RELEASE: 4/2012 (Episode 1) | DEVELOPER: TellTale Games | ESRB: M for Mature

Walking Dead The Game is the best point and click game I have ever played. As a fan of the comic book series and of the AMC TV show I felt duty-bound to play. However, I did have my reservations: I’m not super-into point and click style games and I’ve been burned by TellTale games before, see Jurassic Park or Back to the Future. This game has won tons of awards and has been reviewed by just about everyone but you came here for my two cents, so read on, in my spoiler free review below.


Shopping can be especially tough during a Zombie Outbreak

We’ve been over what a point and click adventure is before. To summarize, it’s the videogame equivalent to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Basically, you are presented with a series of multiple choice options and each answer will move the story along in a different direction. TellTale has improved on their point and click games with some serious updates. Multiple choice scenarios are now timed making your answers more instinctual rather than well thought out. Consequences are more severe in this game and sometimes very hard to deal with emotionally — unlike the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the past where you could simply keep your finger in place to skip back to the moment before your bad decision.

Walking Dead The Game is one of the first successful games sold in TellTale’s episodic fashion. Five episodes make up the complete game, which were originally sold separately and released months apart. Each episode lasts about 2-3 hours. This was an intriguing sales gamble, the primary risk being that gamers would not be interested in buying a partial game. Although, there was an option to “subscribe to the season” for a lower price. I believe their gamble paid off and having five separate release dates helped push awareness of the game and keep gamers talking about it. “What is going to happen next” tweets reminded me of old fashioned water cooler talk at the office.

Will these gentlemen be friends or foes?

 The art style is fairly loose, if such a description has ever been applied to a video game. The illustrated graphics, a bit jarring during the first couple of episodes, actually improves over the course of the episodes. The characters felt a bit bobble-heady to me at first, but as I got used to the art I barely even noticed that. By the final episode you will be so engrossed in the game you will literally forget how childish it looks when compared to the live action TV show. It’s a wonder though, why didn’t they go with Charlie Adlard’s already established look? I would have liked to see that.

Is this my Walking Dead? Fans of both the comics and the television show will enjoy this companion story. It fits neatly into either fiction by introducing (mostly) all new characters. I’m purposely avoiding talk about the story here. You play a survivor in the wake of the zombie outbreak. Your character has a back story, an attitude and ultimately a goal: to protect a young girl named Clementine. Clementine is smart, winsome, nine-year-old girl and the heart of the story.

It may not be my favorite game of the year but certainly deserving of many accolades. The compelling story will keep you playing. I imagine it will be the first platinum (100% completion) trophy for many casual players since simply completing the story will unlock it. It’s nice to step out of your comfort zone and try a different kind of game. Hopefully, trying something as simple as a point and click will inspire shooter and sports game aficionados to try some new games. Unlike those kinds of games, I don’t see a lot of replay value in Walking Dead The Game. Once your spoiled on the story it is spoiled, so be careful.


If you cry easily, bring some tissues

This is a great game for fans of the Walking Dead or any TellTale point and click games. Rarely has a game pulled off the “protect me” scenario but you’ll find that you feel sincerely compelled to protect Clementine. The game forces you to pick sides and choose favorites amongst the characters. It is clever how even the main menu in the game reflects this Television mentality with fast forward and rewind buttons. Each episode adds to an already dense serialized story but also leaves itself open for additional “seasons”.

Like I said in the beginning, Walking Dead The Game is certainly the best point and click game I have ever played. However, like all point and click games I’ve played I sometimes feel robbed of the action. With dramatic cutscenes that look like they might be more fun to play than watch or the nuisance of having turn over (figuratively) “every rock” to find the little piece of the puzzle to move forward, sometimes I just want to blast everything and move on. Available on most every platform, the first episode is even free on iOS. Obviously, the game is worth checking out.

B+
Nom nom nom for more