Back to the Future Review

I adore the Back to the Future movies. I spent my childhood obsessed with anything having to do with time travel (or anything else considered not “cool”). I loved how the story was built on the sci-fi but told as a character piece. The first movie is on a short list of my all-time favorite movies and the trilogy itself I still hold very near and dear to my heart. So, when Telltale announced they were making a Back to the Future game, naturally, I flipped a bitch. They made a lot of other adventure games I loved (Sam & Max, Monkey Island, etc.) and knew they would do one of my favorite stories justice.

The games start out in 1986, after all the events of the movies. Doc has been missing for a while and the city is going to sell off all of his stuff. Marty (voiced by AJ LoCascio, a creepy good M.J. Fox impersonator) is naturally uneasy with the idea. Before another moment passes, the DeLorean shows up out of nowhere with no driver. That’s when Marty decides that something is wrong and the adventure continues.

The game works like most Telltale titles. The story is spread over 5 3-hour episodes as a pseudo point-and-click adventure (you drag Marty around with the mouse rather than clicking), full of puzzle solving and dialogue trees. Unfortunately, this is where the game falls a little short. Puzzle solving is one of the great joys of an adventure title and Telltale has always provided challenging puzzles that are just the right level of frustrating and satisfying. BttF falls a little far from the tree presenting puzzle after puzzle that isn’t very challenging. Because of this, the gameplay is lacking a very important amount of satisfaction you would usually get with this genre.

This is why most of the satisfaction comes from the story. They used Bob Gale (Co-creator of the films) as a story consultant, and Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown. Michael J. Fox is not involved with his lead part, but does have a small cameo in the 5th episode. The story brings back almost every character from the movies and gives fans a million reasons to play each episode, complete with a little cliffhanger ending.

Considering just the gameplay, I would give this title a B. Considering just the story, I would give it an A. That is why I decided to split the difference in my final score. Even still, it fell slightly in the B range due to the gameplay. If you don’t like the movies or never really watched them, kill yourself, but after that, you might not want to bother with this game. If you are a super fan like me, Buy it. There is a lot of story and it is all much appreciated in the mind of a wannabe DeLorean time traveler.