v6.2.3 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Back to the Future: the game | Done!

I've been debating which game(s) to move onto next on the xbox now that Assassin's Creed Syndicate is (mostly) done.  I realized the other day that the "free" games that we get on xbox live gold aren't really totally free.  You can claim games for free when they are available, and you can enjoy them, for free, so long as you have an active xbox live gold membership.  Considering that I often let my membership lapse (not much into the co-op or competitive type of gaming), and that I only get it renewed when it's on sale (so that I can get an added percentage off seasonal game sales), it made sense to explore some of the 'free' games I've gotten over the past year.

For this play-through I decided to play Telltale's Back To The Future game (Great Scott!).  The game is episodic content, with 5 episodes in the game.  It follows Marty McFly (of course) and Doc Brown on another (typically crazy) time adventure.

From wikipedia, the game starts as follows:
It has been six months since Marty McFly witnessed Emmett "Doc" Brown depart into an unknown time, and the bank has foreclosed on Doc's home. While helping his father George sort through Doc's possessions, Marty is surprised to see a DeLorean time machine, which he thought had been destroyed, appear outside the house. Inside is Einstein, Doc's dog, and a tape recorder with a message from Doc explaining how the time machine would return to this present should Doc ever run into problems. Einstein helps track down Edna Strickland, the elderly sister of Marty's school principal and a former reporter for Hill Valley's paper. Marty reads through her newspaper collection to find Doc had been jailed in 1931 and killed by Irving "Kid" Tannen, Biff Tannen's father. Marty and Einstein set off to 1931 in the DeLorean to prevent Doc's death.
Now the game time-locales go between 1931 (finding Doc, who's been suspected of arson) and saving him, and then returning back to 1986 where... ooops! timeline is messed up! New-Doc...errmm... Emmett (as he is called in this timeline) and his wife (Edna) have created a police state (Edna being a teenage prohibitionist in 1931 really takes this to the extreme by 1986!).  OK, gotta go back to 1931 to fix things so that Doc goes back into science (very STEM focused if you ask me ;-) ). OK things are fixed with the Original-Doc, but  New-Doc (aka Emmett) doesn't want to see Edna become a crazy, lonely, cat-lady.  Edna escapes in the DeLorean and then the whole town disappears around Original-Doc and Marty.  Ooops! What did Edna do???  Gotta find where she went, go back in time some more, and fix THIS situation now.  The Doc and Marty go back even further in time (late 1880s) to find Edna and prevent her acts of arson (due to her prohibitionist beliefs) which resulted in the burning down the entire city (hence the city disappearing in 1931).  In the end the timeline is fixed (mostly), and Edna has a happily-ever-after with the Tannens. But wait!  Future Marty comes to get Doc's help...then Future Marty 2 comes...then Future Marty 3...what the heck is going on?   - Roll end-credits.

This was my first Telltale game.  I did find the story enjoyable and it felt like a Back to the Future story.  The voice actor who voices Marty is really spot on which really adds to the enjoyment of the game. The game, as I found out, is mostly a graphic adventure, where you prompt the main character to speak to characters, examine objects in the world, and use them to move the story forward.  This is generally not my kind of game (reminds me of some old Amiga adventures that one of my friends enjoyed) but the story was interesting and the curiosity of finding out what will happen next got me through some boring parts.  Even though I enjoyed this game (8/10) I am probably not going to give into other Telltale games right away.  The story moves as the pace of a television episode for the most part, so you can't really skip forward (or speed up) the story.  I guess with a walkthrough you can pick the 'right' prompts to skip unnecessary parts, but what's the fun in that? If you like Back to the Future, and graphical adventures, I guess this is the game for you!   Now if only it had more episodes :-)

Some game stats:
  • 645/1000 points earned
  • 36 achievements earned
  • all 5 episodes completed
  • 14 hours playtime (well, 13h 59m)
  • 51 puzzles solved
  • 755 choices made (wonder what the minimum number is to complete the game)

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