A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Back to the Future: The Game (Episode 1) isn't rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) as it's a digital download, but there are some inappropriate themes and language for younger ears. Specifically, there's swearing, and one of your missions has you stealing alcohol from mobsters at an illegal gin establishment (pretending to be a soup kitchen).
What's it about?
BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE GAME (EPISODE 1) takes place after the three Back to the Future films. Marty McFly (voiced by a Michael J. Fox sound-a-like) travels back in time -- to the dirty thirties, no less -- to rescue his friend Doc (voiced by the real Christopher Lloyd from the film trilogy). McFly uses Doc's souped-up DeLorean, with his faithful dog Einstein, to zap back in time to bring Doc back to the future -- but he runs into some resistance by the police, mobsters, and a younger Ms. Strickland, a peppy newspaper reporter. By solving puzzles, exploring Hill Valley in the 1930s, and interacting with the townsfolk, Marty can complete his ambitious goal -- or can he?
Is it any good?
This first downloadable episode in the 5-part series is an excellent adventure game. The puzzles are thought-provoking but not too challenging. For example, in one scene you need to tell your imprisoned friend Doc about a formula that's being muttered by the younger Doc walking around the town. Because you have a tape recorder, you're able to capture what young Doc is saying and play it back for your friend who is sitting in a jail cell (remember: the two Docs must never cross paths for it could disrupt the time-space continuum!). While on the short side, this first tale in the series is ideal for those who love a good story, have patience to solve puzzles, and enjoy clicking on dialogue to get the info you need from characters. Note: the $24.95 price covers all five games.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Telltale Games should've made the game more appropriate for everyone instead of for teens and adults. That is, does the swearing really add to the experience?
Also, families can also talk about whether they like the idea of episodic games or would you rather have the entire story in one download? Do you mind waiting for Episode 2 if it takes a month or longer?
For kids who love being transported into other worlds
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.