Wallace and Gromit are among the most famous characters in children’s television. Wallace is a timid inventor with an insatiable appetite for cheese, and Gromit is his loyal sidekick who might as well have written the book on producing satire through expressions.
As an action-junky, Wallace and Gromit may be one of the most unusual choices of games I have taken an interest in in a while, and as an action junky the thought of a point-and-click adventure reminds me of my unpleasant experiences with the Broken Sword series on the PC. Though when I think of Wallace and Gromit, it brings me back to my childhood memories of the films; Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers, and considering the entire collection is available for Xbox Live Arcade, this writer thought, why not?
However, let’s get on with the important details here, the game. Wallace and Gromit is your typical point and click adventure whereby the player controls either Wallace or his (unintentionally) amusing sidekick, Gromit. The story reveals our favorite plasticine characters finding themselves in the usual pickle (as always) orchestrated by Wallace. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles by walking around the areas in which you possess access and figuring out how to progress to the next stage.
One the great things about Wallace and Gromit is that it feels like Wallace and Gromit. That humour that we all know and love is still there, with Wallace and his childlike naivety and Gromit’s expressions speaking for themselves. Down the years there have been so many TV/Film to video game tie-ins, which most of the time end up being beyond abysmal. As a point and click adventure I feel that TellTale Games couldn’t have done a better job of bringing the world of Wallace and Gromit to the players fingertips.
The player must then solve a series of puzzles depending on the pending situation. Some will require a series of items to progress to the next part of the story, while others require you to interact with a certain character using a particular item. One good example of the said puzzles would be a situation the player finds themselves in the chapter “Muzzled”, where meddlesome dogs have stolen pieces of Wallace’s ice cream van. In order to distract one of the dogs attention, I had to procure a food source of some kind.
Now as someone who is rather ill-minded, in other words unable to think for himself due to the amount of action games that have made my video game brain mushy and something quite reminiscent of a bowl of jello, I had great trouble in actually thinking outside the box and going outside the house and see what I could find. And find I did, the Major who had a delightful assortment of biscuits, but was reluctant to give them over. This struck me for a moment, and I then realized how impatient I really was, as I wondered to myself ”seriously, can’t I just take my shotgun out now and just take the damn biscuits?”.
However as I got stressed about how to get them off him I absentmindedly acquired a pie-eating contest sheet in which I decided to take down some names. Then it struck me, “I have to give this to him” and off I trotted to continue my adventure having fooled the Major into giving up precious cargo and allowing me to progress. That was the moment my icy, cynical heart melted for Wallace and Gromit, and the moment I realized that my previous snide remarks about its mediocrity should be laid to rest.
Though we must not get ahead of ourselves, Wallace and Gromit is by no means perfect. My first and foremost complaint has to be the camera angles and the control system, or more to the point how they don’t appear to get on well with each other. When controlling a character into an area that is out ot the cameras view it will automatically switch to a new camera angle, much like the old Resident Evil.
However unlike Resident Evil, the control system seems to turn spastic at this point and turns what you thought to be controlling your character to go right to going up, or going down to going left and so on. This in turn, gets exceptionally aggravating after a while when you are trying to explore a certain area and your character runs off in the complete opposite direction.
My other complaints would be the lack of a hint system of any kind, at least one that works. While it does give you some underlying hints that don’t make you feel like a retard, it would be nice to get some sort of direction in what you’re supposed to be doing sometimes. It feels far too much like a game that makes you run into your solution rather than figuring it out by yourself.
Apart from that, the Wallace and Gromit Grand Adventure is a solid, all round package that allows you to sit down and think, which for a video game is a surprise. While I can’t say they are worth their 3200 Microsoft Points price tag, if you are a die-hard fan and enjoy point and click adventures like nothing normal, then you have found yourself the perfect game. Wallace and Gromit Review.
- Wallace and Gromit are perfectly characterised
- Some great puzzles resulting in genuine satisfaction
- A charming and fun adventure that can be enjoyed by all
- A game that is the antithesis of what action gamers seek
- Unreliable camera, controls and lack of a proper hint system can frustrate
- Not worth 800 Microsoft Points for each chapter/Not much replayabilty value
- Random Fact:
- While Wallace is the avid inventor of the two, Gromit is the only one who can actually fix things
The Wallace and Gromit Grand Adventures were developed by TellTale Games and published by Xbox Live Arcade. It was released for Xbox Live Arcade on November 4, 2009.