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The series finale of the Wallace and Gromit games, "The Bogey Man!!!" isn't just a great game for fans of the duo, but for everyone who loves cracking contraptions and twisted story lines.
Before the real action started the game gave me a primer on its control system which involved exercising my navigational skills. Whilst controlling the characters is straight-forward enough using the cursor keys, I wish Telltale would have used a better system for its motion controls. All other tasks require using the mouse and having to switch between mouse and keyboard gets annoying.
After the tutorial the story unfolds and Wallace gets "unintentionally" engaged to his neighbour Felicity Flitt. Just when Wallace realizes that this might not be a good idea after all (one of these "oh dear!" moments), he puts Gromit on the task to solve the "Flitt case". He would have done it himself, of course, but for Mayor Crum stopping by and asking for the services of the "Golden Retrieval" detective agency. So the player...er, Gromit has two problems to solve: get Wallace out of the engagement and find whatever Mayor Crum is looking for.
Early on I hit a snag. I could run around the house, bug Wallace, and make the pond in the front yard flip over, but I didn't find more to do. So I employed the skills of my son.
After a few rounds of manoeuvring Gromit around the house I found the box with Wallace's excellent inventions. There is the clue finder and the eavesdropper, which is the right tool to listen in on what Felicity Flitt discusses with her great aunt Prudence. And that provides the first clue, because great aunt Prudence won't give her blessing to the union if Wallace is a member of the hated Prickly Thicket Country Club. Even worse, Felicity plans to make Wallace stop being an inventor and grow Geraniums instead.
The other gadgets like scissors, a wrench, and the clue finder find their place in the inventory. It would be nice to have the inventory show on a right mouse button click either instead or additionally to the hot key. Using a gadget on an item can yield some interesting results, although it isn't immediately obvious what that will be good for.
Early on I hit a snag. I could run around the house, bug Wallace, and make the pond in the front yard flip over, but I didn't find more to do. So I employed the skills of my son. Not much later he figured out how to open the gate of the front yard. We took Gromit down West Wallaby Street and saw many different and interesting things in downtown Wigan.
Having figured out how to expand the area of operation put a lot of fun back into the game. The characters are already classics, but Telltale one upped that by giving the game some really stellar graphics, especially after cranking up the graphics quality and selecting a higher resolution. The details brought to the entire scenery made things really come to life, assuming that one has a system with sufficient graphics power.
The goals are clear: get Wallace to take up golf and have him join the Prickly Thicket Country Club to get out of the engagement, and also find whatever unspecified item the mayor is looking for. I spent a lot of time aimlessly wandering around the house, the front yard, and downtown trying all kinds of different things. The game provides an option for setting the frequency of hints. Although I set it to "often" I seem to rarely get any hints, or they're are there and I just don't get them. A nice feature is the game summary that is displayed after loading a saved game. This way I could get right back into the game even after being away from it for an extended period of time.
Besides the lack of better motion controls, I wish the game could accommodate several player accounts. For example, I could not find a way how my son and I could each save our game and take turns playing.
Interestingly enough, trying different things gets me a jar of super sticky nut butter (that also makes a good fertilizer). I also meet the crook in jail and strike up conversation with the lady at the news stand. I expect that I have to invest some serious amount of time to get ahead, but just looking at Wallace, Gromit and everything in Wigan is fun.
I just wish there were a few more features. Besides the lack of better motion controls, I wish the game could accommodate several player accounts. For example, I could not find a way how my son and I could each save our game and take turns playing.
In general, "The Bogey Man" is an entertaining game and the huge amount of work put into creating the graphics, the characters, and dialogues really shows. I guess the next task is getting some cheese and crackers, enjoy the cracking contraptions, and find some golf clubs for Wallace.
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