Game Review: Back to the Future: The Game, Episode 3: Citizen Brown (PC)

Last time we left Marty and Doc in the Back to the Future point and click adventure from TellTale, they had just defeated the gangster “Kid” Tannen back in 1931. But when they go back to their 1986 present, Doc disappears right in the passenger seat of the DeLorean. Surprised by the event, Marty crashes the time machine into a billboard. But it’s not the same present that he knows. Hill Valley has been transformed into a gated conformist community where everyone is deathly afraid to break any law. Now Marty must break a bunch of crazy city rules so he can gain audience with the leader of Hill Valley: Citizen Brown, so he can repair the time machine and fix this mess. But it won’t be easy!

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 problems I had with the third episode was that it felt a bit short, even for a TellTale game, plus it seemed there was more dialogue and less gameplay in this installment. 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. At any rate, Back to the Future: The Game is 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:

Past episodes of Back to the Future: The Game have been rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Alcohol Reference, Language, and Mild Violence. Episode 3 hasn’t been rated yet, but I’m sure it’ll be the same rating. Basically, if you’re OK with your kids watching the movies, they’ll be OK playing the game. Characters occasionally curse like they do in the films. Some of the puzzles involve breaking rules in this episode, like carrying contraband (alcohol), kissing in public, littering, and other crazy laws. Regardless, fans of the movie, both young and old, will enjoy this game.

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