A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The Walking Dead - A TellTale Game Series wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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The game has very strong profanity, including words like "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "damn," "hell," bitch," and "ass."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.