[Guest review by Darryn Bonthuys]

Feeling nostalgic? Then get your mouse clicking fingers ready, dig out the old flux capacitor and hoverboard, as we go back, back to the future!

Set a few months after the events of the original film trilogy, players find themselves back in picturesque Hill Valley, as Marty McFly is attempting to locate the missing mad scientist, Doc Brown.

When the Delorean time travelling vehicle turns up all of a sudden, it’s up to McFly to journey back to prohibition era America to rescue his eccentric friend once again, as well as make a second trip back to fix several mistakes that he made or risk being erased out of existence.

If you’ve played any of developer Telltale Games previously, specifically the episodic Sam and Max series, you’ll be instantly familiar with the formula present in their latest release.

Players can now navigate around the various locales using a WASD keyboard configuration, but the changing of scenes and camera angles can quickly cause some confusing directional changes on the fly, making it better to stick to the tried and trusted point and click approach that made the genre so memorable.

As far as puzzles go, they may be challenging, but they aren’t impossible to beat. A hint system is in place to help out those with less cerebral muscle, but in most cases, you’ll find the answer to be staring you right in the face. Yet despite this, the puzzles themselves are well designed and imaginative, as well as fun to engage in.

Minor navigation issues aside, there are still numerous puzzles to solve and items to collect, while interacting with characters will lead to multiple questions being available to ask them.

The voice-acting is top notch, and the characters sound almost indistinguishable from their silver screen counterparts, despite being portrayed by different actors. Special mention must go to Christopher Lloyd, who reprises his role as Doc Brown, bringing a certain passion to the role that makes him sound more interested in doing a proper job than just collecting another pay check.

While it may be the standard Telltale Games formula, it’s the little nostalgic touches that make the game special. The soundtrack contains hints of the original movie score, as well as a sampling of classic Huey Lewis rock n’ roll. Certain scenes reminiscent of the film are played out once again, and fans will quickly recognise certain moments and landmarks throughout the game.

While still quite a cartoony game visually, this slapstick style seems to suit BTTF, and the expressions that the characters emote really help sell the strong acting on the part of the voice cast. Some slips with lip synching do appear from time to time, but this doesn’t happen often enough to ruin the experience.

That said, the characters and locations are brilliantly realised, making this one of Telltale games best looking titles so far.


Scoring:

Gameplay: 8.0

Classic point and click gameplay that is better utilised than the console influenced directional controls, resulting in a simple and easy to pick up game with a forgiving learning curve.

Design and Presentation: 8.0

Familiar yet somehow fresh, BTTF manages to make its cartoony visuals work well, no matter how dark or light hearted the situation. While textures and rendering can come off as basic, it’s still an enjoyable game to look at, while the voice cast makes the experience even more memorable.

Value: 5.0

The classic problem with point and click adventure games is that once the adventure is done, you know all the answers already, resulting in little motivation to give the game a second go, unless you want to hear all the snappy dialogue.


OVERALL: 7.0

Children of the eighties looking for a time travelling fix of retro goodness will love this game, while fans of Telltale Games previous work will be enthralled by their latest foray into adventure games.

Well designed, and fun to play, it’s a shame that the games only offer a few hours of 88MPH goodness.

Played and reviewed on PC

Last Updated: April 8, 2011

Back to the Future: Ep. 1 & 2
Summary
7.0

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