Wallace & Gromit: Fright of the Bumblebees
Wallace & Gromit, the two popular clay characters, are already world famous for years thanks to their crazy adventures in the series and movies. Telltale Games, known from amongst others Sam & Max, saw in the duo the perfect lead for a new series of episodic games, namely Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures. The new series will have four episodes in total which will appear both on PC and Xbox Live Arcade. The first one, Fright of the Bumblebees has recently saw the light in the Xbox Live Arcade section and we decided to take a decent look at it.
In this new adventure crazy scientist Wallace starts up a honey company, From Bee to You. While everything is still in preparation Wallace decides to take on a big order from the local merchant to deliver 50 gallons of honey that same day for the guy’s big party. To be able to deliver, Wallace needs lots of flowers but they don’t grow in one day. Therefore the he decides to use a muscle development formula on the seeds of his plants. However, as usual some things go wrong and the formula has an unexpected side effect on the bees.
Contrary to most Telltale games this isn’t exactly a point-and-click adventure as there’s a limited amount of freedom added in the decors and you can walk around with Walace or Gromit (depending on where you are in the game). The movement is logically done with the left stick while the right one is used for selecting objects which is done by moving it towards the object in question. The system isn’t too accurate but the shoulder buttons help as you can scroll between available objects. The rest of the controls don’t need an introduction probably, solving puzzles is done by combining objects just as in every adventure game.
Audiovisually the game is strong, the characters seem to come straight out of the movies thanks to the good voice acting and identical-looking clay figures. The game isn’t built from clay figurines but animations but still the differences are minimal. Here and there you can even see a fingerprint or a scar, just like real clay figurines! There is one small downpoint though, the game sometimes suffers from shaky movements and due to the unstable framerate you regularly realise that it’s still a game and not a claymation movie.
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures: Fright of the Bumblebees is a pleasant adventure game with a good sense of humour. Thanks to the good storyline this 6 hour long trip never bores. Some thinking is necessary to finish but thanks to an ingenious hint system a starting adventure gamer won’t get into trouble while the experienced one will no doubt have a challenge as well. The only downpoint seems to be the framerate but if Telltale can solve this in the second episode then Marketplace has got a new very strong title in its ranks. For the price you shouldn’t leave it as for a meagre 800 MS points this one is yours!