Great Scott! Telltale Games clearly has a winner with the Back to the Future Game, the new episodic story RPG released just in time for Christmas. Telltale has a pretty unique gaming model that involves bringing back popular titles like the Monkey Island series or, in this case, Marty McFly and Doc Brown of the Back to the Future trilogy.

Do you remember all those old roleplaying games from Sierra Online from back in the 80’s like King’s Quest, Space Quest, and Quest for Glory that we played in 256 colors? Well imagine those games brought back to life and improved with 21st century graphics and gameplay techniques. That is what Telltale has done. They focus purely on the story, and telling it in a fun and interactive way. I found myself immersed in the first episode of the Back to the Future Game, which takes place right where the third movie ended.

If you haven’t played a Telltale game yet, you really should consider it. The games are not hard, and the interaction within the movie world is quite enjoyable. I had the pleasure of knocking Biff onto the floor and driving the Delorean through time, just like in the movies. The interface is that old style of point/click to interact with items on the screen. While you do get the option of selecting dialogue choices, the outcome is more or less predetermined as you work through the story. The point here is the story, nothing more. Telltale has cleverly woven the puzzle-solving idea behind an RPG into a movie. If you aren’t already in love with the idea of returning to the Back to the Future universe, then you most likely won’t fall in love the game either.

However, if the idea of continuing the story where the movies left off appeals to you, Telltale has brought back all the great voices, and a great Michael J. Fox impersonator, to take a new adventure back in time all the way to the Great Depression. This time around, we get to meet Marty’s grandfather Arthur McFly and his ruthless gangster boss Kid Tannen who runs an illegal booze smuggling racket out of the Hill Valley soup kitchen. Doc is in trouble and it is up to Marty to travel back in time to team up with a younger Doc and save his older self from being murdered.

I don’t want to ruin too much of the story for you, but in episode one, which was released last week, you spend most of your adventure hunting down the whenabouts of Doc Brown. This sets the stage for four more episodes that are released digitally every other month or so. You pay a fixed fee of about $30 for a subscription to all five episodes, and approximately 10 to 12 hours of very fun cartoon cinematic gameplay.

It’s hard to review this game partially because there has only been one episode released, and partially because you can’t really compare it to games like Call of Duty or Fallout 3? The graphic style alone is so different, but at the same time, the Cartoon stylization works for me. Likewise, the controls in a shooter or RPG game are typically very flexible and interactive, yet in Back to the Future, you merely click your two mouse buttons for the entire two hours. But, there isn’t anything wrong with that either!

My recommendation is that if you like what you’ve heard that it is pretty simple to log into your Steam account and download Back to the Future. On my 5 Mbps Internet connection, I was able to download the entire first episode in about 30 minutes, and completed the entire episode in approximately 2 hours. Think of it as watching a movie, because that is how it feels most of the time, except you get to control the behaviors and silly exclamations that come out of Marty and Doc’s mouths.