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Back to the Future – Episode 1 Review

Categories: Reviews, Tablet Games, Windows
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Published on: May 25, 2011

25 years ago Back to the Future came to the cinema and was the biggest hit of the year, now Telltale Games is continuing the story about time travel, which hasn’t seen a new release in the last 20 years. But can this game interest a whole new generation and is it even interesting enough for the people, that loved the original trilogy? Thankfully the first of five episodes is available for free, so everyone can check it out for themselves. I decided to try it on the ExoPC with Windows 7 to see if this tablet has enough power to run this new game amd to see if this version is playable with touch input.

Settings Performance:

After you installed the game, make sure to start the launcher as Administrator, or make sure to press yes on the application rights popup, after the first installation it didn’t pop up before the menu and the play button could not be selected with touch, but when it works once, it’ll always work.

The best settings I could find for the game were the following:

  • Resolution: 1366×768
  • Graphics Quality: 4 Bars
  • No Shadows
  • No Anti Aliasing

With fewer bars, the game doesn’t render and with more the game performance is unbearable in video sequences.

The game will be playable, but the perfomance is far from enjoyable with ca. 10-15 frames per second, but this isn’t a action game, so I was able to complete the whole episode with these settings and only touch as an input method.

Touch Controls:

The game wasn’t build for touch input and that made the navigation a little troublesome. You won’t have the mouseover infos all the time, which makes discovering interactive objects harder and steering Marty can be troublesome. To move Marty, you have to touch and drag him in the desired direction and that sometimes doesn’t work as it should when the camera perspective switches, but thankfully you can often skip navigating him directly by tapping on the interacting objects, with a double tap he will run to the object. If you don’t want to go somewhere, but you want to know if the object is interactive, touch and hold for a while, then the cursor will jump there and display the mouseover, if there is one.

 

Story/ Gameplay:

The game takes place 6 months after the last movie, Marty is looking through Doc’s appartment for clues where he left and just when he finds his notebook, the DeLorean appears in front of the house with Doc’s trusty Dog Einstein on board. The tie-in to the trilogy ending is pretty weak at first, but the rest of the story really feels like a straight continuation of the BTTF storyline with an adventure set in the 1930′s, where  liquor was under prohibition and gangsters roamed the street. The riddles are pretty straightforward and the game is generally kept very easy, so everyone can just enjoy the story. If you are a newcomer to adventure games, you will feel right at home, but if you already played a few of the Telltale adventure games you’ll wonder if they will ever tune up the difficulty on their titles or broaden the ways to the goal a little.

 

Sound:

This is where the game really shines, the voice actors are doing a superb job, beginning with Christhoper Lloyd who is reprising his role as Doc Brown and the best Michael J. Fox double you could imagine, even the support cast does a great job, the synchronization is simply top notch. The music is mostly composed from a rearranged soundtrack of the title melody and didn’t strike me as special, but it wasn’t bad, just not that diverse.

 

Fazit:

All in all, Back to the Future is a worthwile series to play when you have seen the movies over and over, but if not it is probably a too simple adventure without the sarcastic humor of a Monkey Island or Sam and Max. But it is just a matter of perspective, the quality of the production make it a recommendable kid friendly adventure series that is funny without crude jokes and that has to be worth something for concerned parents.

Here’s the link to the free first Chapter at Telltale’s Website, if you like it and want to buy the game, please support us and use our Partner Link with Gamesload:

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