Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Joystiq Review: Wallace and Gromit's Fright of the Bumble Bees

Justin McElroy

I'd imagine that most people go into Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures: Fright of the Bumble Bees knowing what they're going to get. If you're the sort that's going to buy into Telltale's newest episodic project then you're probably at least aware of the basic mouse-driven adventure mechanics of Sam and Max or Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People.

If you're expecting something substantially different here, you're not going to find it. This is a game about exploring a charming world, about learning its internal logic and learning to use it. It may not be revolutionary, but it sure is delightful.

Gallery: Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures | 17 Photos

If you're a complete virgin to the license and Telltale, here's the rundown. You'll play both as the incompetent inventor Wallace and his far more intelligent dog, Gromit. Their honey delivery service hasn't really gotten off the ground, and their first big order (along with the terrifying consequences of filling it) may be too much for them to handle.

By solving a series of not-terribly-taxing-but-frequently-cheese-centric puzzles, you'll try to help Wallace and Gromit pay off their debts and save their hometown from complete destruction via giant bee.

It's an adorable, feather-light game, one that manages to make you feel smart for discovering a solution while never being frustrating. It's cute, but always too wry to be cloying. It's also a visual treat that's as close as computer-generated graphics have come to looking handmade.

It's what you'd expect gameplay-wise (find the item, figure out how to use it) but there are some changes to the Telltale formula too, most notably a map that let's you jump to anywhere in Wallace and Gromit's neighborhood. You'll also be using the arrow keys to navigate rather than the mouse, a concession for console players who'll have access soon.

You could be forgiven for accusing Telltale of being too formulaic, as closely as W&G sticks to the model of its predecessors. But, for me at least, there's comfort in it, in knowing that I can step into and explore a delightful new world, confident that no matter what I unearth, I already speak the language.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext file