Having played an episode on the Xbox 360, this was not our first foray into the digital version of the classic claymation series Wallace & Gromit. The Last Resort, although it is not the first episode in the series, comes to the iPad for the first time. It follows the old-school adventure game formula to a tee, but is easily the least zany of Telltale’s many episodic adventures. Aside from a few unfortunate technical hiccups, it’s their best venture on the iPad to date.
Telltale already invaded the iPad with a Sam & Max episode a few months back. It was a good first run on the iPad, but had a surprising number of performance issues. Considering we’ve seen some rather astounding 3D games on the platform already, the slow frame rate and crashing issues were disheartening. Wallace & Gromit has not escaped the clutches of the wobbling framerate, but it’s an overall better-performing game.
Meet Wallace, inventor of the ShamWow and Shake Weight.
Telltale has made its mark on the industry by taking aging properties and breathing new life into them. Homestar Runner, Monkey Island, and Sam & Max have all benefited, and there are new exciting properties in the pipeline, namely Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. All their games so far have been comedic in nature; Wallace & Gromit follows suit, but in a different manner.
Based on British-created characters, the jokes are inherently British in nature, as well. As such, while there are still slapstick elements, the dialog has a certain refinement to it that isn’t present in their other series. Your liking of the game may ultimately hinge on your appreciation of this type of humor.
Graphically, it’s gorgeous. It’s no polygon-pusher, but the characters are all (literally) well-rounded and accurately resemble the clay originals. The animation is spot-on, too, and all the characters’ signature movements and facial expressions are expertly captured. The voice acting is equally impressive and true to form. The jokes are more hit than miss, and fans of the series will feel right at home.
As an adventure game, though, it’s pretty average. You’re confined to Wallace’s house for the duration of the approximately four-hour game. The place is livened up a bit as it takes on the air of a resort, but if you’ve played a previous episode, the scenery is going to be mostly the same. The puzzles are generally easy enough to help you avoid using a walkthrough– usually a necessity in games like this– but clever enough to hold your interest. It doesn’t stray off the path set by other similar games, so don’t look for any genre advancement.
Sitting down for a nice cup of cheese.
Controls work decently on the iPad, with a virtual analog stick supplying movement, and in general we are a fan of how well the iPad handles inventory-based adventure games. It seems that point-and-click titles, which are usually cumbersome or downright awful without a mouse, have finally found a new home.
The frame rate, as we mentioned, still has trouble keeping up with the action at seemingly random intervals. Also, the game is not bug-free, but it’s much more stable than Sam & Max and seems to be free of any game-ending bugs.
Will The Last Resort blow you away with ingenuity and humor? Not likely. But you will feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth when the credits roll. Fans and newbies alike should give it a try. The more copies we buy of Telltale’s games, the more likely it is that they’ll continue to develop games for the iPad, and that’s a good thing.