If John Wayne were still alive today, Westward would undoubtedly be his mobile game of choice for long bus journeys (or wagon trips, come to think of it).
Westward sees you face the challenge of controlling the Wild West, by building booming towns, exploring unchartered plains, guiding settlers to success, and protecting citizens from outlaws. The game boasts four different locations, with more than 20 levels to explore.
Westward starts with a tutorial level, where a teacher guides you through the process of discovering new lands, fighting bandits, harvesting food and water, and building houses, farms and factories. The controls are well explained and it's pretty easy to pick up the basics from these tutorials.
I like the way that Westward doesn't try to tie you to playing as one character. All of the citizens, sheriffs and deputies can be controlled independently of each other, and the challenge of the game lies in utilizing each one to their full potential.
Like many strategy games, Westward always displays the current tasks that you need to work on, and once you've achieved a mission, a new one pops up straight away. This makes it a game that's awfully hard to put down, because the temptation of playing "just one more mission" is tough to resist.
In terms of its presentation, Westward looks and sounds great with some lovely attention to detail. The background music is typical of those old western movie soundtracks and there are some realistic sound effects. Although the game's graphics are incredibly detailed, I found them just a little bit too small for viewing on a mobile device. What's more, the animation is a little slow and you seem to spend a lot of time waiting for characters to move from one place to another.
Overall though, Westward makes for a rip-roaring, gun-slinging, mobile adventure that's very difficult to put down.
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