|Version Reviewed: PC
Ah, the 1980s: the era of hair metal, classic comedies, and Back to the Future. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd star in the classic 1980s comedy/action movie, which still holds up to today’s comedy standards. With the 25th anniversary of the classic movie comes the newest game from adventure video game developer Telltale Games: Back to the Future: The Game – Episode One: It’s About Time!, the first in a five-part series of point and click adventure games.
Back to the Future: The Game – Episode One: It’s About Time! is a definite throwback to the old 1980s movie. It starts off with a pleasant scene that should bring back some memories; however, it turns out that it’s just a dream. The game starts out six months after the third movie ends and (spoiler alert!) after Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown vanishes. You play as Marty McFly, and your major goal of this five hour episode is to find the Doc and bring him back to the year 1985. You do this by moving Marty with the directional keys and pointing and clicking your way to victory.
All the classic staples return, including Biff, the DeLorian, and even Einstein the dog! Michael J. Fox, however, does not return as Marty McFly, although the actor who mimics him pulls off a wonderful performance. Christopher Lloyd does return as the Doc, however, and his performance is just as good as it was 25 years ago. The controls are easy to learn and master, and the art style is tweaked in such a way that, even if you have an old computer, you’ll still be able to enjoy it.
Speaking of the art style, it’s beautifully done. The characters all look like they belong in the 1930s (in which the game is primarily set), and they all look like they’re taken straight from the movie. I only noticed about three or four times when the graphics glitched out and caused me to restart my game. The voice acting in this game is incredible, as is the score for the game. As soon as I heard the theme from Back to the Future, I almost jumped out of my seat in excitement. Christopher Lloyd does a great job as Doc and seems to really put all of his emotion into the character, as he did so many years ago. The actor who mimics Michael J. Fox does a great job too, and although in some parts he can’t nail it 100%, he does a good job overall.
The story seems like it’s ripped straight from the Back to the Future mythos. Without spoiling too much for the Future-fans, Marty McFly must go back to 1930 and prevent the Doc from being executed by the mob for an arson case involving Doc Brown and a speakeasy. Along the way you’ll meet 1930s Biff, as well as a younger version of someone you may have met before. The story is generally good, although some of the newer characters fall flat (1930s Biff is okay, but I like 1985 Biff a lot better), and the cliffhanger ending had me pulling out my hair.
Overall, this is a good game, and a steal at $22 (current price on Steam) for all five monthly episodes. The games will most likely total about 20 to 30 hours of gameplay, which combined is quite a bit longer than a fourth movie would have been—and considering that Michael J. Fox can’t really act for the length of another movie, this is the best we’re going to get. (And please don’t let there be a remake of BttF!)