Genre: Interactive adventure, zombies, point and click, babysitting
Release Date: 2012-2013
Developer / Publisher: Telltale Games
Every generation seems to have a recurring fondness for zombies and a concern for the end of the world. The Walking Dead is based on the long running comic book series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. The story takes place in Georgia, soon after a mysterious outbreak of rapid zombification of the population. Lee, a history professor, is tasked with caring and protecting a little girl named Clementine whose parents went away for a weekend. Together with an ensemble cast of average Americans, they must run to survive the dreaded “walkers”.
Playability: Painfully stressful reading
The Walking Dead is a smooth play through a stressful, frantic and violent storyline. The game essentially focuses on character and plot development, with only the occasional quick time event (e.g. frenzied repetitive keyboard input) and the obvious puzzle solutions (e.g. move desk to open obstructed door). The Walking Dead is child’s play from a technical perspective but it can be an emotionally stressful and taxing experience.
Annoyance: Babysitting through zombie apocalypse
If you are a parent, you have confronted the challenges of bringing up children, of trying as hard as you can to be good parents in this crazy world of wars, sectarian violence, economic meltdown and environmental degradation. Imagine taking care of a little girl through zombie apocalypse… When the curtain falls on the Walking Dead (it doesn’t look like it ever will), you’ll be glad you’ve survived (or not) the ordeal.
Beauty: Brains and guts
As you can imagine, there is not much loveliness in flesh eating zombies, blowing up zombies (in self defence), hammering zombies’ brains out and generally getting rid of zombies in the most stupefying ways. The Walking Dead’s animated comic style saunters along rather smoothly (or when appropriate rather woodenly). Atmospheric music, punctuated by noise effects that would make a zombie elephant jump, combine with convincing voice acting to make a video gamer’s hands quickly sweat.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: A harrowing tale of survival 7/10
The Walking Dead treads the well worn highways of the breakdown of human society through a global outbreak of zombies overwhelming and engulfing civilisation as we know it. Babysitting a little girl through this end of the world adds an original twist to the predictable ordeal. The Walking Dead is the game to play if you are into zombie culture, zombification of popular culture and brain eating zombies. Those who don’t care much for zombsploitation may nevertheless appreciate the varnish and technical qualities of the game which include appropriate wooden animations of zombies and body parts biting voice acting.