Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Telltale Games
ESRB Rating: Teen
Are you telling me that you built a time machine … out of a DeLorean? Great, Scott! Whoa, this is heavy, Doc. Most people can tell you what movie these lines are from, and most can even pull off a Christopher Lloyd or Michael J. Fox impression while doing so. Of course the movie is Back to the Future. If you have shunned movies and general pop culture for the past 27 years, I suggest you go out and buy the trilogy on DVD or Blu-Ray immediately. You’ll laugh through the first one, chuckle at the second one, and probably stop about midway through the third film due to lack of interest. But, without a doubt, you will become a fan of the franchise and might want to pick up Back to the Future: The Game.
Back to the Future: The Game, available for the PS3 and Wii, starts out in 1986 with Doc being presumed dead after leaving for the past and never returning. Marty McFly, however, thinks differently. Shortly into the game, the DeLorean returns with Doc’s trusty dog Einsten, but Doc is nowhere to be found. Marty must travel back to 1931 to rescue Doc.
The plot is simple enough (written in part by the original franchise’s co-creator, co-writer and co-producer) and so is the gameplay. It’s essentially a point and click graphic adventure game. You interact with items and people by clicking on them. If it’s a person, you choose from a list of things to say to that person. If it’s an object, you either use the object or it’s added to your inventory to use later. Admittedly, this gets boring after the first 10 minutes. The obstacles you face and puzzles you need to solve in order to further the plot are also just ho-hum.
The game is broken up into five episodes (the game was originally released for the iPad, PC and PS3 as downloadable content). Despite being a fan of the films, I struggled getting through even the first episode. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of laugh-out-loud moments that evoke nostalgia for the original films (Who doesn’t like to see a member of the Tannen family getting covered in manure?). Plus it helps that Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc in the films, voices Doc in the game. And although Michael J. Fox doesn’t voice Marty McFly, a terrific voice actor named AJ LoCascio does a spot-on Michael J. Fox impression. These things don’t make Back to the Future: The Game good, however. Just more tolerable.
If you have some time to kill and have already beaten all of your other games, then I’d say check out Back to the Future: The Game. It’s more entertaining than the film Back to the Future III, but not nearly as inventive or clever as Back to the Future II. Actually, you know what, you’re probably just better off watching the original Back to the Future. So what are you waiting for? Why don’t you make like a tree and get out of here? Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need…roads. Yeah, well, history’s going to change.
No, seriously, watch Back to the Future.