Things Are Getting Heavy Again! Andy Burns On Back To The Future: The Game

As a married couple with a young daughter at home (8 months today, in fact!), it’s been pretty hard for The Queen and I to have some quality date nights. Babysitting, feeding, yadda yadda yadda. Parents, you know the drill, and if you’re not a parent, I still believe you get where I’m coming from. Finding the right movie at home can even be difficult. Do we watch a romantic comedy so that The Queen is all smiles or do we watch something with action and super heroes so I can get my cape on? Negotiating these twists and turns can sometimes be troublesome, but we’re doing our best. Luckily, last night both The Queen and I had no problems agreeing on what do to post-Princess bedtime. We cuddled up, put the iPad on our laps and watched the latest Back To The Future adventure.

No, you haven’t been living under a rock.  Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd haven’t actually returned to the big screen as Marty McFly and Doc Emmett Brown. Rather, those endearing and enduring characters are the stars of Back To The Future: The Game. Created for the iPad, PS3 and Desktop by Telltale Games, with five chapters being released for purchase monthly ($6.99 each installment), BTTF:TG picks up months after Doc Brown left Marty back in 1985 and travelled off to places unknown. Out of nowhere, a version of the infamous DeLorean shows up at Doc’s lab, which sends Marty off on the trail of his missing friend that will take him back in time.
If you read Biff Bam Pop! regularly, you know a lot of us here are big fans of the Back To The Future franchise (check out Movie Minx’s experience seeing the original back on the big screen here). While I don’t think any of us are hungering for a reboot or an actual sequel to the original, this game is a welcome to return to Hill Valley. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd have allowed their likenesses to be used, and in the case of Lloyd, he’s actually back as Doc, his voice a little more haggard but still sounding as it should. Marty’s voice has been taken over by AJ LoCascio, but you seriously wouldn’t know it, since he’s got Fox’s sound and intonation down perfectly. Less so the actors who portray Biff Tannen and George McFly, but so far they haven’t appeared too much in the game. 
Controlling Marty is really just a case of dragging you finger on the touch screen to where you want him to walk. There are items for him to investigate that are key to discovering the whereabouts of Doc. Meanwhile, when you’re interacting with other characters, dialogue pops up for you to choose from. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, mind you, as each conversation leads you in the same direction. You can also click a button that will offer up clues to unravelling the various puzzles you’re faced with.

Visually, Back To The Future: The Game is gorgeous on the iPad. The character renderings are spot on, as are the environments. There are lots of little treats from the previous films that fans will get a chuckle out of as well, including the return of the amplifier from the first movie and some stellar Huey Lewis tuneage. On the minus side, the game is more about watching the story unfold rather than hardcore gaming, which might be disappointing to some. There are also moments of lag time that sometimes slow down the proceedings, but it’s not an experience killer at all. 
Overall, for fans of one of the most beloved franchises of all time, Back To The Future: The Game is an amazing return to the world we all know and love. Like the best games, I want to see what happens next. 
Oh, and it’s not a bad way to have a date night either.   
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