As HBO’s Westworld draws to its season-two conclusion on Sunday night, the premium cable network has released the latest in a season-long series of interactive marketing efforts.
Fans of the show who own an Amazon Echo smart speaker can ask Alexa to “open Westworld,” and take an interactive audio journey through the park.
The experience offers more than 60 different storylines with more than 400 unique game choices, requiring players to remember facts presented both in the game and in the show.
When you enter the game, you meet Rose, the madame at the Mariposa, who invites you to have a drink with her. Once you’ve selected what you’d like to imbibe, you choose a place to go. In this first instance, that choice was to head to the Abernathy Ranch—home of Dolores, Peter and ranch hand Tom—or stay at the saloon. Each choice leads you to another choice and a resulting scenario. If you fail to answer the questions correctly — whatever that means — you end up back at the saloon where you get to try again, much like the hosts in the show.
If you get stuck, here are some hints courtesy of Warner Media Group:
- If you make it to the saloon, show Kissy, the blackjack dealer some respect.
- If you meet the barmaid, remind her how to get rid of those nightmares by counting backwards from 3.
- If you come across a traveler just outside the Ranch, don’t ask her too many questions about her encounter at La Cantina in Las Mudas.
- At Abernathy Ranch, mention the Judas steer to prove yourself to the ranch hand.
- If you want the bandits in Sweetwater to like you, remember that the Confederados come from New Virginia.
- Answer the Sheriff honestly when he asks where Hector is hiding. He might suspect you of hiding in the hills with him, but you can talk your way out of it later.
The game was created in partnership with the production team behind Westworld, Kilter Films, and advertising agency 360i. Series stars Jeffrey Wright (Bernard/Arnold) and Angela Sarafyan (Clementine) are among the voices that guide you, playing as an unnamed host, through the different towns and locations as you try to find the center of the maze. Even the simple sentence, “Alexa, open Westworld,” sounds amazing when voiced by Wright.
“Voice is the next frontier of interactive storytelling, with a powerful ability as a marketing tool to deepen engagement with our fanbases. We’re excited to launch our first Voice initiative as a Westworld story extension that we hope will surprise and delight our viewers,” said Sabrina Caluori, senior vice president, HBO digital and social marketing, in a statement.
Beyond the new Alexa adventure, HBO and Westworld have teamed on several activations this season, starting with an online scavenger hunt that resulted in the unlocking of the season-two key art. At SXSW in Austin, Texas, HBO mounted a full-size version of Sweetwater, including the Mariposa Saloon, for select SXSW attendees to experience. Later, the show invited fans to interact with a Facebook bot that grew increasingly unhinged as the series went on, much like many of the show’s hosts.
[Images courtesy of HBO/John P. Johnson]