October 23, 2015

The Escapists: The Walking Dead Review

The Escapists: The Walking Dead brings the brilliant story of The Walking Dead to life in an 8-bit stylised puzzle game. With brilliant visuals and a storyline the mirrors the television show, it is a game that will get you hooked straight away.

In the first level you awake with a gunshot wound as the lead character, Rick Grimes. The scene opens in the Harrison Memorial Hospital where you quickly get introduced with the tutorial function of the game. You are lead around the halls with simple instructions, and having not played other Escapist games it was very easy to learn the dynamics of the game. You quickly learn that you need to avoid large hordes of zombies rather than sticking around and fighting. It can be very troublesome standing and fighting when you’ve only got a bar of soap in a sock to defend yourself with.

After finishing the tutorial level you move on to Greene Family Farm which is where you begin to expand on your skills and learn the important mechanics of the game and how to avoid the ravaging flesh eating undead. 

As the game progresses you encounter the daily tasks you need to complete when living in a communal environment with other members of your team. The morning and evening tasks of head count, meals and chores add to the experience of the game and remind you that the rituals are important. Sometimes cleaning the dirty laundry and cleaning up really add to the morale of your surviving members. Skipping these tasks once in a while isn’t majorly impacting but when you avoid them often, your “zombie percentage” increases and leads to your company not being as productive as you really need them to be. The more you interact and complete your daily tasks, your team members will do considerably better at helping you discover more loot, unlock important items and find the all important crafting scrolls.

Crafting plays a large role in the game and without finding the right recipes it can be challenging to figure out which items can be crafted into weapons or other important surival packs. But the gameplay is quite clunky when trying to attack your enemies. The game really encourages your to build your speed and agility rather than standing toe to toe with a group of super bitey undead. You can build your defence by increasing your speed by jumping on the treadmil or using some of the other tools in the environment that can assist.

The main allure that kept me playing was the charm. This was not only in the adorable visually appealling pixel art, but also in the music. I felt incredibly nostalgic and reminisced of the old Game Boy days. This game sent me straight back to my youth and I thouroughly enjoyed playing this.

The Escapists: The Walking Dead overall was a great and stimulating game. In some parts it felt like there could be some more evolution, for example on the attack mechanics. Some exercises felt menial but were essential to the gameplay. Being an avid collector of the comics it was great to roam around and open backpacks which had the issues of the book hidden inside. With 5 levels taken from the comic story; Harrison Memorial Hospital, Greene Family Farm, Meriwether Correctional Facility, Woodbury and Alexandria this installment offers a great deal of fun and enjoyment and the puzzles will test your patience.

Thanks to Team 17 for supplying the game for review

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