I enjoy adventure games quite a lot. They can be interesting, funny and clever. The good ones anyway. Bad ones…obviously, involve rubbing every object against every other object in a belaboured attempt to figure out what the hell you need to do. Mostly this feels like a writer/developer assuming everyone (or mostly everyone) will make the very same leap of logic as them. But anyway, the point…
Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventure is one of Telltale Games many episodic licences. Pretty much most of which I own – and with good reason. They all very high quality, interesting, funny…etc. etc. My favourite series being Sam & Max. I will admit however, to missing their being actual ‘point and click’ adventure games. They play pretty much the same, but the more modern ones have ‘floating analogue sticks’ that you move – or you can plug in a control pad and use an actual analogue stick.
So, Wallace and Gromit came out way back when in 2009, if I remember rightly I bought it pretty much on release, but amazingly only actually finished the last part a few days ago. Not to suggest that it’s taken me three solid years to actually finish the game – I will honestly admit to a whole long period of time of pretty much ignoring my PC in favour of my PS3 – what with it being so sleek, shiny, and sexy.
A couple of initial annoyances to get out of the way before talking about the game-play and what not. It retails on Steam now at £14.99 as well as being available on XBLA (you can usually pre-purchase them when they’re new for a discount) and the games all have very reasonable specs – there’s even a PC demo. One of the big initial disappointments was that it has only four episode (Fright of the Bumblebees, The Last Resort, Muzzled! and The Bogey Man), making it the shortest episodic series Telltale have done. Most series have 5 episodes, and while obviously they are all priced accordingly – it felt like they could have made another episode.
My second niggle is an in game one. It’s pretty minor really, but in the first episode the mechanical trousers from The Wrong Trousers are featured in a cupboard next to your house, and it can pop out and and mow the lawn. In all three following episodes the cupboard is magically gone…with no mention of it. It’s minor like I said, but still a silly inconsistency.
Now that those are out of the way, the actual game. They are very, very good ‘game versions’ of Wallace and Gromit style adventures. Each episode has Wallace with a ‘great’ idea or invention that will make them rich and/or famous – but usually end up with poor Gromit needing to save the day. They have the same silly sense of humour with lots of lame but good puns. There are a lot of references to the shorts and films which make it nice for fans too. And for the record I am a fan of Wallace and Gromit (if that wasn’t obvious).
Game play wise I can honestly say this series is probably the easiest of all of Telltale’s thus far. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Most parts of the game lead pretty well into others, with only a few moments of being stuck about what to do. The only downside of this really, is that the episodes did feel a little short – each one taking about two hours each. As I said earlier, this only being a four episode series – it felt a bit too short.
The look and sound of the games were great. As I’ve said before, there are a lot of reference to keep fans happy. The game’s graphics are also nicely close to the actual animated shorts, and the voice acting and sounds are all perfect – and this is despite not having original voice actors, which I didn’t realise until researching on Wikipedia. But, as an aside, they did the same thing with Back to the Future, and it worked well then too.
As a final aside to consider, like a lot of these Telltale series’ (bar a few) there is very little replay value – the story only goes one way, with pretty much one way to solve it. Some people find replay value important – unless you’re willing to wait a year and replay it when you’ve forgotten it chances are you won’t play it again. You may want to possibly buy it with a friend or let someone play it if they’re interested to get more out of it.
So, to wrap up and keep this nice and brief – I did really enjoy Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventure (when I finally got around to finishing it) but it did feel so short. Both each individual episode being short and the series being only four episodes long. I do wish they’d made a fifth. Regardless, I would definitely recommend this to a fan of both Adventure/Point and Click style games and fans of Wallace and Gromit.