Back To the Future: The Game: Episode 2 review

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Category: Puzzle adventure
Developer: Telltale Games
System Requirements: OS X 10.6, 2.3 Ghz Intel processor, 4 GB RAM, 512 MB Nvidia or ATI Graphics card
Review Computer: iMac 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM and 2.26GHz 13” Macbook Pro, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM
Network Feature: No
Processor Compatibility: Intel
Price: $24.95 (which gets you all past and future episodes, as well)
Availability: Out now

Here’s the problem with the second episode of Back to the Future: The Game: there’s barely a game in it. There are virtually no puzzles in it, and most of the obstacles can be solved just by visiting the right person and saying virtually anything to them. It’s so easy it can barely be called a game. It’s more like an interactive novel.

marty mcfly dodging bullets

The story thus far: having gone back in time to save Doc Brown from being executed in the 1930s, Marty McFly returned to the 1980s to discover that the Tannen family (his eternal nemeses) had somehow become a powerful crime family. So, it’s back to the ’30s to correct what went wrong, making sure that gangster grandpa “Kid” Tannen goes to jail for life.

Marty wanders around 1930s Hill Valley (again) talking to the same people he spoke to last time in the same locations, and often using the same solutions to puzzles as he did in the first episode. Unlike the first game, which featured a frantic puzzle to make rocket fuel and a madcap action finale, episode 2 solves most of its problems by having Marty find Doc Brown so he can take care of the problems. Even the confrontations with Kid Tannen are a letdown—hostages save themselves, and a rooftop knife-fight ends as soon as you click on the only thing you can click on (and after Doc tells you to click on it).

marty talks to trixie

Fortunately, Episode 3 looks to be more inventive—this time it’s Doc’s history that’s altered, and the ’80s are a strange new world…but please don’t make me run around the Hill Valley town square giving Einstein the dog things to smell.

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