Back to the Future: The Game - Double Visions

Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    TellTale Games & Universal Studios

Released:  April 2011

PC Requirements:   Windows XP/Vista/Windows7, Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or 100% compatible CPU 512 MB RAM, 3 GB available hard disk space , DirectX 9,0c 



by Becky


Double Visions -- Episode Four in the Back to the Future: The Game series -- begins with Marty McFly once again trapped. He's stuck in a holding area for people awaiting "reeducation" under the Citizen Plus program. Since brainwashing would put an end to Marty's schemes to correct this particular timestream, escaping the locked room is top priority.

Episode Four picks up right where Episode Three left off. It's vital to play the first three episodes before you attempt the fourth -- if you don't, you will spend your time in Double Visions wondering what on earth has happened to Hill Valley and its formerly fun-loving citizens. (For a review of the first episode, which contains some story background, click here.)  

Those who don't want more plot information should now cover their eyes.

It's hard holding someone as elusive and inventive as Marty against his will, so it isn't long before our hero finds himself out of confinement and hanging out at the local high school. He's seeking the younger version of Doc Emmett Brown. Hill Valley High is sponsoring a history/science fair of sorts:  the "Hill Valley Exposition 1931," and young Emmett is submitting an exhibit that he hopes will make his name as a scientist. Marty has his hands full by mid-episode, as he's trying to persuade younger Emmett to take certain actions, while also persuading the older version of Emmett that the timestream must be changed.

Science can be fun!

The Hill Valley Exposition 1931 provides some amusing venues for puzzles, as different dioramas explore Hill Valley's past and potential future, together with odd stuff that can be stolen and animatronics that can be tweaked. Also the multi-stepped puzzle in young Emmett's lab is a humdinger and quite amusing when you finally figure it out. The exposition and lab puzzles ramp up the overall difficulty when compared to previous episodes. Other challenges include dialog and inventory conundrums.

The quality of the dialogs and voiceovers in the fourth episode continues to be excellent. This episode develops characters we've already met, rather than introducing anyone new. You'll spend more time with younger Emmett, for instance, learning more about his relationship with Edna and what motivates him as a thinker/tinkerer.

Structurally, the episode doesn't do much that is novel, but provides a bridge between the terrifyingly "perfect" Hill Valley of Episode Three, and an unexpected conflict that emerges near the end Episode Four, setting up the series denouement. Episode Five: OUTATIME! will pit Marty against the toughest opponent he's ever had. Let's hope the conclusion is a rip-roarer -- the story, so far, certainly has that potential.

Quick List for Back to the Future: The Game  -- Double Visions

The fourth episode in a series of five, featuring Emmett Brown -- a scientist whose younger self doesn't know what his older self is up to -- and Marty McFly -- a fast talker just trying to avoid disaster. Colorful 3D graphics, familiar characters, excellent dialog and voiceovers, occasional spicy language. To understand the story, you should play the previous three episodes before this one. Appropriate for older children and up.

Inventory and dialog challenges. No sliders, no mazes, no sound matching puzzles. The most difficult puzzle is the lab sequence, which has multiple association sequences. You can't die.

Third person perspective. Three options for navigation: mouse (click-and-drag), keyboard (WASD or the arrow keys) or a game controller. The Options menu provides access to different graphical and auditory tweaks, plus hint features. About three hours of gameplay. No problems with installation. No glitches.

Aimed at those who would enjoy knowing more about the young adulthood of Doc Emmett Brown and at anyone who has secretly longed to sabotage science fair exhibits.

Final Grade: B

What I played it on: 

Dell Studio XPS 8000

Windows 7 Home Premium

Intel Core i5-750 processor


1024MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 220

Soundblaster X-Fi

Back to the Future: The Game -- Double Visions can be purchased via download from Telltale Games.


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June 2011

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