Back to the Future: The Game – “Get Tannen!” (Episode Two)
Welcome back, time travelers! Today, we’re going to be looking at the second episode of, Back to the Future: The Game. If you haven’t read my review of the previous episode yet, then I recommend that you do so. Otherwise, you’ll be somewhat lost.
Episode one leaves us off with Marty disappearing from time. We saved Doc from Kid Tannen, but something Marty did changed the timeline.
We find out from the newspaper they were carrying that Tannen knocked off Artie for snitching on him…something that Marty convinced Artie to do in the previous episode. The policeman who crashed his car due to Marty’s appearance into 1931 shows up, and while Doc distracts the policeman, Marty steals the DeLorean and time travels his way back some odd number of hours to prevent Tannen from getting his revenge on Artie.
Marty has to be careful not to reveal his presence to his other self, who at the time, was trying to free Doc from jail. Interrupting his past self will change the timeline and possibly prevent his present from ever occurring. If you watched the movies, it’s equivalent to the second movie during the part of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. Fans of the series will have no trouble keeping up.
Marty goes around Hill Valley, trying to prevent Tannen from killing Artie. There are a series of puzzles and events leading the way. Most of them were simple, but some of them required more timed clicking…that is…changing the environment in such a way so that an interactive object that wasn’t useful before, becomes one.
After rescuing his grandfather, Marty places Artie in the DeLorean and they travel a few hours into the future to pick up Doc just as Marty’s past self was escaping. This cop was really having a bad day.
Doc and Marty tell Artie to lay low for a while, but not to leave town as that would pollute the timeline. They tell him that he is destined to meet a woman named Sylvia (Marty’s grandmother)…George assumes that it is part of some sting operation and he goes along with it. We are still unsure at this point if Trixie is Marty’s grandmother and we still don’t know who the speakeasy arsonist really was…I was itching to continue on in the hopes that some light would be shed on either topic.
So far, I was enjoying the experience. I got wrapped up in the story more so than the puzzles. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I wanted to know more about Artie’s involvement with Trixie, just so that I could determine if their romance was a bad thing. From a “do I understand what’s going on” standpoint, I was okay and managed to follow along with the various timelines occurring all at once.
Marty and Doc head back to 1986 to find the timeline changed…which is always my favorite part of these stories. What perverse reality had they entered, and how were they going to fix it? The Tannen gang was apparently running the show and attempts to kill Marty. After a rather annoying puzzle sequence, Doc shows up and they escape. Apparently, Kid Tannen was never arrested like he was in the original timeline. Something they did prevented that from happening.
I didn’t need a guide or prompting to know what had happened…earlier in the game in episode one, Marty interfered with that car chase causing that cop (Danny Parker, Jennifer’s grandfather) to crash. They can’t prevent that from happening, or that would change everything they’ve done up to this point. Marty and Doc must go back to 1931, two months after these events in August, and get Tannen arrested.
Before Marty can get to Officer Parker (who was the one who made the arrest in the original timeline), he interacts with a number of the familiar townsfolk. Emmett gives up law to pursue science and Edna takes notice of one of his experiments. The older Doc hints that you should encourage young Emmett to go see the movie Frankenstein, which gave him the encouragement he needed to start his scientific career.
There was a puzzle that involved getting Einstein off the roof of the courthouse…and at first I thought it was silly and just a time filler. I had no idea what I was in for, and what it could possibly lead to.
Anyway…Trixie was back in town, singing for Tannen in his club, and Officer Parker was down in the dumps. Through a series of puzzles that involved changing Parker’s mood with songs and dialogue (probably the most annoying puzzle yet), Marty convinces him to arrest Tannen. Tannen was elsewhere at this point and had taken a hostage.
The final puzzle of the episode involved jumping from box to box and starting a fire inside the building Tannen was holed up in. If you have sensitive ears, you may want to turn down your volume…that gunfire gets annoying real quick.
After Tannen is captured and Trixie is reunited with Artie, we are treated to Marty flying the DeLorean with Einstein and Doc in tow and all seems right. Up to this point, I was unimpressed by the episode and its puzzles, until I saw Doc express his concern as to why young Emmett had mentioned to Marty that he was taking Edna to see Frankenstein, which hadn’t happened in the original timeline. We watch in horror as Edna takes Emmett out of line and seduces him with her “charm”, and at that moment, the DeLorean hit 88 mph and shot forward to 1986.
The DeLorean crashes into a billboard, with Doc and Einstein nowhere to be seen. The billboard itself was a picture of Doc, welcoming people to Hill Valley. The episode ended there…needless to say, I was NOT looking forward to waiting another month.
In case you couldn’t tell, the last part of this episode was probably my favorite…I wasn’t really all that excited about finding ways to get Jennifer’s grandfather to arrest Tannen. At first, I didn’t think that the interactions between Edna and Emmett were necessary, but it set up the catastrophe for episode three.
This was probably my least favorite episode out of the five, mainly because I enjoyed interacting with young Emmett and wanted to learn more about him. Doc spent most of his time this episode in a hotel room as to prevent his younger self from seeing him, but the time I did get to spend with old Doc, I enjoyed. There’s just something about the Doc Brown character that I really find appealing…I suppose it is his grasp on all things science related. I looked forward to working side by side with Doc, but ended up doing most of it on my own.
All things considered, it wasn’t a bad episode, just the least memorable with the exception of the very last cut scene. Stay tuned for a review of episode three…coming soon!
Final Verdict: 9/10