Episode 1 of Walking Dead: The Game hits the nail on the head

by Andrew Koziara

Within the last couple years, the comic book sensation, The Walking Dead, suddenly gained tons of momentum, spawning the awesome television adaptation on AMC and getting a point-and-click adventure game made in the process. This is Walking Dead: The Game, the first episode of five from Telltale Games and SkyBound. It sticks closer to the comic book roots with a highly unique visual style and a focus on choices and their consequences. This is also one of the better zombie games to come out in a while.

You play as a man convicted of a murder named Lee. The precise details of your murder are intentionally vague, letting the player fill in some of his character on their own. While he does have a personality, he's really more of a cipher for the player as you interact with people through the story. Will you be honest or lie? Kind or abrasive? Selfish or self sacrificing? The choices are yours, and often even the smallest dialogue choices can have fairly unexpected effects. The writing is top notch, and stays in the spirit of the comic's writer, Robert Kirkman.

Telltale has also brought us solid point-and-click adventures like the Sam & Max series or Tales of Monkey Island, but while those games are focused more on puzzle solving, The Walking Dead is understandably more concerned with character relationships and action, often throwing you into pulse-pounding quick time event sequences out of the blue. It definitely helps us feel like we live in a dangerous and chaotic world, and was quite effective. On that point, the touch controls implemented in this port are great. You simply tap and drag Lee around the screen to move around. It's different and takes some getting used to, but works fairly well.

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As I said, the visuals are quite unique as they try to match the source material. The sound is pretty great too, although not perfect. Telltale games tend to have problems with lip syncing and such, but it's a minor flaw. If you want even better controls with high fidelity graphics and sound, the console or PC version is the way to go. They really are the superior versions, but this port still stand as a great adventure game regardless. Wherever you decide to play this game, just make sure you do, though be warned: The game is quite gory and filled with adult language. Check it out!