Wallace & Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees
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Let's Start With a confession: while I've got nothing against Nick Park's bumbling inventor and his canine pal, I'm not a fan. I've barely ever watched any of the shows or the film. This means I'm coming to this as a Gromit virgin, as it were. Well, let's face it, fans of the show will be buying this whatever I say. Is it not more worthwhile to see whether nonfans would be interested too?
Fright of the Bumblebees is the first of four adventures coming to us from the capable hands of Telltale Games, them of episodic adventure gaming fame. As with their other recent titles (Sam & Max and Strong Bad) each game can easily be finished in an evening. Fright of the Bumblebees is just as good as their other games for providing that "one whole evening's entertainment" fix. My own limited knowledge of the franchise tells me Telltale have nailed the feel of the original source material, with even Peter Sallis' understudy providing a more-than-passable impression of everyone's favourite Summer Wine-r.
So, as the voices don't make your teeth itch, this means that one of the three comedy adventure game core components is present and correct. The other two are whether the game's puzzles are good and whether the jokes are funny. The former are solid, never too difficult and always reasonably logical. There is an issue with the in-game hint system occasionally interfering with conversations, but just turning it down a bit solves this.
Lack Of Sniggers
The comedy isn't such a strong suit. The self-proclaimed "massive fan" sitting nearby tells me that Bumblebees doesn't hit the heights of the source material. Don't get me wrong -1 never winced at bad jokes, but not once was I moved to more than an mild grin. This is one area where how much of a fan you are really does become important. The game's authentic, but is it funny? The answer to this is more subjective than usual.
The only other issue we had was with the controls, which were akin to Grim Fandango - use the WSAD keys to move around, the mouse to interact. It is done well, but, again, it's a matter of taste whether you like it. On the whole, a very solid start to the series.
We should also add a word about the price. Unlike their other episodic games, Telltale aren't making the Wallace & Gromit games available individually. So your $24 will get you all four, delivered to your PC once a month, but if you only want one, you're out of luck.
Download Wallace & Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP