|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Telltale Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Telltale Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The fact that the previously helpful hint system wonks out in this episode compounds the increased difficulty issue. While dealing with areas that are laden with multiple puzzles - like when you're hunting for the right sequence of events to obtain three keys mid-way - hints will be called out that may or may not pertain to the specific challenge you're focusing on, making for moments of unnecessary confusion. You can always turn it off and seek other means of assistance, since resorting to consulting walkthroughs is a time honored tradition amongst adventure game enthusiasts.
Toughness aside, the fourth episode is still brimming with personality. The cleverness found in each of the many puzzles is a major high point, making the satisfaction gleaned from overcoming them even greater. Characters are snappy, and the often funny dialogue is as sharp as ever. You'll only find one newcomer among the bunch, but older characters are infused with additional personality and have plenty of interesting conversational moments to share. It's also worth noting that while other recent episodes favored either Wallace or Gromit more heavily at times, the final adventure seems fairly split between the two.
The country club and a few other new spots you'll frequent balance out the recycled terrain that again crops up. Much of the locations used in past episodes are either inaccessible in the finale or they've been visually re-worked to feel new - a trick the development team has found great success with in the series. The Bogey Man's visuals are very polished, and we're still impressed by the way the game's style matches the claymation look of the original film shorts while also glossing everything over with a cartoonish sheen.
It's hard not to feel some disappointment with the way the series ends off. The episode's final chaotic moments are certainly clever and comical, but the drab, anticlimactic conclusion deflates the fun. The golf-centric nature of the episode may also turn some players off, especially if they share Ms. Flitt's aunt's loathing of the sport. The Bogey Man isn't really a bad installment; it just lacks some of the energy and flair of past episodes in certain areas. While we're hopeful Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures pick up again with more zany exploits in the near future, it's unfortunate to have it sputter out the way it does.
CCC Staff Contributor