Back to the future: The game Review

Posted: August 30, 2011 by Tony Polanco in REVIEWS

When a video game based on a movie franchise is announced I, like many people feel a bit squeamish. These games are either rushed products that have to coincide with a film release or games that are stand alone projects that completely don’t understand the spirit of the movie and force you into gameplay scenarios that make no sense. Thankfully this is not the case with Telltale’s latest game that’s based on the Back to the future trilogy. Back to the future: The game could easily be considered Back to the future 4 and is a worthy sequel to the much loved films.

Back to the future: The game takes place one year after the events of Back to the future 3. Doc Brown has been missing for some time and his belongings are being sold by the bank that owns his house. Just as Marty McFly (who’s voice actor AJ LoCascio is a dead ringer for Michael J. Fox) is looking for anything of Doc’s that shouldn’t be sold, the famous DeLorean time machine appears just outside of Doc’s garage. What happens next is an epic adventure that has Marty visiting not only past versions of his town of Hill Valley but even a few alternate versions of it.

The story does a good job of keeping the same tone of the movies and is laugh out loud funny at times. There’s dialogue that fans of the films will remember and lots of 1980s pop culture references sprinkled all over the place. A lot of characters from the movies appear like Marty’s parents and girlfriend, Biff Tannen and even that “he stole his wallet” guy. A few new characters are introduced as well like gangster Kid Tannen, the over bearing Edna Strickland (Principal Strickland’s sister) and even more of Marty’s relatives one of whom is voiced by the original Marty, Michael J. Fox. The acting from AJ LoCascio is fantastic. It’s almost scary how much he sounds like Michael J. Fox. I don’t want to spoil too much but there is a scene were both Michael J. Fox and AJ LoCascio are talking and it was nearly impossible to hear any differences between the two. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doctor Emmett Brown and he still sounds as neurotic as ever. The voice actor who plays a young Emmett Brown (James Arnold Taylor) is great as well and sounds just like you would imagine a young Doc Brown would.

The gameplay is the adventure game standard of point and click. There’s nothing very complicated here. Point at what you want to interact with and click to interact. It sounds incredibly simple but with the story that is being presented it works perfectly. I don’t see how you could make a Back to the future game in another genre and have it be as effective. People who have played the Back to the future game for the Nintendo entertainment system know what I’m talking about here. Although the gameplay is simple there are some puzzles that you have to solve and mostly require you to listen to dialogue to figure out what you have to interact with and in what order. The only snag comes from walking around the town. When the camera angle changes the controls shift so if you want to turn left you may end up making Marty walk back instead. It can get annoying but it’s not game breaking.

Graphically Back to the future: The game is a bit of a mixed bag. While the art style and character designs are really eye pleasing some of the blurry textures mar the overall look of the game. This is a modern high definition game yet some textures look as if they were left overs from the Playstation 2 era. I realize that this is an independent game and that resources are limited but the low definition textures that can occasionally be found were quite distracting. Most of the time the game looks great though and during night time sequences it looks beautiful.

This game is divided into five distinct chapters and if you play them all then you are looking at a run time of 10-15 hours depending on how much you talk to people and how long it takes you to figure out certain puzzles. The trophies for the game are very easy to get and you should be able to obtain 100% on each chapter with minimal fuss. I suggest playing each chapter twice. Once to just enjoy the experience and then another if you need to pick up any trophies that you may have missed.

Back to the future: The game was a lot of fun for me since I am a long time fan of the movies. The story was really cool and the voice acting was superb. The music is the classic music from the films and really helped in giving it that BTTF vibe. Adventure games are not really for most people and if you are one of the types who needs non stop action then this may not be for you but if you’re a fan of the BTTF trilogy then you should seriously consider downloading this game because it’s a blast and will fill you with a nice sense of nostalgia.


  • Fun and funny story
  • Fantastic voice acting
  • Nods to the Back to the future trilogy


  • Free roam controls would switch when camera angle changes.
  • Muddy textures on some people and objects


Back to the future: The game was developed and published by Telltale games. It was released on the Playstation network, PC, Mac and iPad and is available now for $19.99. A digital copy that was downloaded from the Playstation network was played for this review.

  1. Mike Vic says:

    Who’s that third guy in the cover art?

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