Back to the Future
- PSN - $19.99 for the series. EU release TBC
- Also available on iPad (Ep1 Ł3.99), PC and Mac (Ł16.99 for the series)
Like most of Telltale's output, Back to the Future never tries especially hard to break loose from people's expectations. Chat to everyone, follow the dialogue tree to its conclusion, pick up everything you can, examine everything listed, and eventually use the thing with the other thing and move the scene on.
If that sounds like a worn out formula to you, then move right along; there's nothing here that will change your mind. Stacking this most definitely is not.
What it does have, though, is total respect for the fiction, a quality script and a pair of voice actors absolutely tailor-made for the starring roles of Marty and Doc. [Hardly surprising given that one of them is in fact Christopher Lloyd! Apologies for the oversight. -Ed]
Fortunately for the diehard fans, merely meddling in the Back to the Future world, chatting to characters we know and love and solving the odd puzzle is probably just about enough.
If you're not already invested in the 'brand', then there's an equally good chance that it will come across as fairly unremarkable. Innovation is largely absent, the stylised visuals are good without ever being great, and the stripped-down gameplay is disappointingly undemanding.
Subsequent episodes may yet prove us wrong, but for now we're in safe, predictable territory. You'll already know whether or not that's a good thing.
- PSN Minis - Ł3.49
Ever played a game with looks only a mother could love? Swap Zap definitely falls into that category, with visuals so hideous you wouldn't risk the potential damage to your monitor if it was a flash game.
But if you squint a little and tilt your head like an inquisitive hound, beneath the garish colour scheme and hideous backdrops PlaygroundSquad has an unexpectedly engaging block-shifting puzzler to which you may nuzzle up.
Your job is to guide the wonderfully named Pam Spacetrucker to level's power cores, but getting there is the tricky part. Trapped inside a cargo hold of a Space Shuttle, the idea is to clamber up a stack of boxes, collect your prize and head into the airlock to the next level.
Positioning these boxes, though, takes a fair bit of lateral thought, as you have to literally 'swap-zap' each one individually. Building a stack, for example, might require you to jump on top of, say, three blocks, then swap downwards, grab a block from your left or right, and then repeat the process until your tower is tall enough.
Other levels introduce falling bombs that destroy all your hard work if you don't get rid of them, or directional spikes that damage you if you attempt to swap into them. The difficulty level's all over the shop, and it's easily the most amateurish-looking game we've seen in ages - but it's also a hugely satisfying concept that someone should look at reworking forthwith. Critical acclaim awaits!