The latest episode of The Walking Dead: The Game is here, continuing the post-apocalyptic adventures of Lee Everett and his crew of survivors. Does this installment bring the thrills and chills the series is known for, or does it fail to infect us with its charms?

When we last left Lee, the group had suffered some terrible losses that tested everyone's resolve, as well as their mental and emotional fortitude. It seems like with each episode, the group from Macon is hammered by horror and misfortune, barely making it out of situations unscathed. Despite the setbacks, they found they had a bit of good luck left when they came across an abandoned train

After a bit of maintenance, Lee and the gang managed to get the train moving towards Savannah, Georgia with two new members in tow. More importantly, Lee taught Clementine how to defend herself with a firearm and formed a plan for when they arrived at their destination. Now in the city, Lee discovers that they're being stalked by the living, rather than the dead, and that things in Savannah weren't as good as they were hoping.

There were a few more action-oriented scenes in this installment that helped cut up some of the drudgery. Lee seems to have been getting attacked more this time around, by both those with and without pulses. In order to fend off Lee's assailants, you have to be very quick and tap the contextual action buttons. Most of the time, you can guess where you'll have to tap and can just keep jabbing your finger at the screen until the sequence is over. You'll also have more opportunities to shoot things from a first-person perspective, but it still feels wonky to control on a touchscreen. There are more instances of adventure-game exploration too, adding to the considerable amount of downtime in this episode.
You'll find Lee stuck in large environments, able to explore many nooks and crannies while he tries to complete an objective. The only downside is that a lot of this exploration isn't very rewarding. There were times when I thought I was close to uncovering some kind of secret about one of the new characters, only to be guided to another conclusion by the story.
The direction of the story led me to believe the denouement would be this amazingly exciting showdown, yet it wasn't as explosive a climax as I was hoping. Not to say it was a bad turn of events, but none of the third act lived up to my expectations and very few story arcs were concluded. I found myself left very wanting. At the very least, I expected to find out who the mysterious voice on the walkie-talkie was and what he wanted with Clementine.

Even with the filler content, Around Every Corner is every bit as good as the other episodes. The only difference is that this episode feels more padded than the rest. It fortunately didn't have any of the syncing and stuttering problems that marred Episode 3, but suffers from some bloated chapters that feel like glorified fetch quests.

The biggest disappointment might be the very limited interactions with some new, interesting characters who don't receive a chance to be fleshed out. This makes them feel like throwaways rather than real people with whom Lee can build relationships. And it's a shame, because Lee's interactions with others is one of the most emotionally-engaging parts of the series. But the ride is still incredibly fun and the cliffhanger at the end of the episode will have you begging Telltale Games to release Episode 5 soon, some time before the apocalypse. Let's just pray that the wait was worth it.


App Store Link: The Walking Dead: The Game for iPhone & iPad | By Telltale Games | Price: $4.99 | Version: 1.1 | 331 MB | Rating 12+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating