You’ve already played The Walking Dead, right? You read our reviews of the episodic title’s five entries or our overall review and decided that the game’s $5 per episode asking price was perfectly reasonable, no? Or maybe you saw our Best Games of the Year list that named Telltale’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic series as the best title of 2012. Surely that would have convinced you to rush out and buy it.

Why are you looking so glum? You haven’t played The Walking Dead? Seriously? Well, we won’t fault you for not paying attention, but now you have no excuse. Last week Telltale made the first episode of The Walking Dead available for free on iOS, and this week the company has announced a similar plan to offer Episode 1 to all Xbox 360 owners via the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Have a look at what appeared on the official Telltale Twitter account last night:

FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME @telltalegames #TheWalkingDead Ep 1 FREE on @Xbox LIVE Marketplace!

The best part? There’s no loopholes and no hurdles to jump over to pick up the first episode. Simply fire up the Xbox Live Marketplace, bring up The Walking Dead, and download the initial entry totally gratis. The one caveat is that this deal is only good until midnight on December 31, so you’ve got about a week left to download and enjoy Episode 1.

Once you’ve enjoyed Episode 1 though, you’re likely to want to play through the game’s other four episodes. Luckily for you they’ve remained at that low $5 price point. Assuming you pick up Episode 1 for free, the rest of the game will only set you back $20, which is a great deal for the best, most engaging story to hit the gaming world in 2012.