on 22 March 2014
I finished Theme Hospital, and needed a new game to wet my appetite. I re-watched the Back To The Future trilogy on Blu-ray and remembered that there was a game about it. I was over the moon when I discovered it was still available on the PC - I tried downloading it to my iPhone, but on that size of screen, I'm sure I would have ended up smashing my phone.
When it arrived, I had a quick scan through the episodes - 5 - and went straight into playing in. At first, it was brilliant - in fact, it made me want to watch all the films all over again. Initially, I found the animation a little jerky and irritating, but it was still enjoyable.
However, although the storylines were absolutely brilliant and really well thought out, as you progress through the game, it does get ever so slightly tedious. I was expecting so much more from it. When you're in the Town Square (which is the main focus for all gameplay), there's so many shops around, which would have been so good to go into and interact with other characters in the game. However, the majority of the time, I found that you could only go one way around the Town Square and most of the time, I did struggle to get my bearings - there was no aerial view that I could figure out, so I would spend my time trying to find the right way to get to whatever sole house/shop I was supposed to go to, for that particular quest. You could never spin the camera around, so you could look at the Town Hall for example, and most of the time, you would have to walk through the garden bit in the middle to get to anywhere. I also found that no matter whether I used the arrow keys or the mouse, I would regularly bump into street corners, lamp-posts, etc.
The characters that Marty can interact with is also very limited - yes there are different characters, depending on which episode you're playing, but considering how many characters there are/could be in the world of Back To The Future, there could have been so much more scope for the imagination. I would have liked to have seen Clara as well, as it does follow on from the events of the third film.
With the hints that are given, the game is very limited in the mental ability that you use to play it. I found it all too easy to click on the hints. Sometimes you got 2 per quest, but normally it was 3 per quest, each giving you more information with each hint you clicked on. While I did try to stay away from clicking the links and work it out for myself, it was just too easy. There were times however I did have to resort to other measures to find my way through a particular quest. There are quite a few walk-throughs listed online, which I found very helpful, particularly for quests where you have to do things in a certain order. The one quest I did find extremely difficult, was the House of Glass quest in Episode 5. This led to me stopping playing the game for a week in utter frustration. I had to resort to contacting a friend (who hadn't played the game in two years), who directed me to looking at YouTube videos. I had to go through about 5 YouTube videos, as there seems to be some bugs/glitches in this section of the game. Thankfully, I never experienced floating through the ceiling, and getting stuck in the room. But it is a very frustrating section of the game, and I was so relieved once I got through it. Do not ask me what I had done differently though. (Pretty much, you have to move walls in a certain way, in order to progress through the quest.)
By the time I got to the end of Episode 5, I was relieved, but at the same time, I was wanting it to continue. I had enjoyed the majority of the game, and I loved the ending (which I will not spoil for you). I think the makers of this game, could have kept going, although all the little niggles that I had with the performance of the game, I would have preferred to have been sorted before. But at the same time, it would have been good to see more stories, and more characters involved.
At this time, I really do not think that there will be any more films, although we BTTF fans can only dream. If more games come out in a similar style to this, I would definitely be looking into getting them.
Overall, this game is not without its problems. If you are willing to ignore that, then I would definitely recommend to any BTTF fans, and it will definitely ruin a couple of weekends for you while you play it!