Walking Dead: The Game ($4.99) by Telltale Inc is the iOS port of the critically acclaimed PC and console game that was recently announced. If you're a fan of The Walking Dead, then this game is simply a must-have for your iPhone or iPad.
Now, unlike other zombie games, Walking Dead is not just another apocalyptic shooter game, where you just face off against endless hordes of undead. Yes, there will be zombies, but the game will focuses more on the dark psychological side of the zombie catastrophe. Like the popular television show and comics, there is more to fear when society breaks down than just the living dead.
The game starts out with a new character named Lee Everett, who was supposed to be going to prison when he miraculously is given a second chance, although it’s during what could be the end of the world. He will find an orphaned girl named Clementine, and vows to protect her after finding out what happened to her parents. The game features a lot of narration, but it’s important to pay attention to the story because you are expected to make choices in a brief period of time (like a few seconds).
While there are some games out there that offer players different scenarios, sometimes it doesn’t really change up the game at all since there are no consequences to your actions. That’s different with Walking Dead — every choice you make will affect the game in some way. Some choices will allow you to see the repercussions right away, while others will take a while before they make a difference. When one of your answers has a long-term effect, you will see an indicator on the screen. This means that the game will be different for each person, which is pretty amazing.
When there is an arrow indicator in the top left corner during narration parts, that means that you can look around the environment that you are currently in. To move the camera, just swipe around. Sometimes, it felt a bit slow to move, and the direction didn’t feel natural to the direction I was swiping. It could be something that I just need to get used to, but it kind of irked me during my play, especially when I was trying to get a shotgun before I was about to be eaten by a zombie in the beginning.
When you are allowed to freely roam around the area, Lee will move according to how you touch the screen. If you drag left or right, he will move horizontally; if you drag up and down, he will move toward or away from you. It’s pretty intuitive and works well for the touch screen.
Since this game isn’t all about mindless shooting, there are a lot of interactive elements to the game. Anything on the screen that Lee can interact with will be indicated with a translucent white circle. Tap on the circle to examine the item. Some items will need more than one look through, so you can keep investigating an item until there is nothing new about it. Other times, appraising an element will bring up the option to just scrutinize it or you can actually use it or talk to a person.
There will be times when you need to fend off zombies, but the combat is pretty easy — just tap on the dot on the undead to attack them. Occasionally, you’ll have to swipe in the direction shown on the screen. Sometimes you will use a gun, other times you will probably just bash their head in with whatever you have.
Don’t worry about saving — the game will save your progress automatically. However, there isn’t a way to manually save, so if you can’t continue playing the game at the moment, you will have to lose any progress you’ve made since the last checkpoint. There isn’t a way to check when the game has been saved, either, so I’ll just assume that it was the last major “scene.”
There are no achievements to earn or leaderboards in this game — it’s all about the experience of The Walking Dead. You’ll even find some familiar characters. Visuals in the game are simply fantastic, as I’d expect nothing less from Telltale. The music and sound is also very well done, and best experienced through headphones — it’s so good, some parts even made me jump.
Since this is only Episode One of a five-part series, you can expect the game to be updated with episodes 2–5 available as separate in-app purchases. If you’d rather save yourself the trouble, you can preorder the remaining four episodes in a bundle for only $14.99. Given how good the game already is, I’m sure that the other episodes will be worth the price.
As I’ve said in the beginning, if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, go grab this game now.