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Creator / Telltale Games

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The paths may diverge, but they will end up at the same place.
Alfred Pennyworth, Batman: The Telltale Series
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Based in San Rafael, California and specializing in licensed, episodic adventure games, Telltale Games was formed in 2004 by disgruntled LucasArts workers when Sam & Max: Freelance Police was canceled.

They often released all sorts of machinimas and mockumentaries in between games to appeal to the fans. The interpretation of Hell seen in Sam And Max was very clearly modeled on their own office. They even published a complete Sam And Max comics treasury (the first in 12 years), Surfin' the Highway, and commissioned a new comic from Steve Purcell.

On September 21, 2018, it was revealed that Telltale Games had undergone a major downsizing, reducing their numbers to a skeleton crew of 25 working on a Minecraft project for Netflix, resulting in the cancellation of all their announced upcoming projects, and with The Walking Dead's final season being finished by Skybound Entertainment, Robert Kirkman's production company. By November, however, the remaining Telltale staff were let go, and Telltale entered into assignment proceedings to liquidate all of its assets to creditors, effectively dissolving the entire studio. As a result of the proceedings, some of Telltale's games were pulled from online services such as Steam.

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Games and game series by Telltale Games include:


This article adapts to the changes you make. The trope list is tailored by how you edit.

  • Author Catchphrase: Starting with The Walking Dead, two messages are prevalent in their choice-and-consequence games: The first thing you usually see at the beginning is "This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play," and during gameplay, "X will remember that" usually pops up after major dialogue decisions.
  • Book-Ends: The Walking Dead was the game that eventually put them on the map as a major game developer. It was also the last major game they would work on before closing down.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The first season of "The Walking Dead" is Telltales' most successful game and since then, reviews for their other games hasn't been high as "The Walking Dead".
  • Darker and Edgier: The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones were much darker than their previous output.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Or Middle Installment Weirdness, if you will. Telltale already had a lengthy list of works to their credit when Jurassic Park: The Game was released, but JP was just before the company grew the beard with The Walking Dead. As a result, Jurassic Park carries the scarier tone and stiffer QTE consequences of their later material, but lacks their now-iconic use of decisions, typical cel-shaded art style, and any of their rather large Production Posse.
  • Expanded Universe: Most of their games are sequels or parts of a greater whole to the original work in some way.
  • Lighter and Softer: Tales from the Borderlands and Minecraft: Story Mode have a zanier and more comedic tone than their predecessors.
  • Morton's Fork: Telltale's games result in this rather often, despite the emphasis on player choice. Can lead to some frustration, because players may feel that, as either choice leads to the same ending, what they choose doesn't matter.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: They try their hardest to consistently avoid the reputation most licensed games have. If there's any company you'd want to make a game of your favorite movie or show, Telltale Games has the best track record for making games that fans enjoy.
    • This is, incidentally, what earned them the license for the Game Of Thrones title. After getting burned by the opposite trope a few times, George R. R. Martin raised his standards far more.
  • Obvious Beta: Many of their games have lots of Game Breaking Bugs. It makes you wonder if they even test their games before releasing them.
    • One infamous example is in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. In the Wii port of Homestar Ruiner, if the Wii is set to widescreen mode, and if the player talks to Coach Z in Extended Play, the game will freeze.
    • Wii ports of Sam & Max: Freelance Police tend to have the cursor permanently stuck in the lower right corner of the screen, among many other bugs.
    • Multiple times, episodes of their more recent games would have bugs such as lag, audio suddenly dropping out, character models not loading in, and more.
    • The Wolf Among Us also infamously has a bug that turns text options into "This choice is blank!".
  • Revisiting the Roots: They've experimented with much more dramatic or dynamic story-telling for quite a while, and state that they intend for Poker Night 2 (featuring Ash Williams, Brock Samson, Claptrap, and Sam as players, while GLaDOS deals.) to be much more humorous.
    Dan Connors: It's great to revisit our roots after the success of The Walking Dead. People might not know that we have a strong history of humor in our games and players are going to find a lot of laughs in Poker Night 2, Poker Night 2 is another example of our ability to work with phenomenal partners and bring great characters to life in the gaming universe.
  • Running Gag: The drink Banang has popped up in some form or another throughout their games.
  • Sadistic Choice: They love this trope. Everytime there’s a point-and-click game, this trope is inevitably played straight and at times, exaggerated.
  • Wham Episode: They have a penchant for this, with quite possibly their best examples being Sam and Max: Season 3, Episode 5, Back to the Future Episode 3, and Tales of Monkey Island Episode 4. Their more recent games (The Walking Dead, Telltale's Game of Thrones, The Wolf Among Us), tend to take this to a whole new level, with every episode being a huge Wham Episode.

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