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A Little Creepy


Wallace and Gromit is a long running claymation series about an inventor, his dog, and the crazy adventures that they encounter.  They game pretty much follows this formula, only in a vastly more episodic nature.  The Bogey Man is the latest episode and seems to start directly after the last game ended.  Although I haven’t played the other games in the series, the solid writing and detailed graphics don’t really seem to be enough to warrant me going back and playing through them either.

One of the greatest things about Wallace and Gromit is that the game really looks like everything is crafted out of clay.  On the highest graphics setting , stretch marks can be seen when characters move, almost like the non-existent clay is bunching together unevenly to resist the move.  While it is great that the game looks exactly like the show, it is unfortunate that it makes everything look surprisingly creepy, as if the characters are crafted from some kind of sentient clay that was ready to crawl out of the screen or haunt my dreams.

Happily, the game is fairly low end on the requirements and can be run on rather old computers.  Strangely enough, the lower end graphics setting, the one that the game runs by default, looks pretty good (not clay bunching, nightmare inducing good though). This is one of the amazing things that Telltale manages to do with their games is make them accessible to almost everyone and make that lower end look playable and good as well.

Sadly, the story is a different thing all together.  It seems that Wallace has gotten himself engaged to his neighbour entirely by accident and does not have the courage to come clean with her.  While the game does find a way to solve this problem in a rather roundabout way, it places him directly in the path of another massive problem that needs solving, and then yet another after that.  It feels rather odd that the entire game is simply a string of rather unlucky events that seem to be placed directly around the actions of one person.  As the story progresses, Wallace manages to solve his problem by making a larger problem for a group of people, and eventually the entire town. 

The popular and useful WASD control make a return and works out well.  Telltale also integrates hints at each major point in the game, always leading the player on what to do next with a trail of breadcrumbs.

All of that said, some of the puzzles in the game seem to prove to be overly complex, not in difficulty but in the amount of steps required to finish them.  One puzzle comes to mind where different paintings have to be hit with a golf ball in a certain order.   While it only takes a couple of minutes to solve it is kind of disappoint that other puzzles in the game seem to be more geared around figuring out what to do next, and quickly solving it, and not sheer willpower involved in completing the action.

The game itself retails for just under 9 dollars, which isn’t a terrible price for the amount of content it contains.  Although it is rather odd that the entire season is 35 dollars, a savings of 1 dollar, when all of the other games from Telltale have been received more of a discount from purchase in this method.  The entire season pass does net the buyer a collector’s edition disc at no extra charge, which is nice another nice incentive to purchase the full series.   

Wallace and Gromit is in no way a bad game, just not nearly as good as the other products that Telltale has put out recently.  This isn’t to say that people who are fans of the movies or shows should pass this up, because it seems to play directly for those people.  Although for anyone who isn’t a fan they should probably try to invest in the shows first before they make a plunge into the game world as they seem a little more fleshed out. 

…Or there is always the option of checking out the other great products from Telltale. 

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