The Escapists The Walking Dead Infects The 8-Bit Indie Hit With The Zombie Plague

Oh the humanity, is there anything the zombie hordes won’t consume? Let’s hope not, because the newest Walking Dead indie collaboration with Team17 sounds like my kind of apocalypse. The Escapists is an indie title I never reviewed for DreadCentral, as apparently the metal degradation and physical abuse inflicted upon people being treated like caged animals isn’t “real horror”. That, and The Escapists was a cartoony 8-bit rpg that treated murder and smuggling contraband like fun little side quests in the greater stats grind. It was an incredibly well received game that I personally enjoyed for a few hours before I realized it was way too much work for a game I wasn’t being paid to review. If only it had zombies, I could pull a Goat Simulator and figure out a way to get paid for it. Well look at that, a press release from Team17! I wonder what it says…

From the Official Press Release:

“Team17 have today unveiled that they are developing and publishing The Escapists The Walking Dead, a new game in collaboration with Skybound Entertainment.

Merging the award-winning, smash-hit, indie game The Escapists with the worldwide phenomenon that is The Walking Dead, Team17 have taken the very best of both worlds and are now providing players with the opportunity to play Rick Grimes as he takes on hordes of zombies let loose upon the world.

In this unique game, recreated entirely in the charming 8-bit pixel art style of The Escapists, Rick is in charge of a band of survivors featuring many of the original comic book cast. He must secure the safety of the group by seeking out a safe escape route from each area, and manage several dangerous tasks to keep as many of the group alive as possible. The game faithfully matches the timeline of the comics. As the player progresses through the game, they play through locations that mirror those in the award-winning comic’s epic story.

Daniel Murray, President at Skybound Entertainment, said, “Team17 presented a creative plan to blend The Walking Dead into The Escapists, and our response was simple. When do we get started? The Escapists is a charming example of a single creator’s vision come to life. We are excited to offer fans of The Walking Dead something different, and The Escapists The Walking Dead is just that: a playful interpretation that we believe fans of great games in general will love.”

Debbie Bestwick, Team17’s Managing Director, added, “With well over 600,000 units sold, the award-winning The Escapists is one of the hit indie titles of 2015. Masterminding your escape from prison is hard enough, but how can we make it harder? Zombies. Remember poor Rick Grimes trying to escape hospital, organise life at a farm, or hold up in an abandoned prison? A little bit of awesome 8-bit pixel love later, and BOOM! It is great to partner with Skybound and The Walking Dead, and we are really excited to ‘escapify’ the amazing, rich, and sinister world of Robert Kirkman.”

Team17 will be globally debuting the game at the Walker Stalker Fan Fest in Petco Park, San Diego, California during the 10th and 11th July.

Attendees, roamers and fans will be able to get exclusive first hands-on playable with Rick Grimes in the Harrison Memorial Hospital level.

The Escapists The Walking Dead is scheduled for a 2015 release on Xbox One and PC.”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the title, crafting, item management, time management, and stats grind/management all come together to make a fun and challenging light-hearted RPG. While I’m sure The Walking Dead twist will make it bloodier and with more combat, don’t expect this to be a dark and gritty endeavor like Telltale’s adventure take. The mechanics offer really great groundwork for a thoughtful zombie survival game, something The Walking Dead is practically eponymous for. If you are going to the pre-Comic Con Walker Stalker Fan Fest at Petco Park (and who isn’t), be sure to stop by the Team17 station and get some hands on time.


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Ted Hentschke