Preview: 'Westworld' Mobile Game Lets You Run the Park

Nowadays, almost every TV show has a mobile game.

The "X-Files: Deep State" helps keep fans involved by mixing casual gameplay elements with a narrative that expands the universe. "Pocket Mortys" is basically a "Pokemon" clone, in which players collect and battle different versions of the titular character. After each week's episode, a new version of Morty from the show is added to the game.

With its "Westworld" mobile game, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is aiming for similar concept.

"We've been working on the game before season 1 premiered," said executive producer Jason Everett. "After season 1 finished airing, we had a high-level prototype. We knew we wanted to do a simulation game of this simulation."

The big obstacle facing the developers was finding the right framework. How do you make a game about something as expansive and complicated as "Westworld"? Everett said the way to make the project feel authentic was to make it a fabric of the universe itself, and that's how they came up with the idea of the game being a training simulation for junior trainees of the Westworld park.

As the Delos Park Training Simulation, players have to manage hosts, guests and technicians. The game starts players off in Sweetwater, the town that's the kicking-off point for the series. As players manage other locales farther away such as Pariah, the "Westworld" game grows more difficult.

At its essence, the game is about matching hosts to guests. If a guest is looking for a seducer, players have to find a host such as Teddy who can accommodate that. Each android host a particular set of traits. They can even create their own host using code they earn from host-technician interviews. On top of that, they can create different versions of hosts such as Carmen or the barkeep.

When matching hosts and guests, players have to make sure that the level of a trait is strong enough that they can satisfy the guest. The second thing they should keep an eye out for is if the guest and host's affinities are compatible. They fall in the category of white hat, black hat and neutral. If these elements don't jibe, there's a chance that a bad interaction could occur and the android will be put out of commission.

To optimize the interactions, players have to level up the host. At the start, each host has three roles. For example, white hat Teddy has gambler, seducer and buddy roles, but he has two more that can be unlocked as players power up the character and gather resources. In addition, hosts have a trait called a Cornerstone, which is a bonus that's activated for a positive interaction.

Adding a layer of depth, players can customize the hosts in two ways. One is by giving them props, which minimally boost stats. The second is by incorporating reveries into their personality matrix. The UI for that is similar to what Maeve Millay used to power herself up in the show. The reveries further improve stats by raising them a few percentage points.

"Westworld" has other stat-boosting systems built in, but the interaction between hosts and guests is where players will spend most of their time. The game is meant to be played daily and resembles a mix of "Animal Crossing Pocket Camp" and "Fallout Shelter."

The "Animal Crossing" element comes in how players distribute the hosts around the park. They'll have to smartly manage and optimize the hosts so that all interactions with guests are successful. They'll have to conserve their most powerful hosts for the most demanding guests, and they'll have to use the resources they generate for each interaction to upkeep and upgrade each host.

They must also take into account other factors. One is that certain buildings required for host-guest interactions are opened for certain days. (The sites can also be leveled up.) Another layer that players have to deal with is the upkeep. Hosts break down for several reasons and the underground facilities of Westworld is where they are repaired by technicians.

The "Westworld" mobile game will be updated with new hosts and locales as the second season unfolds, so there could be spoilers involved. But for now, players can enjoy the game if they're just starting the show. That will hopefully give them time to learn the intricacies of the game's complex systems. ___

(c)2018 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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This article is written by Gieson Cacho from East Bay Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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