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Back to the Future The Game: Episode 2: Get Tannen!

Score: 90%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Back to the Future The Game: Episode 2: Get Tannen! continues the time-traveling antics of Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown as the duo realizes that they have inadvertently made some serious changes to the timeline and need to double back on themselves in order to keep Marty's grandfather, Arty, from being killed just after promising to testify against Kid Tannen, Biff's father.

Back to the Future The Game continues to provide an interesting visual twist on the classic movies. While the developers aren't trying to be photorealistic to match the exact look of the film, it has a unique flair to it that still manages to capture the license's feel, especially when it comes to details like the DeLorean or Marty and Doc's expressions.

Of course, what helps a lot with this is the game's audio aspects. Like before, the background music and audio cues sound just right. Whether it is the theme music playing in the background or the sound of the DeLorean hitting 88 miles-per-hour, everything sounds just right. Complementing the music and sound effects are, of course, the voices. Christopher Lloyd continues to reprise his role as Doc Brown and the stand-in voice for Marty really captures Michael J. Fox's somewhat squeaky voice. Put simply, the game just feels like a Back to the Future property.


In the first episode, Marty had to go back to 1931 and free Doc, under the pseudonym of Carl Sagan, from prison where he was being held as a suspected arsonist. Supposedly, Doc had burned down a speakeasy owned by gangster Kid Tannen, Biff's father, and while you successfully get Emmett out of prison, as well as set his younger self onto a path of science and invention, the timeline isn't exactly perfect. For one thing, it looks like Marty's grandfather, Arthur McFly, was killed after attempting to give evidence against Kid. As a result, Back to the Future The Game: Episode 2: Get Tannen! not only has Marty trying to save his grandfather, but also making sure Kid actually goes to prison.

While getting Arty to safety doesn't take too long, it turns out that putting him in hiding actually keeps Kid out of the big house. Marty discovers this when he returns to 1986 only to find the Tannen gang is large and in charge in Hill Valley. What results is an amusing story and quite a few interesting puzzles that all lead to finally putting Kid Tannen behind bars where he belongs.

One of the more interesting parts of Get Tannen! involved knowing how to manipulate the officer that is supposed to arrest Tannen, Marty's girlfriend's grandfather. You see, he was not only the officer that was on duty when "Carl Sagan" got away, but he also saw the DeLorean disappear in its iconic pair of fiery tracks and didn't have the forethought to keep the story to himself. In the months between the two parts of the game, Officer Parker has become a regular attendee of the speakeasy and has learned to look the other way when Kid's business crosses his path. In order to get him back in his right state of mind, you will have to learn just what influences his behavior and that bit of work was one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game.


I found most of this game's puzzles to be more enjoyable and slightly more challenging than It's About Time!, but that particular episode felt more like a tutorial and a setup for the overall plot. There were quite a few tasks in Back to the Future The Game: Episode 2: Get Tannen! that required more planning ahead and understanding the many pieces that needed to fall together. Not only do you have to know who needs to be involved in arresting Kid, but you have to actually motivate them to do so. A good example of this involves the aforementioned Officer Parker.

Overall, there is nothing too hard to overcome in this episode, but I did find the final sequence involving the actual takedown of Kid to not be as straightforward as I would have liked.

Game Mechanics:

Back to the Future The Game: Episode 2: Get Tannen! isn't any different than your average point-and-click adventure as far as the basic mechanics are concerned. This particular episode does feel a bit more reactive than other adventure titles, or, quite frankly, even the previous episode.

For one thing, there are a couple of timed events. These aren't anything big and you won't be killed or have to restart from your last save or anything that drastic, but they will require that you do what you need to in a specific amount of time. For instance, at the beginning of the game, Doc and Marty have been stopped by Parker and while holding Emmett at gun point, Parker starts asking him about accomplices. What he doesn't realize is that Marty is crouched behind the car. Every now and then, Parker thinks he hears something on the other side of the car. Marty will automatically move out of sight, but there is a specific order of events that you need to accomplish in order get past that particular puzzle. Basically, if you don't get a chance to do what you need to while on a particular side of the car, you will have to wait until you go around again before you can do that task.

Episode 2 does a good job of upping the ante a bit with the Back to the Future game. As a result, it should let players who were only mildly pleased with the first game happier, and once you get to the end of the episode, the series goes in a strange new direction that will get you hooked and wanting to know what happens next.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

XP / Vista / Windows 7, 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent, 2 GB RAM, ATI or NVidia card w/ 256 MB RAM Video Card, Direct X 9.0c, Audio card required

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Bulletstorm: Epic Edition Microsoft Xbox 360 Dreamcast Collection

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