Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures – Fright of the Bumblebees

Cracking object manipulation puzzles, Gromit! Britain’s much loved duo finally receives a game worthy of their reputation, keeping the twee comedy and conked out contraptions at the forefront.

Fright of the Bumblebees is the first in a quadruplet of episodic point and clicks by genre favourite, Telltale Games. Stuck with an order for 50 gallons of honey, Wallace and his faithful beagle struggle to produce the necessary flavouring for the town’s annual tea and crumpet festival.

Wallace and Gromit is just that British, with rows of terracotta-bricked council houses that wouldn’t be out of place on a box of toffees, cups upon cups of tea and too much floral wallpaper. Telltale has captured the original show’s style perfectly, even printing the faux-clay models with accidental thumbprints and seams.

Wallace is unfortunately not voiced by octogenarian Peter Sallis, but Aardman’s backup voice actor captures the Yorkshire accent well, with just a slightly monotonic delivery. Audio is the game’s weakest point though, as Telltale’s horrid luck with the “s” sound still makes the game buzz and with no ability to tune out the background music independently, voices can be tough to hear.

But Wallace and Gromit continues the developer’s brave foray into the forgotten genre with skill and attention, carefully doling out puzzles in manageable chunks, offering clues merely in the object’s bizarre nature and yet again implementing the dynamic hint system. No puzzle is too tricky; Telltale wants you to strain your laughing muscles, before your thinking ones.

The entire game is hilarious, between an ex-army major who senses an upcoming air-raid because he spots a snail hiding in his shell, or tricking a policeman by using a remote-controlled cheese-sniffing robot. You might just have to play it to understand that one. The game is also chockfull of references to the duo’s previous adventures, including the wrong trousers and the hatch to a certain spaceship.

As the first game to be developed for Xbox Live Arcade in conjunction with PC, the game eschews mouse-based movement to match it to its analogue stick counterpart. It takes some getting used to, but an Xbox 360 pad will work if the keys prove troublesome.







One response to “Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures – Fright of the Bumblebees”

  1. Lorna avatar

    Looking forward to playing this on live!

Leave a Reply