shelter, you have an entire base of operations running underground where you can create new hosts, improve pre-existing ones, destroy outdated motels, and even recalibrate them during "Analysis Mode" style conversation cutscenes created by show writers. This is when the game comes closest to the intrigue of the HBO series. You can even build Dr. Ford's office, which rewards you with a daily amount of free gems, one of the game's purchasable currencies.
Where Westworld diverges from Fallout Shelter is how players interact with the above-ground theme park. Here you can zoom into any building on your premises to pair guests with their ideal hosts, check on the status of their interactions, and even manage the collection of aboveground resources that let you enhance your park. You start in Sweetwater, but as you improve over time you gain access to new places like Abernathy Ranch, Escalante, and Pariah. Relationships run on a timer (queue free-to-play mechanics) and all guests have apparent desires. The outcome is based on how well your host pairs with the interests of your guest. Some want to party at the brothel. Others prefer violent delights. Some even have banking fantasies. Should a tourist become displeased with their fantasy, they will shoot your host. That means they must go back to your base for costly repairs and a fresh infusion of synthetic blood – one of the many resources you must manage. Successful interactions result in rewards and XP for the host that can be used to diversity or strengthen their personalities.
Each time your host ranks up, you can add an extra role to their personal profile in the attribute matrix. VIP guests who have a chain of designers may also impart rare reverie abilities that significantly improve them should you fulfill all their fantasies. These reveries are upgradeable and can make your hosts much more dynamic. However, it costs a lot of money to improve a reverie, and your attempt can fail, making it a tough risk/reward decision. You have to be careful about over-using your best hosts as well, because their glitch risk increases the more they are used.
In addition to using hosts to keep tourists engaged, you can also assign them to other tasks like harvesting precious resources you can use to improve your park.
Warner Bros. says the Westworld mobile game has a subversive mystery that plays out over time, and that the story will continue to evolve along with the game. Eventually, you will be able to invite other friends to join your center so you can both work on the park together.
The Westworld mobile game sounds promising. It gives you a lot to manage so it could get overwhelming, but as with many mobile games, how well it holds up will likely be determined by how steadfastly the game tries to get you to pony up cash to make the experience more enjoyable. If they get this balancing act right, the game could be a huge success given the amazing buzz around the second season.