Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures: Fright of the Bumblebees


 

When I think of episodic gaming one developer springs to mind “Telltale Games”. Having successfully released multiple seasons of Sam & Max and Strong bad they have proven they can hit deadlines and bring a series of episodes to gaming in a way that we have become more accustomed to with television. Their latest venture involves a slightly shorter season of four episodes following the grand adventures of Wallace and Gromit.

wg_wallace-truck

First impressions are very favourable with the W&G universe being brought to life in incredible detail. Wallace’s house being familiar to fans is where you start out and contains all of the detail you would expect, with the clay-mation look remaining faithful to the short films. With everything looking so nice it is a bit of a shame that there are not more areas to explore, locations from the films will put a smile on fans faces though with familiar inventions also making an appearance. The classic W&G style music is also a high point, never seeming to get tiresome yet always remaining true to the films. Voice work is also up to the same high standard with the only minor niggle being that Wallace is not voiced by Peter Sallis, although his replacement is good enough that most will not notice.

Moving around the locations initially seems a little cumbersome due to the fact that direct control of the character is made with the keys rather than pointing and clicking. This is mainly noticeable on the few occasions where you have to move diagonally across the screen in order to get to an object. Being an adventure game where movement is not critical to success though means that this proves more of a slight annoyance than game breaking in any way.

The story is what most adventure gamers come for and it is at this point where opinions may divide. This first episode follows the simple premise of the duo’s attempt to get fifty gallons of honey prepared for a crumpet festival and becomes as madcap as you might expect. Whilst the puzzles revel in the lateral thinking madness familiar to the genre it is the humour itself that may be of a more acquired taste. In staying true to films the humour is a bit more subtle in comparison to Telltales previous games with certain sections seeming a little staid because of this.

wg_heretheycomeIn the films the script has always taken a back seat in comparison to the visual gags and clever inventions and it is here that I feel some opportunities were missed. Rarely does attempting to incorrectly combine two objects ever result in a witty response or animation and whilst you do get to use some of Wallace’s crazy inventions it would have been nice if the solution to some puzzles culminated in the construction of something on par with what we have seen in the films.

Fright of the bumblebees is a solid first episode for the series, only really being overshadowed by the developers previous high standards. In the end this game succeeds more as an extension of the Wallace & Gromit fiction as opposed to the adventure game genre. Whilst fans of Telltales previous games will enjoy the head scratching puzzles it is ultimately fans of the films who will get the most out of this game.

Hi Score:- The look, audio and story

Lo Score:- Controls and the script

Final Score:- 7 out of 10

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