Wallace and Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

System:
Xbox Live Arcade
Release date:
May 27, 2009
Publisher:
Telltale Games
Developer:
Telltale Games
Players:
1
Genre:
Adventure
ESRB:
E10

Wallace & Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees

An adventure with no sting.

Review by James Cunningham (Email)
July 2nd 2009

Another day, another career. Wallace & Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees sees the dog and inventor team working yet another small startup company, this time providing honey to Wallabee Street and its surroundings. From Bee To You is off to a slow start, however, and they've got little to show for it but a pile of bills and Wallace's unending optimism. One day they get an unfulfillably huge order for fifty gallons of honey by nightfall and things, as they tend to do, rapidly spiral out of control.

Fright of the Bumblebees is standard adventure gaming fare, requiring players to use either Wallace or Gromit depending on which of the four chapters they're in. Walk through the environment, find items and figure out how they need to work with other items, advance story. The puzzles aren't that hard, so the fun of the game comes from exploring the world and seeing what bizarre direction the adventure will go next.

The problem is that while Telltale manages to nail much of the atmosphere of Wallace & Gromit, the game is missing the all-important noir influences that permeate their adventures. The threat is cartoony and harmless, losing the subtle menace that's so central to much of the series. Fright of the Bumblebees is very much Wallace & Gromit lite, which is odd seeing as series creator Nick Park was involved. The models look great, Wallace sounds right despite being voiced by a soundalike, and Wallabee Street and its inhabitants are perfect, but the adventure itself is weak.

Other than that, Fright of the Bumblebees is an enjoyable, entertaining, and short bit of adventure gaming. The controls get a bit confused during camera angle changes and the frame rate dips despite the graphics barely pushing the 360's capabilities, but the overall experience is pleasant enough that these are easily forgettable issues. It's always fun to see Wallace and Gromit, even in a lesser episode, and there's just enough amusement value to keep fans content for the three to four hours it will take to complete the game.

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