Last December, when Telltale Games released the first episode in the second season of their adventure game serial The Walking Dead, I wrote,
For the cost of a Starbucks latte and roughly 1/100th the cost of a PlayStation 4, you can buy a new game so good, so confident, so polished and so worthy it renders the idea of spending hundreds of dollars of your money on either of the new consoles almost, well, ridiculous. Whoever you are, you likely already own the device you need to play it and the skills you need to enjoy it. The only other thing you need, if you don't already love games, is an open mind... This is the real deal: a game for adults, not gamers, a game to share, a game to evangelize about, a game to cherish.
This week, Telltale published the second episode of the season to the full complement of mobile and immobile devices, and everything I wrote last year holds true. I mean, it's even more true, if that can be a thing. In this 2.5 hour game, there is more heart-in-mouth, scrotumtightening suspense than the entire 51-hour run of the AMC show of the same name.
Earlier this week, Anne Helen Petersen wrote a great little piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books about House of Cards. Her point was basically that the Netflix drama is not a brilliant show, but a mediocre soap designated and received as "prestige" because of its production values. She wrote,
Over the last ten years, we've come to equate a certain aesthetic sophistication and narrative style with "quality," and the hoopla over House of Cards is but the latest, and most amplified, example of this trend.
You could basically say the same thing about the AMC Walking Dead. The Telltale Walking Dead is the opposite of that: A modest production of such shining quality that it transcends its humble format and price. If there was any justice, all the zombies watching the show would be forced to play the game.
Hey, you! I see you on the train, on the street, in the grocery store: I know you have an iPhone. Jesus, would you do yourself a favor and play it already?
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
Contact Joseph Bernstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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