As much as I love the movies, they pale in comparison to my adoration for Huey Lewis & The News, born from frequently rewatching the Back to the Future trilogy. Sure, there are few theme tunes more iconic than the horns of Back to the Future, and I get chills as much as the next guy when it starts up. But stick on anything by Huey Lewis & The News and I will dance, even if it’s just bopping around in my chair.
But anyway, Telltale Games released Back to the Future in 2010 (and more recently re-released it on current consoles). Although it needed some tweaking to work on Windows 10, I finally finished playing through Episode 5. It’s curious how Telltale didn’t fix it when they re-released it, but meh…
Be warned, spoilers are ahead for both the movies and the games, so proceed with caution. Though as one of Telltale’s biggest selling titles, and the fact it’s six years old, mean that you may not care.
The game starts off a few months after the events of Back to the Future Part III. Doc Emmett Brown’s estate is being sold off, and Arthur McFly is in charge (for some reason). Marty McFly, protagonist of the movies, is looking around when he comes across Doc’s notebook with all of his designs and ideas inside. Suddenly the time travelling DeLorean appears outside, with Doc’s dog Einstein riding inside.
From 1931, to 1986, back to 1931 and finally 1879 -- yes, one heck of a detour -- later, the game is a wild ride for any fan of the movie trilogy. Through it all, Doc gets a personality change, gains and loses a wife and becomes overlord of Hill Valley for a time. We meet more Tannens than before, revisit Biff a couple of times, and there are plenty of great new characters introduced. Apparently a lot of the stuff about Doc’s past was written for Back to the Future Part II, but ultimately unused. However, with co-creator Bob Gale on board they decided to use it for this game.
I loved every minute of this game, from the characterisations to the artwork and the great plots. Many parts had me in stitches, and even the plot points I saw coming from a mile away were great. Each episode ended on a cliffhanger, whether it was Doc vanishing, Marty almost disappearing or Hill Valley going missing, ready to pull you back into the next one.
An actor called A.J. Locascio played Marty, and was incredibly successful in the role. It was just like hearing the younger Fox, but I was happy to see (well, hear) Michael J. Fox reprising his role in quite an unexpected way. There were also plenty of callbacks to the movies scattered throughout, most hilariously when Doc asks “Do we become assholes, or something?”
I could go through the entire plot in a three page explanation, but honestly your time is better spent playing the game. It’s hilarious, well made and only needs a little fiddling to make work on modern PCs. What’s more, if you’re anything like me you will get to dance at the end of Outtatime.