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Back To The Future: The Game: Episode 3 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 previous and future episodes as well)
Availability: Out now

After the dull second episode of Back to the Future: The Game, I had hopes for the third. For starters, this wouldn’t be a retread of the 1920s (again), but a look at an alternate 1980s where Doc Brown had instead become Citizen Brown, ruling over Hill Valley through technology and squeezing dissent out of the public through mind control techniques.

Citizen Brown

Unfortunately, we get more of the same drab gameplay, with endless scenes spent wading through multiple conversation trees to try and trigger the next puzzle. The first episode at least had a corker of an action scene, with Marty trying to free Doc from a moving paddy wagon. In this episode, the big action sequence is that Marty has to figure out which repetitive tasks to perform in which order to knock out a villain. Which is what happened in episode 2.

There are a few interesting elements in this go-round: Marty’s girlfriend, Jennifer, makes an appearance, though under Citizen Brown’s rule she’s a punk who’s trying her best to rage against the machine. But far, far too much of the game is walking and talking, and having characters info dump on you about how Hill Valley ended up like this and why Doc’s dictatorship is wrong.

doc brown in front of clocks

The first episode got the tone of the Back to the Future movies right, but the endless exposition and childishly simple gameplay (press buttons until I find the right camera? Look around the room until I find something Biff might like? Really?) make me dread the next episode, which looks like it’s going to be set in the same time period. Again.

Appletell rating for this episode:
back to the future episode 3

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