This review was originally written in 2021. It is reproduced here with no edits.
- Deep strategic gameplay
- Intuitive interface makes the large number of options more accessible
- PVE and multiplayer event options
- Steep initial learning curve
- Setting is unoriginal
- Visuals are inconsistent
- Not fully optimized for all screens, with some outer interface elements partially cut-off
- Players can pay to power up
Apple App Store | Google Play (note that as of November 21, 2021, Wasteland Lords was discontinued and is no longer available; this review is posted for historical purposes)
X.D. Global’s Wasteland Lords is nothing if not shy about borrowing elements from popular post-apocalyptic mixed media predecessors. Whether it’s part of the title and post-nuclear war setting of the classic Wasteland computer role playing game series that was first released in 1988 and is still going strong today with Wasteland 3 (2020), or the over-the-top mutant gangs from the fourth installment in the Mad Max movie franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Wasteland Lords is anything but original. However, as any gamer worth their salt knows, it’s all in the play, and that’s where this game really shows its value.
You have been appointed as one of the leaders of the shelters scattered across the radiated desert wasteland. You need to protect your people, explore, develop new technologies and buildings, and survive in a wasteland filled with mutants.
The main strategic element of the game is to build and manage your own underground shelter with barracks, canneries, production facilities, storage, laboratories, weapons, and much more. It’s from this shelter that you can explore the surrounding wasteland and plan your strategies to lead your troops and mecha into battle, as well as conquer other shelters.
The interface is packed with stats and animated views of the latest components of your base and various upgrade queues. It’s a lot to take in, but is presented thoughtfully, with new information well highlighted and just a tap away to access. Even with a good interface, however, the amount of options can be overwhelming for new players, so this is a game you’ll need to invest considerable amounts of time in to get the most out of the experience it offers.
Visually, the game mixes cartoonish and realistic styles in an inconsistent manner. While the menu items and overall user interface is clear and functional, some of the more comical character graphics, for instance, feel out of place. The uninspired sound design is a similar mixed bag, with bog standard sound effects and music.
If you’re looking for a deep strategy game, Wasteland Lords delivers either as a solo experience or with its event-based multiplayer. The only downside with multiplayer is that other players can pay to power up for $0.99 – $99.99 USD per item, which can create imbalances. Nevertheless, there are enough Player Versus Environment (PVE) events in-game to help offset any multiplayer setbacks you might experience.
Score: 4 (out of 5)