Since late March , Telltale Games, a California-based developer, arguably most famous for their determined work in the Sam and Max universe, have released wave after wave of episodic content under the famed Wallace and Gromit license, to the tune of four titles, and glowing reviews from yours truly.
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
July 29, 2009
Late last month (July 28), Telltale released The Bogey Man, the fourth and final installment in the now epic “Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures” series.‚ I spent a great deal of time and effort, and experienced many moments of pure point and click bliss over the past weekend as I played through the title, and today I feel a bit saddened to know the series is over, but am also warmed at the feeling of passing my thoughts on to you, dear reader.
Does The Bogey Man capture and build upon the essence of the three to come before it, or does it shank the drive into the rough, and leave us face-palming into eternity? Only one way to find out”¦.
First and truly foremost, for beginners to the series primarily, The Bogey Man, and the entire series for that matter, is a point and click adventure puzzle-solving game. No, this isn’t the FPS Wallace and Gromit we are so yearning for (we kid), but in all the same ways it is a fully-encompassing experience, which could be called an acquired taste, but really, if you love great games, The Bogey Man is it.
Every character from the previous installments (including the sinister Monty Muzzler from Muzzled!) returns in The Bogey Man and at this point, having known the characters for over four months, the level of emotional attachment and general knowledge for said characters will be a remarkable feat to experience. Is it weird that I know Felicity Flitt is an avid gardener with a stuck-up mentality? No, it’s great gaming!
Obviously the two title characters, Wallace, the bumbling inventor, and his vastly intelligently superior canine companion Gromit are the centers of attention in The Bogey Man, and you’ll be treated to your fair share of daft statements from the former, and saving graces from the latter. By now we’re used to it, aren’t you?
Wallace’s zany inventions, including his notorious Trousers, play a vital part in The Bogey Man, and without giving too many critical plot elements away, you’ll certainly need to master the art of mechanical sleuthing!
Graphically speaking, The Bogey Man is downright sexy. The artsy claymation style of both the films and the series’ prior installments is again rehashed in this golf-oriented iteration. Nothing gained, nothing lost in terms of detail or style, but this is no problem, as The Bogey Man adds new locales, including a club house and a sewer, all drawn in the adorable style the series is so darn famous for.‚ I ran across a few slowdown issues and some awkward moments due to graphical hang-ups, but these can be attributed to the fact that A) my graphics card isn’t the hottest, and 2) I was playing a review build, not the one you’ll receive.
Sound in The Bogey Man, following suit of its predecessors, is wondrous. The light and melodious background tunes morph into all shades of emotion as related to the scene depicted, and you’d do well to stop for a moment, enjoy the melodies, and then proceed on solving the game’s many puzzles! From the familiar tune of the opening credits to the emotional climax at the end, the music only adds, never detracts to the total experience, and is always fitting. I ran into a few slight audio clipping issues, oddly only with the talkative shop owner Mr. Paneer, but this slight hiccup is truly a non-issue in the overall scheme of things.
As far as plot is concerned, The Bogey Man is arguably the most preposterous yet. Yes, we’ve seen an entirely too large Queen Bee, a canine-operated amusement ride, and a basement-based sandy beach vacation spot, but some of the hi-jinks in The Bogey Man truly trump them all. On a scale of believable to shut the f*ck up, The Bogey Man is heavy set to latter. However, we’re talking about video games here, namely Wallace and Gromit video games, so come on. Even if it feels as if Telltale ran senselessly from idea to idea, it works, and that’s what matters!
The general plot scheme in The Bogey Man ties in directly with its predecessor, Muzzled!, which ended on the greatest of cliffhangers, as Wallace inadvertently proposed to neighbor Felicity Flit. In this latest episode the main struggle and origin of the game’s many puzzles stem forth from this unusual predicament, and, as one hilarious event leads to another, Wallace strives to become repulsive to Felicity in order to nullify their faux-agreement. We’ve all been there haven’t we?
Pacing and difficulty in The Bogey Man are both well constructed. Puzzles begin in a welcoming nature, but quickly, as the title lasts just a tad over 3 hours, they’ll escalate to pure head-scratching ponderings deserving of all your attention. The aforementioned pacing is wonderfully assembled. There is truly never a down moment. Depending on the scene, you’ll guide either Wallace or Gromit around the game’s multiple environments, and you’ll never be short of tasks to complete.
The Bogey Man is the stunning conclusion to the epic four part series that point and click adventure game fans should not miss out on. Diehard fans of the Wallace and Gromit universe should absolutely play this title, as it is the closest thing to another properly made film we’re going to get. Voice acting is beyond superb, pacing is excellent, visuals are familiar and adorable, and the conclusion leaves nothing in question. Go play!
Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures is a four part episode-based title developed and published by Telltale games. The Bogey Man retails for $8.95 in the Telltale online store, or $34.95 gets you all four installments.