The Escapists: The Walking Dead’s title says it all: it is The Escapists’ prison-escape simulator mechanics, crossed with the undead world of The Walking Dead.
The best of both worlds
The Escapists is a popular PC game that invites you escape from prison. It’s a premise that fits perfectly with The Walking Dead with just one small change: you don’t have to get out, but stop the zombies getting in.
In The Escapists: The Walking Dead you play as Rick, the star of the comic and TV show, with the mission of leading a group of survivors through the zombie apocalypse. You live through the most iconic moments of the saga, including the Meriwether County Correctional Facility.
In each location you need to perform daily tasks to keep up the morale of your group and take advantage of your free time to find or items that increase your base’s defense. You also have to keep any eye out for security breaches or zombie invaders, or you soon find your plans ruined and the camp overrun by undead.
The worst of both worlds
However, The Escapists: The Walking Dead is not as good as the original The Escapists. The Walking Dead is shorter, has too many breaks in the action, daily tasks are boring, and the systems of The Escapists don’t always sit well with the new mechanics.
The worst change is the daily task element. I understand a need to clean my pants in prison. But why should I clean my underwear in The Escapists: The Walking Dead? It would be more fun, and narratively consistent, to have to leave my base to hunt animals for food.
It fails to live up to the originals
Because of these drawbacks, The Escapists: The Walking Dead sits as a mundane reinvention of excellent game. Its premise is fun, but I hoped the developer would have been happier to break a few more of The Escapists rules to further leverage the idiosyncrasies of The Walking Dead.