What is it?
come to end of another episodic series of games from Telltale Games. As
you can probably tell from the title of this review, this time I'm writing
about the fourth and final episode of Wallace and Gromit's Grand
Adventures; it's called The Bogey Man.
don't already know who Wallace and Gromit are, or if you haven't played
the earlier episodes of the Grand Adventures, you really shouldn't
be starting with this episode, or this review. If you choose to persist, I
suppose I'd better summarise: Wallace is an inventor, and Gromit is his
dog, and the actual brains of the outfit. They live in the North of
England in a small town peopled with a set of idiosyncratic characters who
largely appear throughout this series of games.
Is there a plot?
quite tricky to describe the plot of The Bogey Man while
avoiding spoiling the plots of the previous episodes of the Grand
Adventures, but the primary motivation for story in this episode is
that somehow Wallace's next door neighbour, Miss Flitt, believes herself
to be engaged to marry Wallace, much to her apparent pleasure, and to
Wallace's confusion. Gromit just looks on in disbelief, of course.
However, there's a fly in Miss Felicity Flitt's ointment, and that is her
Aunt Prudence (Ms. Flitt), and the long-standing feud between the Flitt
family and a local golf and country club known as Prickly Thicket Country
Wallace finds out about the feud, he senses that this might be his ticket
out of his engagement with Felicity, and so the first part of the
story revolves around getting Wallace membership in the club. Then come
the puzzles of the location of the Prickly Thicket golf course, the Ganges
Grip, the Chairman's Championship, and finally the rescue of everyone by
Gromit (of course).
some character development since the first story; I think nearly all of
the characters have been involved in more than one story, whilst others
have been involved in all of them. Some of the relationships between them
are hidden right until the last minutes of the last episode, whilst others
(Wallace and Felicity, for example) are key to the progression of the
How do you play?
series of four games, you might normally expect changes in the gaming
mechanism, an improvement in graphical quality, changes of casting, or the
addition of new features as the series progresses. However, the business
model of Telltale Games has them generating multiple games based on a
stable engine, and releasing those games over a short time span -- giving
rise to this episodic format that provides an experience to the gamer that
is much more akin to a series of television short movies than either a
conventional game series released over a number of years, such as the
Myst games, or a weekly TV series, like The Big Bang Theory.
So, consequently, I can say that you play The Bogey Man in exactly
the same way as the previous three episodes. There are no new controls.
of the Grand Adventures are played in the third person, with the
player sometimes controlling Wallace, and sometimes Gromit; usually for
getting into a mess, and out again, respectively. I don't like the hybrid
mouse/keyboard controls of the Grand Adventure. I find that there
is sufficient use of the mouse for almost everything, so that suddenly
switching to the keyboard to get Wallace or Gromit to move is most
jarring. On the other hand, the sidebar, pop-out inventory works perfectly
well, as do the bounding box highlights around the on-screen hotspots.
(There's also a hotkey, Tab, to indicate all the hotspots in the current
I'm on the subject of keys, there are basically two sets of controls; one
to suit those who hold the mouse in their right hand, and one the reverse
preference, but you'll have to check the Telltale Games website, as the
downloaded game doesn't come with a manual.
each of the previous two games, the bulk of the story takes place at 62
West Wallaby Street, and in the town square, however, there are also a
couple of new locations: the sewers under the town(!) and the Prickly
Thicket Country Club. The club is an archetypical country house with
billiards room, big fireplace, automaton butler... and a rather atypical
short indoor driving range in the hallway!
be nice to say that there are new, notable, features in The Bogey Man,
but as this is simply the fourth game based on the one engine, there's
little change in the fundamental features of the games between episodes. I
will say that the look of the game, the standard of the voice acting and
the quality of the music are still excellent. And the hint system is still
helpful, yet subtle.
undoubtedly the case that the Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures
series are good puzzling adventures, that fit in very nicely with the
existing stories (shorts and movies) that form the canon of Wallace and
Gromit. However, this last episode in the series has lost some of the
gloss of the earlier ones. There are occasional scenes where the focus
appears to be on the wrong place (an example is where a particular
character is talking, but the view is of another, unrelated, part of the
building), and a few graphical glitches, such as black squares where there
shouldn't be. So, much as it pains me to do, I cannot give this
disappointing final episode a glowing report; this is definitely a case of
"could do better."
Wallace & Gromit in The
Bogey Man can be purchased via download at
What do you need to play it?
Windows XP / Vista (Vista64
2.0 GHz or better (3 GHz Pentium 4 or
512MB (1GB recommended)
64MB DirectX 8.1-compliant video card
DirectX 8.1 sound device
Version 9.0c or better
Also available for Xbox 360, via Xbox
(I used a
custom built 64-bit Vista Home Premium SP1 PC running on an AMD Athlon 64
X2 Dual 5200+, with 6 GB RAM, and an XFX nVidia GeForce 8600GT 256MB video
card with mother-board sound card)
Despite the recommended requirements stating that 64bit Vista is not
supported, the game ran just fine on my setup.