Marty McFly is back… again. Telltale Games has released the third episode in their Back to the Future: The Game series and this time we find poor Marty back in 1985, but a (different) alternate 1986. As with the other entries in this episodic franchise, it is a fun, but at times stilted, experience.
We have to assume that if you're reading this review you fall into one of three larger categories: lover or at least exceedingly quizzical about all things BTTF, hater (but potentially still quizzical) about all things BTTF, or that you're simply waiting to see if Telltale delivers a decent experience over the course of the season before you buy the game. Perhaps we should draw a Venn Diagram with these three categories, because you may very well find yourself in more than one of the above groups. That being said, this article will mostly focus on the third of the larger groups because there's probably no talking to anyone in the first two.
As you would expect—let's face it, Telltale would be insane to change things at this point—the game remains in their traditional puzzle format. Essentially, you go around, grab every object that you can, and talk to people in order to learn how you should go about using all those objects that you've grabbed.
The beauty of this is in its simplicity. As there's little alteration in the format from their other titles, Telltale can spend their time crafting an in-depth fun story and interesting puzzles rather than having to reinvent the wheel every time.
Of course, that's the problem too, at times the game feels overly simplistic and unable to cope with you, as the player, wanting to do anything that the game doesn't want you to do. One more than one occasion during this episode you'll go about trying to solve the current problem in a way that seems perfectly logical to you, but that isn't the way the game wants you to solve it and you will, therefore, fail.
The best example of this we have from the current episode is a moment when you, as Marty, are trying to find Einstein who happens to be hiding. You have in your possession a truly disgusting edible treat that the pooch likes and know that he's hiding in one of three locations. Your logic may dictate that you hold out the treat and move around to the possible spots, figuring that you'll entice the dog out. Your logic would in no way be flawed except for one tiny problem – that's not the way Telltale wants you to find the dog and so Marty will refuse to execute what you're telling him to do.