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Back to the Future The Game: Episode 3: Citizen Brown

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 3: Citizen Brown lands Marty in another fine pickle when his attempts to free Doc from jail in the 1930's and the attempt to fix the problems he caused there create even more drastic changes back in his home time of 1986.

Like before, the stylized graphics of Back to the Future The Game do a good job of capturing the characters and settings of Hill Valley and its inhabitants. While the look isn't photo-realistic, the feel of the world seems right. This time, Marty finds himself in a Hill Valley that takes Orson Welles' Big Brother concept to a whole new level as the super-modern and very clean alternate timeline Hill Valley brings a very different look to the classic location.

Audio continues to be a high point in the game as character voices fit the bill perfectly. This time around, characters like George and Lorraine are more prominent, in addition to Biff. There is also, of course, Doc Brown and Marty along with the one of this game's new main characters, Edna Brown (nee Strickland).

The game is also filled with classic Back to the Future theme music and sound effects that make the whole experience feel like an extension of the movies.


As I said above, Back to the Future The Game: Episode 3: Citizen Brown starts off with Marty returning to Hill Valley in 1986 only to realize that his accidental nudging of young Emmett and Edna together has caused not only a romantic spark, but a long-lasting marriage. As a result, Edna's desire to control everything around her, coupled with Doc's scientific mind, has created a gated city that is self-ruling and under constant surveillance. In a city like Hill Valley, even the little things like owning a dog, drinking or showing public displays of affection will land you demerits.

In this episode, Marty will do whatever it takes to see "Citizen Brown" in person so he can convince him of the changes in the timeline, but it seems the only way to do that is to cause a lot of trouble. That's the primary goal this time around, break the over-strict laws and get some face-time with your old friend. Only then might you convince him to help fix the broken DeLorean, the one you crashed into a billboard on the way into 1986.

Like the past episodes though, there aren't a whole lot of areas to explore. Besides the Town Square, you will spend some time at the McFly residence and, eventually, the courthouse and clock tower where Citizen Brown's offices lay. While I would have liked a bit more variety in the settings, it is always interesting to see how the different things you did in the previous episodes have so radically changed the same locations.


While there are a good number of inventory-based puzzles in Back to the Future The Game: Episode 3: Citizen Brown, a vast majority of your tasks will involve the proper navigation of dialogue trees, and sometimes simple harping on one point over and over again until the character you are talking to decides to do something different.

As a result, Citizen Brown feels noticeably easier than the past episodes. The game still took me several hours to get through, but there were far fewer times that left me perplexed this time around. In fact, with the exception of a couple of uses of the game's Hint System that made me realize I just needed to talk to a character a few more times, I found each of the obstacles laid out in front of me to be fairly straightforward and require very little work to accomplish. Despite this episode feeling easier than others though, I did enjoy it.

Game Mechanics:

Back to the Future The Game: Episode 3: Citizen Brown keeps to the same mechanics of the past two episodes, but it was nice to visit a different time this go around. Both previous episodes kept you rooted to the 1930's, and while that was very necessary story-wise to get you to this point, it was starting to get just a bit old.

So the change in time, but not necessarily location, helps to spice things up a bit. This episode also has quite a few callbacks to the past two, and at least one of the puzzles requires that you remember some specific things about how one of the rooms was structured in the past. I found this particular puzzle's solution to be both enjoyable and a good way to tie the different episodes together.

I've generally enjoyed Back to the Future The Game and feel it is a good adventure title for fans of Telltale's work, as well as the movies this game expands. While the past episodes have laid out some groundwork, this one definitely brings the game's story into full swing and is worth playing, but only by those players who've worked their way through the first two parts. If you try and jump in the middle of things with this series, you are apt to be a bit lost.

-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:

Nintendo DS Nanda's Island Nintendo 3DS Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

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