A day out at the fair, a case of dog-napping & a flying ice-cream machine? All in a days work for the plasticine duo!
Game Title: Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures: Muzzled!
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games/Aardman
Format Reviewed: PC (Review)
Also Available on: XBLA
Price: $8.95 | $34.95 for Season Pass
Okay, maybe I was being a bit harsh on Telltale with my review of The Last Resort. Yes, I did come away from the episode thoroughly unimpressed, with a greater feeling of apathy than even some of the earlier Sam & Max games, but maybe my scoring was a bit harsh. Still, I like to think a) I am providing a public service and b) the infinite monkeys with their infinite typewriters at Telltale are listening to my opinions.
This belief is happily reinforced by Muzzled!, episode #3 of 4 in the series. The puzzles are more logical and entertaining without being frustrating, more time is spent in the new episode specific location rather than bumbling around Wallace’s house and the whole plot is resolved in a much more satisfactory way, with an ending that way outdoes Fright of the Bumblebees for spectacle and creativity (much more in the spirit of Wallace & Gromit).
The local dog home has been destroyed and a rabble of destructive pups are running lose, finding themselves in Wallace’s basement, where they inevitably sabotage his latest invention (a machine that can create ice cream from any flavour or item simply by sampling it – perfect for the local fair that just happens to have been organized to raise funds for the dog home).
After quickly repairing the machine, the villain of the piece is revealed in the guise of Monty Muzzle, a slimy con-man in the style of Lyle Lanley who, for some reason, uses dogs as part of his master plan to defraud the entire population of the town. Gromit, as usual, picks up on this mean streak just in time and sets out to rescue the shelter mutts who have been dog-napped. Pensioner abuse, a high altitude chase and more of Wallace’s absent-mindedness ensue, the latter of which leads into a cliff hanger of conjugal proportions.
All this excitement comes at the expense of length however, with this episode being even shorter than The Last Resort. It may possibly be down to my perception (due to the unavoidable recycling of existing locations) but having to walk into the garden, out of the gate and down the street just to get too town is just getting repetitive. What happened to the quick map from Fright of the Bumblebees?
The cliff-hanger ending and promise of decent puzzles has upped my enthusiasm for the series, which concludes with the next episode, but this is a charming piece of adventure gaming proves that The Last Resort was just a blip and Telltale should be trusted to dig themselves out of any rut they get themselves into.