That's not to say that it was a cash-grab game and held no merit as a stand alone product, because it wasn't. By itself, it was a fantastic game, and critically one of the best for the entire year. But that's not to say that the built-in hype didn't help at all, because of course it did.
What's important to remember is that this wasn't Telltale Game's first rodeo. They have actually made a few point-and-click adventure games, all based on other, popular franchises. One of their games was Back to the Future: The Game, which I started playing tonight. While not nearly as good as The Walking Dead game, it's easy to draw comparisons and look back to see what went right and wrong back then, and how they seemed to take those lessons and apply them to zombie universe.
This adventure takes place after the events of the movie trilogy, making a new storyline for the popular franchise instead of going the easy route and just recreating the movie series. The voice acting is phenomenal, and the characters seem as lively and lovable as they did back in the day. One thing that is clear right off the bat is how dull and bland the backgrounds are. While the characters look great, they didn't put much time in creating a world that you feel completely immersed in. The writing is great, but the puzzles are very simple and less challenging than I hoped they would be.
And that's the story for this game. For everything it does great, it falls flat on another aspect of it.
Thankfully, they figured out this pattern when making The Walking Dead, because without the ability to forfeit pride for the sake of betterment of a project, success would never happen. So for everyone who absolutely loved The Walking Dead game, you should go back and play Back to the Future: The Game, and get a little perspective.