The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection Game Poster Image
Dark, intensely violent, morally ambiguous zombie series.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Explores moral gray areas, no-win situations, forcing players to make hard choices with no right answer -- such as choosing who lives, who dies -- knowing they must live with consequences. Themes include friendship, family, trust, survival.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No set behaviors. Players control how their characters act, choosing whether to be mean or nice to others, help them or ignore them, sometimes even to save or not save them.

Ease of Play

Pretty straightforward. Players follow on-screen button cues in action sequences, select responses in dialogue, do a bit of simple exploration. Death simply results in game reloading most recent event so you can try again.

Violence

Intense, visceral combat against zombies includes shooting, stabbing, bludgeoning, with blood, gore, dismemberment. Zombies are often missing body parts, entrails hang from midsections, dark red gushes from wounds. Also depicts people torturing, killing living humans with guns, melee weapons, other objects.

Sex

No sexual encounters shown, but dialogue occasionally references sex that may have taken place offscreen.

Language

Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole."

Consumerism

Spin-off of popular Walking Dead comics, which have generated TV shows, toys, promotional paraphernalia.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Scenes depict smoking, drinking among adults, with players given choice to allow a minor to try both.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series Collection is an anthology of previously released episodes in Telltale Games' Walking Dead adventure game series. These games put players in control of characters living through a zombie apocalypse. They must defend themselves against the living dead with guns, knives, and blunt objects employed as bludgeons. Combat is often gory, with heads smashed in, limbs chopped off, and bodies torn apart, often with lots of blood splashing and pooling on the ground. Players also see humans fighting, torturing, and killing each other, with villains sometimes clearly enjoying the violence. Players step into a number of characters through the series, controlling their behavior by choosing actions and responses in dialogue, which means they can come off as kind and helpful, mean and selfish, or a mix of good and bad qualities. The narrative explores situations in which there's often no right answer, but rather only moral gray zones in which the player is forced to choose who lives and who dies, who to help and who to abandon, and must be prepared to live with the consequences. Parents should also note that the series contains plenty of strong profanity, drinking and smoking, and occasional references to sex.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTroy D February 12, 2018

Amazing Life Story

I could talk about this game for hours, so I shall try to keep it short. This is a story based game, with the gameplay being split between making choices in di... Continue reading
Adult Written byKei T. January 19, 2018

Great game! But scary-ish

I put 14+ but I wouldn't really care if a child younger than that played this game. It's a great game that is mostly story-driven. A bit puzzle-ish. H... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byDJGamingSmash January 7, 2018

The Walking Dead Seasons 1 & 2 are masterpieces... but...

Michonne and Season 3 had no impact over me. Expect violence and language, but the first two seasons are so worth price of admission if you haven't played... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGeckobot December 17, 2017

People worry to much

"Oh no wittle Timmy is going to be bad cause he plays things like these" grow up

What's it about?

THE WALKING DEAD: A TELLTALE SERIES COLLECTION anthologizes the first three seasons (plus bonus content and mini-series) of the adventure game series based on the popular zombie comic book written by Robert Kirkman, allowing players to experience every episode back-to-back from within a streamlined hub. It also features visual enhancements designed to bring earlier seasons into alignment with later episodes by tweaking character and object models, textures, and lighting effects. But the narrative -- and the choices players can make within it -- remains unchanged. Players take control of several different characters throughout the three seasons and mini-series, from Clementine -- a charming kid forced to grow up in a hurry to survive in a zombie wasteland -- to Michonne, one of the most popular characters from both the books and companion TV show. There's a good deal of gruesome zombie action that requires players to tap buttons on command to attack and defend themselves, but the bulk of the experience involves listening to non-player characters talk and then deciding how your character ought to respond or act. These choices can drastically change events within the game, affecting not just whether others like or trust your character, but even whether they live or die. As in the books, the drama and intensity stem more from interactions with other humans than from the constant threat of the raised dead.

Is it any good?

This collection of action games features play that appeals from chapter to chapter to the mature players who loves this franchise's brutal and morally ambiguous content. And since The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series Collection simply puts all existing seasons together while spiffing up the earlier episodes' graphics to take advantage of modern hardware, little has changed. These are still good games -- especially the emotionally charged first-season, which is likely to leave players both new and returning players struggling to hold back sobs. They've helped establish games as a medium in which storytelling and characters matter, and have convinced many that interactive entertainment can go beyond winning and losing to become true art that digs into the human experience. Later seasons don't quite manage to match the intensity of the first series of five episodes, but they still provide reason for players to care about and remain invested in several characters, particularly young Clementine, who's had to grow up in a world of living dead.

So, folks who've never played these games before are in for a treat. But should existing fans pay again to play the same games? While side-by-side video comparisons nicely illustrate the visual upgrades given to the first couple of seasons, it's unlikely most people will really notice them while playing. And while it's handy to have all episodes contained and easily accessible within a single hub menu, that's not really a reason to spend a second time. Maybe the best reason to play again is simply to see how the series has evolved over the years, becoming more streamlined and intuitive in its world interactions, with less focus on finding items and figuring out little contextual puzzles, and more on characters and world-building. But you can experience this by simply playing the seasons you already own. So, while The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series Collection earns an enthusiastic thumb up for anyone yet to play, those who've already experienced this terrific adventure game series can save their money for the soon-to-be-released fourth and final season.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in the media. The Walking Dead's intense violence is often meant to stir an emotional reaction, but could the game achieve a similar audience response without resorting to blood and gore?

  • Talk about morality. How do you go about resolving a moral dilemma without an easy or obviously "right" course of action?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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