The Walking Dead: Season One

Common Sense Media says

Extremely violent, profanity-filled zombie adventure.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game is about survival, trust, friendship and, well, zombies. The violence, blood, and gore means the game doesn't have a very good positive message for players -- but there are some moral messages and ethical lessons that run throughout this game, too.

Positive role models

Gamers assume the role of university professor Lee Everett, convicted of killing a state senator who was sleeping with his wife. While a criminal, we learn about Everett's family business in Macon, Georgia, his love for his brother and friends, and how he helps to rescue and protect a young girl Clementine. Everett is a complicated character, who has demons, yes, but is also caring and protective.

Ease of play

The Walking Dead series is very easy to pick up and play -- if the PC version of the game is any indication. The keyboard and mouse is used to navigate the character, look at objects, and interact with people (including selecting a response from the dialogue trees).

Violence

The game is very violent. Players can kill zombies -- or those suspected of being zombies -- and the action is graphic, bloody, and gory. But the violence is mostly in the name of self-defense. Weapons, such as axes and guns, can be used to destroy the "walking dead," and they typically fall and die (er, again) in a large pool of blood on the ground. There are also scenes of innocent people getting killed by zombies, along with amputation and disembowelment.

Sex

There are some suggestive lines of dialogue in the game that refer to sex and rape, and one scene where characters are doing up their zippers and blouse, as if they just had sexual intercourse.

Language

The game has very strong profanity, including words like "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "damn," "hell," bitch," and "ass."

Consumerism

There are no tie-ins to the graphic novel or television show but it's based on the same fiction.

 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters can be seen drinking what looks like beer and there's one scene with someone holding a cigarette.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Walking Dead is not for young kids because of its mature and often scary scenes, intense violence and gore, strong profanity, and sexual references or imagery. Players can kill many different people in the game -- mostly the undead -- and decisions you make will result in innocent humans getting killed, too, including young children.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension
  • storytelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • self-reflection
  • work to achieve goals

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others

What Kids Can Learn

The Walking Dead - A TellTale Game Series wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension
  • storytelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • self-reflection
  • work to achieve goals

Responsibility & Ethics

  • respect for others

The Walking Dead - A TellTale Game Series wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Based on Robert Kirkman's best-selling comic book and television franchise, THE WALKING DEAD is a 5-part adventure game series that introduces Lee Everett, a man convicted of a serious crime. While in the back of a police cruiser at the beginning of the first episode, you start to notice strange things happening outside your window in Georgia, such as speeding police cars with sirens wailing. Before you know it, the cruiser slams into someone (er, or something) and rolls into a ditch. After you find a way out of the vehicle you realize what’s happening around you might be a fate far worse than prison. As Everett, you’re left to fend for yourself in a world ravaged by the undead. Without giving too much away, Everett might also find some redemption in protecting an orphaned 6 year-old girl. And no, you don’t need to know anything about the existing Walking Dead fiction in order to enjoy this interactive, yet mature tale.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For mature gamers, Telltale Games' award-winning episodic series is exhilarating, terrifying, and intelligent. The Walking Dead fuses a number of gameplay elements: exploration, puzzle solving, action sequences, and plenty of dialogue. But be aware this isn’t a zombie shooter like the Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead series -- it’s an adventure game with a few quick-action moments. While interacting with characters, you’ll have a few seconds to select a specific response from a list of options. By choosing an answer (or question), and your desired tone, the information or action it triggers will vary. For example, if you’re kind to someone they might just help you later on, or if you decide to flee a scene at night versus the day, something new might be lurking around the corner. Plus, you’ll occasionally be forced to make a very tough decision, such as being able to only help one person from flesh-eating zombies -- even though two need your help at the same time.

In addition to the fantastic premise, there plenty of emotional moments, and you’ll no doubt grow attached to the characters. But yes, it’s a horror game, too – therefore you can also expect a few jump-out-of-your-seat moments, along with plenty of bloody and gory scenes which are not for the faint of heart. Visually speaking, the “cel-shaded” game employs a charming art style that looks like it’s a black-and-white movie that’s been colorized; the artwork was inspired by the original comic books, says Telltale Games. It would also be remiss not to mention the excellent voice acting, sound effects, and music that all help contribute to the chilling atmosphere. Aside from a few small issues –- audio that doesn’t always match the character’s lips (which breaks the immersion) and a technical bug or two -- The Walking Dead series is an engrossing, attractive, and very rewarding interactive adventure.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difficult decisions the gamer has to make while playing The Walking Dead. If you're rationing food, how do you decide which survivor gets to eat? Do you save a young boy or an adult who may be more useful to the band of survivors? Should you let someone fend for themselves against zombies or let them into your group -- even though there are limited resources for everyone?

  • Families can also discuss the impact of violence in media.

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$24.99 (PC) or $29.99 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Telltale Games
Release date:December 13, 2012
Genre:Adventure
Topics:Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Strong Language, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of The Walking Dead: Season One was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byBooknerd101 December 19, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Wow

Ok. This game is amazing!!!! Deep and just like the show. But all similarities end there. It is a game, so it doesn't have to follow prime-time TV rules. More violent, more cursing, stuff like that. but don't let the turn you from this game! THE STORY CHANGES BASED ON YOUR ACTIONS.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byConor Coyle December 20, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

An Absolutely Brilliant! Zombie Game of 2012!!!!!!!!

Fair learning is how to shoot zombies, if the world is overrun. This is the best zombie game of 2012!!! There's lots of jump-out-of-your-seat moments. The choices are very exciting and the storyline gets better episode after episode. Every episode and moment is unmissable, and the last episode is the most unforgettable, emotional, shocking and thrilling episode out of them all!!!!!! Play it NOW!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait for season 2 of the game, episodes 6-10 (no release date yet, just the year 2013.)

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byd.miller January 17, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

A must buy for all mature enough to play

Off the bat, The Walking Dead is a phenomenal game and should be enjoyed by anyone that is a part of the medium. The story is expertly written with moments of both joy and heart wrenching despair. However, this is not a game intended for children. Violence, for instance, while being rare (the main focus of the game is delivering narrative) can become quite graphic and brutal, even for seasoned veterans of violent games, there are many occasions where the characters use strong amounts of profanity (f-bombs do come up), there are a few minor occasions of drinking and one instance where a character is drunk, and some small and minor sexual references. However, the main character Lee is a very positive role model. He is a convicted murder, but don't let that throw you off. He readily admits that what he did was wrong and redeems himself by becoming the vigilant protector of his group and often puts himself in harms way to protect the ones he loves. All in all it is a fantastic game and if you feel your child is mature enough to handle it than it is a must buy game.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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