Back To The Future: The Game

As I said earlier this week, there was a Steam sale for Telltale’s BTTF game. I couldn’t resist and got it for 10€. After I played Episode 1 (of 5) last night, I can say it was worth it. The rest of the text will contain spoilers, but the game is so easy that you will probably see everything I’m going to talk about in a matter of 2-3 hours anyway.

The game starts with a scene that every BTTF fan will remember.

You disintegrated Einstein!

It took me a couple of minutes to get used to the models. They’re closely modeled after the film characters, but just that slight bit off. Oh, and don’t get me started on the walking animations. The voice action is spot-on, though (for the most part), and very enjoyable.

The story in Episode 1 is relatively straightforward, for a time traveling one. We start in 1986, where Doc’s stuff is getting auctioned off because he has gone missing (in 1885, if you remember the movies). Suddenly, the DeLorean appears in the parking lot, with nobody inside but Einstein, and a tape recorder telling you the newly added homing device has automatically brought the DeLorean back to 1986. A very smart idea, it makes sure that, if something happens to Doc, Marty can go back in time and rescue him.

Of course, the DeLorean time machine, being the fragile thing it is, forgot which time it departed from, so that’s the first thing to find out. Helps comes in the unlikely form of Vice Principal Strickland’s sister. Anyway, you find out you have to head to 1931, where Doc apparently was murdered by a mob for being a suspect in burning down Hill Valley’s speakeasy.

You run into a Tannen during your trip…

The Tannens, charming as ever... I think I'll stay up here for a bit.

… as well as Marty’s grandfather and Doc’s younger self, who is just starting his scientific career against the wishes of his father. (The scene where you listen to their argument while Doc gives you some hints of how to operate a complex alchemical setup is one of my favorites.)

Like the movies, the Episode ends in chase scene; you have to break Doc out of a police transporter.

This is a rescue, BTTF-style.

In the end, all ends well, or not so much… but that’s when we’re told that the story is “to be continued…”

It’s a fun little game. As I said, the animations are weak, and the character models need some getting used to, but the voice acting is great. 10€ was totally worth it (seeing how there’s four more episodes waiting). For fans of the series, even 25€ might be okay. You basically pay 5€ per episode, and it’ll give you a couple of nights of fun. Just don’t expect a lot of puzzle solving. They are all so easy that I didn’t get stuck once. It was more like an interactive movie at times. But the heydays of point-and-click adventures are long over, so I’ll take what I can get these days.

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