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Telltale's take on The Walking Dead was always good in spite of its zombies, not because of them. Early in its first season we're given a none-too-subtle parable about how man is the real monster, a shrug-worthy observation that gets repeated umpteen times throughout the ongoing franchise. The titular walkers stopped being interesting ages ago: their purpose laid bare as a malleable plot device that could force our would be heroes into various uncompromising situations. With the gears of such a lazy, clichéd threat so readily transparent, it's a testament to Telltale that the developer manages to keep its human drama captivating among its resilient, war-torn leads.
SPOILER WARNING: Be warned - this week's soapbox contains spoilers for the ending of Walking Dead, so please don't read on unless you've played through Telltale's game in its entirety, or unless you really, really want the whole thing RUINED for yourself.
Every year or so a game comes along that makes me recalibrate my notion of how the medium can tell stories. Uncharted 2 proved to me that the traditional model of cut-scene-gameplay-cut-scene actually can work if both parts are expertly crafted and don't outstay their welcome; Demon's and Dark Souls proved to me that a cohesive, yet mystifying world can work as well as any conventional plot' and The Walking Dead proves to me that the choose-your-own-adventure-movie format can actually work for a full-length game.