My Experience With The Walking Dead Was Ruined By A Bug

Zombie adventure and critically-acclaimed GOTY candidate The Walking Dead has made waves all year for its top-notch writing and ability to make people feel feelings. One of the game's feelingest feelings, by all reports, comes during the last few minutes of Episode Five (out of five — the game is structured episodically).

Psyched to feel those feelings, I sat down this weekend with my iPad, ready to start the final episode of The Walking Dead. I had beaten Episode Four a couple days earlier, so I could import that file and carry over all the decisions I had made. My body, as the colloquialism goes, was ready.

This is when I realised that Episode Four was gone. It had deleted itself from my iPad.

I tried rebooting the game. No luck. I tried rebooting my iPad. That worked. The game re-appeared. But my save file had been totally screwed: when I tried picking up where I left off, I found that I had lost hours of progress.

In a narrative-heavy game like The Walking Dead, where your plot decisions carry over from episode to episode, this is a serious issue. Since the game thought I hadn't finished Episode Four, I had to start Episode Five with completely randomised decisions. (The other option would be replaying Episode Four, but life's too short.)

I finished the game, and it was great, and full of feelings, but the experience was ruined. This wasn't my Lee. He wasn't trying to protect my Clementine. They were total strangers, whose decisions had nothing to do with the ones I had made.

No wonder people want their money back. And this episode-erasing bug isn't even the worst of the ones that have been reported. It's a shame that such a great game can be marred by so many technical issues.

I've reached out to The Walking Dead developer Telltale Games a couple of times now about these bugs. No response yet. I'll continue to update you as we find out more.


    I would have just replayed it. Episode four was the best one. It sucks but if you're complaining about it ruining your experience it's your own fault. You probably realised this would happen.

    so its safe to say once again that the IOS version is not GOTY material. shame.

    Shame that the iOS versions of the games seem to be so buggy, I'd have thought the iPad would almost be the ideal platform for this kind of game.

    Cool story Hansel

    They managed to screw this up for the Steam version as well, for at least the last episode. Yes, I'm sure it didn't happen to everyone, and yes, it was able to be fixed manually by transferring saves around between the two separate folders they could be contained in but none of that explains or excuses how it got through to public release in the first place. Why even have a save storage folder in both the game directory and the Windows folder structure and arbitrarily change the default one?

      Really? I played the Windows/Steam version and had absolutely no issues, and I played the final episode as soon as it dropped so I doubt it was an issue that got patched in post-release.

      Maybe it was just random.

        It happened to a lot of people, and apparently not just for that ep. The game must scan both folders for the save details (why are there more than one?) and flip a coin on which to use...

          Seems to be the case. Unfortunate how this has the potential to ruin what is otherwise one of the better gaming experiences of the year.

    sooo play it through from the start again? i have for every eps release just to make sure i still have the story fresh in my mind, keeps you in that mindset.

    great game + small bug = replaying great game from start and enjoying it all over again.

    i dont see the issue, if " life's too short" to have another 2 hours of enjoyment, i think you rmissing out on what life is about mate.

    Unlucky. Played it all on one platform (Steam, PC) one episode after the after over a weekend and it was the best experience!

    Play it again Jason! :)

    Lifes to short to support devs that don't adequately test their products

    I had the same thing with mine (Steam).

    Played episode 1, when episode 2 was released it wouldn't load my save (even though it was still there) so I played ep1 again and then ep2.

    Exact same thing happens when episode 3 is released so I gave up on that game.

    Telltale games are almost always a little buggy, and I've never seen them respond to any criticism on the forums regarding the quality of their titles (though it's been a while since I looked).

    I wonder if it's to do with the pace they have to maintain in order to get the games out episodically. They're working on each new episode as they finish off/release the previous, so I guess they don't have a lot of time to go back and fix bugs. Even when a series is finished, there are always about 3 other games on the go that probably need staff.

    I'm just guessing, though. In general I haven't been thrilled with the overall quality of their games. They all have tonnes of potential, but questionable execution.

    Yeah, I lost my saves on 3 separate occasions. I the first second and third eps multiple times :(

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