Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Back to the Future and other Video Adventure Games with @TelltaleGames

I'm a big fan of Fables, the fairy-tales in the real world with a few dozen plot twists thrown in comic book created by Bill Willingham. I bought the first graphic novel on a whim during a Free Comic Book Day sale a dozen years back. I had shaken the bug and been comic book free for several years, but then I was lured into a comic book store by the excitement surrounding Free Comic Book Day and BAMN, before you know it I'm hooked again. Free Comic Book Day worked it's insidious magic on me. Next thing you know I've got a pull box going at the local store. Evil. Free Comic Book Day is evil, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

But I digress, the point is I fell back into comics in a hard way and have been a Fables fan ever since. If you haven't read Fables I most definitely think you should. The graphic novels are in print and readily available. Good stuff. If you enjoy television shows like Once Upon a Time or Grimm, I have to say Fables did it first and continues to do it better.

So I'm two paragraphs in and you are probably wondering what the heck this has to do with games, let alone what the heck does this have to do with a Back to the Future game. Well, the thing is there is this company called Telltale Games which has developed "an ongoing episodic graphic adventure video game based on Bill Willingham's Fables comic book series". The game is called The Wolf Among Us, and it's been on my radar since it was in the pre-production phase. The game has been out for a while now. Hubby even downloaded the free xBox demo for me, yet I somehow haven't found time to try it out. Finding time to actually sit on the couch and play video games seems near to impossible these days but I do play the occasional game on my iPad.

The other day I finally remembered to look for The Wolf Among Us on the iPad. There it is, available for download for $4.99 a chapter. I'm cheap. I balked at spending $5 for an iPad game. What if it sucks? I'm much more likely to get lured in by a try before you buy style game then shell out money for something untested. But I will tell you, I was seriously tempted. The screen shots from the game had a gorgeous comic panel look to them that had me thinking, "Man I really need to kick hubby off the TV one night and try out that xBox demo."

Screenshots like this make me eager to check out the Fables game.

And then I noticed it... There was a list of other games by the same publisher. Walking Dead topped the list, and I think I remember hearing some buzz about how great a video game adaptation this was, but as someone who has yet to watch the show I wasn't that interested. Back to the Future was listed next. A Back to the Future video game? Meh. Maybe. The first episode was marked as "free for a limited time".  Can't hurt to download it and give it a try, right?

Oh My Gawd. This game is GOOD. Really, amazingly, fantastically good. If you have an iPad go download it RIGHT NOW type good. If you like point click adventures at all, you are going to enjoy this game.

Visiting Doc's lab circa 1986.
In this first episode you travel back to 1931 and meet a young prohibition era version of Doc Brown, as well as younger versions of McFly's and Biff's grandparents. The voice acting is solid, movie level voice acting. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown, while A.J. Locascio supplies a reasonable facsimile of Micheal J Fox as Marty McFly.  The graphics are outstanding. The game play is smooth. The storyline is engaging. I was totally sucked in within minutes of play.  I will most definitely be purchasing the additional chapters available. And I will most definitely be purchasing The Wolf Among Us to play as well. But not just quite yet. Next. After I'm done this game, which is all I want to play at the moment.

You get to play as Marty Mcfly.
The voice acting shines and is a huge part of what makes the game great, but it's also my biggest pet peeve. See I can't play this game with the sound turned off. As much as I love the voice acting, I wish there were a text only version because every time my kids hear voices coming from the iPad they come running. I can hide in another room, it doesn't matter, they hear the sound of TV-like voices and hightail it over to see what I'm up to. The fact that my headphones are MIA, hidden somewhere in this house, is pretty much the only reason I haven't sat and played this game non-stop over the past few days. Ok, wait, maybe that's a good thing.

I'd still be lining up to pay for more, as the game play is stellar, but at $5 a pop I did worry that the chapters might be short. I haven't finished my first chapter in the Back to the Future: The Game. I keep thinking well THIS must be the spot where the game is going to end and I'll have to buy the next part, and it keeps stringing me along, in a very good sort of way.

Puzzling your way through a 1931 version of Hill Valley.
Telltale Games Back to the Future: The Game came out in 2010. It's old news. But having just discovered it myself, I had to tell you about it. The game is available for PC and via iTunes for the iOS. A version was also put out for both the Playstation 3 and the Wii. I'm pretty sure I saw this when it first came out and ignored it, as normally a licensed console game is something I sort of assume is going to suck. Having only played it on the iPad I can't guarantee that the interface will be as smooth with console or PC play. But overall this is a game I definitely recommend. It's the perfect walk, talk, explore, click, find, type game. A truly solid graphic adventure video game that has me eager to try out the other games that Telltale Games has published.

7 comments:

  1. Wolf Among Us is definitely worth the money and the hype. The hubs and I played through the first three chapters this weekend and it is just as great as you would hope. Each chapter takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, so about the same as sitting down to a movie.

    Word is Tell Tale is working on a ASOIAF game now.... cannot WAIT!

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    1. A game based on any of George R. R. Martin's works would indeed rock.

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  2. Wolf among us has such realistic graphics you can imagine yourself there.

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  3. I am not a gamer but my son and daughter in law who live in Toronto are. They have back to back computers.

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  4. Wow awesome , i love to play games even tho i am an older person this looks like a great game :)Raffleopter name Treen Goodwin :)

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  5. BAHAHAHAHA we totally had this game!

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    1. What system did you have it on? Did you enjoy it?

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