Seller: Telltale Games
Requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
File Size: 338MB
Version Reviewed: 1
Price: $4.99 (sale price)
Age Rating: 4+
The absolute best compliment I can pay this game is that it’s Wallace & Gromit. It looks like them, it sounds like them, and it feels like them. Everything about this game is so accurate that you’d almost think you’re watching an animated short, and that’s wonderful. Unfortunately, a couple items do prevent it from being a perfect adventure gaming experience for the iPad.
The Last Resort begins with a typical Wallace and Gromit catastrophe; their plans for a beach holiday are foiled by storms and a flooded basement. But there was never a problem that Wallace couldn’t solve with some ingenuity (and emergency assistance from Gromit), so he decides to turn his basement into the West Wallaby Street Waterworld beach resort. Of course, it’s never that easy, and more will go wrong than right as the duo try to set up their makeshift beach, please their customers, and—of course—solve a crime.
The game mostly plays out in self-contained scenes: stop the flood, gather the beach elements, etc. As such, the story arc is a bit simple. You won’t be driven along to a climactic train chase or arial attack on a dog food cannery, but that’s fine. The plot here does a great job of serving the puzzles and the comedy throughout the four or five hours it’ll take to complete it.
Said puzzles are mostly inventory driven; you need this to fix this but will have to get these first from someone who wants that. You’ll be juggling a lot of items and tasks at any given time, but it never really becomes too overwhelming as animations and event will loop until what’s necessary to end them and move to the next.
The inventory UI is clean and easy to manage, and a little trial and error with it will usually produce the results you seek. Pay close attention to your environment, though. Often times, puzzles (especially those centering around dialogues) can be solved easily via hints provided in the background. Does Wallace see something that many give him an idea? Touch the object to make him “consider” it and set the thought in motion.
Movement is also well done via a virtual d-pad. Some of the camera angles were hard to follow as Wallace and Gromit move around the settings, but getting from here to there only becomes troublesome when you can’t find the exact spot necessary to trigger the proper camera change. Items in the environment can be activated by tapping them. A white box appears around items you can use, and text instructions often appear on screen to let you know what you can do.
The big problem with the game is performance. Audio often distorts, popping in and out during the cutscenes. It’ll also disconnect from the stuttering video. Gameplay itself is fine, but considering the large number of cutscenes, this does get annoying. Telltale says to power down the iPad and start it back up before playing to solve these issues, but you literally have to do this every single time you play. Even then, it doesn’t completely alleviate the problem.
But I found this issue easier to deal with because the game itself is so charming. I say that as a fan of Wallace and Gromit, but that means I approached The Last Resort with a greater deal of scrutiny. I expect a certain degree of entertainment with Wallace & Gromit, a level which hadn’t nearly been reached in their video game until now.
Fans of the duo will be pleased; I can almost guarantee that. Fans of adventure games will likely find the puzzles a bit too easy, but should enjoy the characters and the sharp sense of humor. Fans of neither (if such a person even exists) shouldn’t bother. Regardless, Wallace & Gromit: The Last Resort is proof that when developers have a good knowledge of and an appreciation for the source material, video games tied into franchises can be just as entertaining as the franchise itself.