It only seems like yesterday that Telltale Games released their first piece of episodic content for Wallace and Gromit, Fright of the Bumblebees, but the time has come for the finale to be released, and The Bogey Man marks the last of four titles.
Will this series go out with a bang, or a whimper?
The central plot of the game revolves around Wallace joining the Prickly Thicket country club, in an effort to avoid the uncomfortable situation of an accidental proposal to his next door neighbour. In doing so, he comes across the revelation that the club doesn’t actually own a golf course of its own, due to a deed that was lost by the town’s ancestors.
Much like previous iterations, the game is largely a well crafted recreation of the world of Wallace and Gromit that Aardman Animations have astounded and entertained viewing audiences with. However, just like I mentioned when reviewing a previous episode, what seems on first glance to be endearing graphics of a nature to stylise itself more with the claymation, after playing for a while, the character models and animations began to look crude.
Despite any flaws with the characters, the level design remains a mixture of impressive and somewhat lacking. There are new areas for you to explore, which come in the form a sewer and the historic Prickly Thicket Country Club. However, some locations have been taken away, and limiting Wallace and Gromit’s house to just the front garden and one room felt slightly disappointing after the freedom of exploration allowed in The Last Resort.
The writing is still a strong point of the game, perhaps even more so than in previous episodes and will keep you entertained throughout this final iteration. The voice acting is a perfect accompaniment to the writing, displaying the same quirky sense of humour you’d expect, even if they don’t quite have the same voice cast that the animation uses.
There are some deviations from previous installments that are worth mentioning, as they heavily impact the way the game is played. Whilst other episodes have favoured a heavily linear approach to the puzzles, this episode mixes that up by giving you multiple puzzles to solve at once, allowing you the freedom to pick which you want to do at any given time.
While this attempts to somewhat ease the levels of frustration, this change would have been more welcomed earlier on in the series, giving players time to refine their skills before the final chapter.
As to the question of whether the game ends on a bang or a whimper; I think it’s safe to say it’s a loud whimper. The game is delightfully British in a way that very few other games can achieve, and despite any action elements of puzzles, the tone is always light-hearted. If you like your adventure games charming and funny, then look no further, but if you want much more you’d be advised to check out Telltale’s other offering: The Tales of Monkey Island.
Whilst the low key graphics may be seen as charming, they are also rather crude in some areas.
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There's a noticeable improvement from previous iterations, allowing for more flexivility in how you solve puzzles
Great Voice acting and music: truly the pinnacle of this game's achievements.
The Bogey Man is a short game, clocking in only a few hours, and unfortunately, contains no worthwhile replay value.
The finale of Telltale's episodic Wallace and Gromit content is a mixed bag, with some elements seeing an improvement and others taking a step backwards. If you have the previous episodes then you will want to play this game to see the story out to completion, otherwise you may want to look elsewhere for your adventure game fix.