Developer: Telltale Inc

Price: $6.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Back to the Future Trilogy is arguably a timeless classic, and it is one of the few pieces of cinema that I can watch over and over again without getting bored. There is something special about its lighthearted approach to time travel that allows viewers to enjoy the characters and the story without having to suspend too much disbelief on the technical aspects of the sci-fi time travel genre. The only bad thing about the trilogy is that it ended, but Telltale is here to pick up the slack with their new episodic Back to the Future adventure game.

Telltale has a good track record when it comes to story based point-and-click adventures, so I wasn’t overly concerned about quality issues. The game takes place right after the trilogy ends, with players taking the role of Marty McFly, who is trying to save Doc and “protect his legacy” at the same time. Generally, you go from scene to scene solving puzzles, collecting trinkets, and talking with various characters from the movies to obtain clues. There is a nice hint system from anyone who wants to skip out on the bulk of the puzzles and just run through the story, but where’s the fun in that? I will admit I had to use a couple of hints, but it wasn’t a product of the game’s incompetence (playing while tired isn’t advised).

I’m sure the major concern of all the fans is with story and continuity aspects, and I have to say Telltale really hit the nail on the head with the first episode. The voice acting is top notch and comparable to the acting in the films, and the story flows smoothly with all the quirky humor you would expect. Puzzles and objectives presented in Episode 1 were fun, and I thought they were relevant and well crafted.

On the technical side, I did experience a little lag during the opening scene and some of the cut scenes but nothing game breaking. The graphics are stylized to match the feeling of the movie, but I think they push the limits of the iPad. Another shortcoming the game has is its control method. A virtual joystick is used to control Marty, but it feels really forced. I had a hard time making him go exactly where I wanted him to. This isn’t a major problem though because you really only need to be in the general area of the object you want to interact with. If you hold two fingers on the screen you can see all the pieces of the environment you can interact with which really helped.

Back to the Future Episode 1 is really a great experience for fans of the movies, but there isn’t much to go back to after the story ends. If you’re a fan of point-and-click style games, and if you even remotely enjoy Back to the Future, then this game is great purchase. I just hope they can keep up the production values for the rest of the series.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , ,