The "explore" parts are really just "find the thing that triggers the next scene".
You say "choose what to answer" and I call it "choose your own adventure book".
The puzzles aren't actual puzzles.
I don't know what you mean by minigames, but if you are talking about shooting zombies and stuff it's barely gameplay. That's more like a quick time event with aiming.
I just don't consider it a full video game. It's almost a video game, but not quite.
^ So you're saying that Professor Layton isn't a videogame either?
It's a puzzle game with real puzzles. The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain are a new genre of interactive media that I believe is different from video games.
No, it's an interactive digital media. You see, the exploring is just "find the right thing or place to trigger the next scene", you don't get to choice anything, the thing is totally linear (So it's not even a choose your own adventure book) and the puzzles are not interactive, you just answer them and keep going.
That's what I can make from you. Of course I respect your point of view, don't take me wrong. But I fail to see your point.
It's a puzzle game. It doesn't need exploration or choices because it's a collection of puzzles. Puzzle games are an established genre of videog ames, just like point and click adventure games. But Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead are even less video game like than point and click adventures.
I'm not trying to convince you to agree with me. I'm just explaining why I feel that The Walking Dead, while a great experience, has less in common with video games than it does with movies and books. Choice is the only interactive part of the game that matters. Without the choices it could have been an animated movie.