The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Game Poster Image
Unique time-travel puzzler that is incredibly challenging.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Ignoring the obviously farcical storyline (see Role Models below), the message one gets from the game play itself is one about the importance of creative thinking, planning ahead, and challenging preconceived expectations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

P.B. Winterbottom is a thief (even if the only things he steals are pies). There are times in the story when he ends up coming to the aid of others, but any help he gives someone else is an unintentional byproduct of his relentless quest for pies. He is not redeemed by the end of the tale, nor does he receive any comeuppance. This is all played for laughs.

Ease of Play

The game is undeniably difficult. Some of the puzzles may seem impossible the first twenty times you try them. But trial and error is the essential strategy for the game. Still there is often very little wiggle room in happening upon the one very specific solution for each level.


Winterbottom must sometimes smack his clones with his umbrella, sending them flying into the air, in order to solve puzzles. There is no evidence of pain from this. Winterbottom or his clones can fall into fire on certain levels -- if this happens, they silently disappear into a puff of smoke and reappear where they started.


In the narration, Winterbottom is called juvenile epithets, like Buttwit or Turdmuffin.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom offers a unique gaming experience in both visual style and style of play, but that this mind-bending puzzle game is also extremely difficult. Kids who don't have the patience for trial and error, or who can't tolerate a game in which they may need to replay the same level several times before succeeding, are likely to get frustrated. Parents should also be aware that there is some mild potty-mouth language used in the comical, rhyming, written narration.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJinny Gudmundsen March 2, 2010
Kid, 10 years old March 20, 2010

What's it about?

THE MISADVENTURES OF P.B. WINTERBOTTOM follows the exploits of a notorious pie thief who is lured through a time warp by a giant floating pie. Gathering up dozens of delicious pastries on his quest for the mother pie, Winterbottom discovers that he can warp time, reliving the same few seconds over and over again, essentially creating several copies of himself that must work together to grab pies situated in puzzling locations. The entire game is presented in black-and-white, with dialogue cards popping up between scenes, as if it were a silent movie.

Is it any good?

It's safe to say you've never played anything like The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. The game looks utterly fabulous and does a great job of playing up that aura of the Hollywood silent era. And the gameplay concept -- you essentially perform an action on screen, then jump back in time and perform a new action in concert with a clone of yourself performing that first action, and so on -- feels so fresh and innovative. The only real flaw in the game, if you are to call it that, is the difficulty level. To call it challenging is an understatement. But those willing to put in the effort will feel rightly proud of themselves for finishing.

Online interaction: Scores and finishing times can be posted to leaderboards on Xbox Live.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the silent movie era of Hollywood. Have your children ever seen a silent movie? How is the game like a real silent films? How is it different?

  • Parents can also discuss the concept of farce with their children. P.B. Winterbottom is described as a vile and wicked villain, but his actions and demeanor are far from truly evil. How is this different from games or movies in which the lead character is genuinely a bad person? How does comedy dilute the bad behavior in the game?

Game details

  • Platforms: Xbox 360
  • Price: $10.00
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: 2K Games
  • Release date: February 12, 2010
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles

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