The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
I'm Told The author of PB Winterbottom doesn't like his game being compared to Braid. This is frustrating, because a Braid comparison would've been a great shortcut to help me describe what The Misadventures ofP.B. Winterbottom is like. It's presented simply yet stylishly, is full of childlike elegance, and even tops Braid by being far less convinced of its own importance.
The Mr P.B. Winterbottom in question is a notorious pie thief: a man so intent on devouring the tarts of the world, that he'll bend time to do it. Chasing a magical, lady-like pie through a dream-like terrain, he develops a simple recording technique: holding Shift records his actions and releasing button causes a clone of Winterbottom to appear and continually replay those actions in a loop until being interrupted or dying. Jabbing a clone with your umbrella will cause it to go flying - and recording a clone doing the jabbing can be used to catapult yourself.
This is a simple enough setup, but over the game's 50 main levels, every facet of that process is explored and used to solve a problem - such as the looping of a recording where Winterbottom drops should he die.
Winterbottom doesn't twist your mind as comprehensively as Braid, but it does reproduce that all-important swing from confusion to inspiration required for great platform puzzlers. Basically, it makes you feel clever.
Apart from the recording mechanic, every world introduced has a twist - strict time limits, pies that only your clones can collect, limitations on where you can start clones, or a spotlight that activates pies - that all add a new slant on the game, and keep you intrigued through the two or three hours it takes to complete the game.
There are things I don't like about PB Winterbottom. The poetry between the levels leaves me stone cold, for starters. And even for me, a self-declared connoisseur of the puerile, the reliance on the humour of the words "bottom" and "bum" overshoots childish glee and lands the game firmly in the realm of developmentally challenged.
But with a large range of bonus levels that challenge your timekeeping and efficiency, a leaderboard that'll leave you wondering what you're doing wrong, and a price tag that's very generous for the satisfaction provided, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is essential for those who likes a sit down and have a think.
Download The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP