Game Review: Back to the Future: The Game, Episode 1 (PC)

I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed being an adult in the 80’s, but let me tell you, being a kid back then was GREAT! We had the best toys (Transformers), cartoons (DuckTales), video games (Pac-Man), and music (well, okay, 80’s music was cheesy but I like it anyway). And with films like Indiana Jones, Empire Strikes Back, Gremlins, and Ghostbusters, we also had some awesome movies, too! Now one of the best 80’s movie series is now a video game that’s actually very good! Get prepared to go to 88 miles per hour with Back to the Future: The Game, a downloadable PC episodic point and click adventure title from TellTale Games!

Back to the Future: The Game’s plot is best described as if it were Back to the Future 4. The game picks up where the last one left off. A few months have passed, and Marty hasn’t heard from Doc Brown in a while. But then, the DeLorean returns on auto-pilot with a message to rescue Doc in the past! With the help of Einstein the dog, Marty does some detective work to find out WHEN Doc is stuck at, which turns out to be Hill Valley in the 1930’s. Turns out Doc was framed for blowing up a speakeasy, so now Marty has to enlist the help of Doc’s younger self to help him escape from jail. But it won’t be easy since the main ingredient for the fuel in Young Doc’s invention requires alcohol, and this is prohibition times. To make matters worse, they’ll have to deal with Kid Tannen, the gangster running Hill Valley!

Back to the Future: The Game is a point and click adventure, which is TellTale’s specialty. Use the mouse to guide Marty around specific locations, talking to characters and clicking on objects to examine them or pick them up, and using items to solve puzzles. Just like TellTale’s other adventures, this one is episodic, meaning you download it in small chunks, with one coming out each month or so. Like an episodic TV mini-series. Or a mini-movie in this case.

The visuals and characters are a bit more cartoony this time around, but not so much that it doesn’t look out of place. Just think of it like if Pixar, or at least DreamWorks, got a hold of the license and made a CG movie out of it. The music, locations, and familiar characters help add to the authenticity, though, and they even got Christopher Lloyd to play as Doc Brown! They couldn’t get Michael J. Fox to do Marty’s voice, which is PERFECTLY understandable given his situation. But the voice actor they did get sounds exactly like him!

The only problem I had with the first episode was that it felt a bit short, even for a TellTale game. The straightforward puzzles and helpful new hint system make it easy for point and click beginners, and you’ll probably never have to exit to read a walkthrough if you get stuck. Although there was one puzzle in the soup kitchen that was a little tricky. But other than that, Back to the Future: The Game is starting to look like one of the few movie-based games that is actually very good! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode!

Kid Factor:

Back to the Future: The Game hasn’t been rated by the ESRB yet, but basically, if you’re OK with your kids watching the movies, they’ll be OK playing the game. There is some cursing, alcohol references in the prohibition era, and some mild suggestive themes involving a discussion on how Tannen was able to procreate. Even though the game is fully voiced, reading skill is helpful for the hints. The game could almost be considered slightly educational, as it deals (albeit very lightly) with history. Regardless, fans of the movie, both young and old, will enjoy this game.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!