Back to the Future Episode 4 [$6.99] is available on the App Store. At this point, these write-ups are turning into reports as opposed to reviews. I’m OK with that. The first serial laid the foundation for all the future episodes mechanically and functionally. A review would be weird when there’s nothing evaluative to say without regurgitating previous musings.

In other words, if you’re new to Back to the Future read our review of the first episode.

Episode 4 kicks off right after the events of its predecessor. In the course of the game, however, you will travel back to 1931, which means there’s a... pseudo-new environment to explore and interact with. The beginning of this specific episode in contrast with others does deal heavily with the dialogue wheel, so if you like the characters, this should be in your wheelhouse. If not... well, there’s a lot of find, manipulate, and “use” convention.

I have a couple of thoughts coming out of Episode 4. Wouldn’t it be great if there were decisions you could make that branched out the plot in interesting ways? Wouldn’t it also be cool if these ‘choices’ carried that impact from episode to episode? Telltale never does this, but I think I’d be more invested in the series if it revolved around my actions.

Also, I’m tiring of this engine. Native app or not, these games run much, much slower than their PC and Macintosh counterparts. I understand the graphical sacrifice, but why doesn’t the lack of textures, lighting and other effects mean we get a snappier game? I think there’s some good work that can be done in the future with other series.

The next episode in the series will be the last. I don’t have a hard date for its release, but I would imagine that it hits next month. I’ll keep you in the loop.

  • macduke

    This tame game is super lame as nobody is to blame but the devs who maim a trilogy of great fame. I hope they're framed, set aflame* and history forgets their name. They aim to think different, but they're all the same, in the end it's just claims, they should be ashamed.

    * Disclaimer: I actually don't want anyone to be set on fire. But I did play the first episode and thought it was crap.

    • Stevenmilligan

      Thesaurus FTW!

  • Anonymous

    I was completely put off by the first episode.  First the performance was terrible, but I found it interesting enough to keep going.  Then the performance got WORSE which made it difficult to not just turn off...Lastly, I found the 1930s setting bland and boring (at least in the game).  So much potential I felt was lost, but then again I haven't played the other episodes so it could be better.

    • http://portablesoldier.tumblr.com Jay MacEachern

      Yeah even the textures were much lower res than any of the other versions I have played of the series. Couldn't agree more that it ruined the experience.

  • http://portablesoldier.tumblr.com Jay MacEachern

    Don't base you opinion on the iPad ports. Unless you are using iPad 2 their performance is terrible and really ruins the experience. Grabbing the collection on the PSN or PC would be best to enjoy these titles. 

    This is based on the Episode 1 that is available for free on the app store. There is no mention in this article if performance has improved since then.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

    I play this game on my iPad 2 and love it. The thing that upsets me is that with all the iPad2's power they could at least make a optimized version with higher rez textures and shaders.