THE MISADVENTURES OF P.B. WINTERBOTTOM / 2K Games / PC

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is a neat little platformer/puzzle game in the vein of things like Braid. It's got the basic mechanic of recording yourself doing stuff then moving in tandem with the recording of your shadow clones, but instead of the heavy pretentiousness of Braid you get a lighthearted sense of humor and a well-executed fusion of Victorian and 1920s "silent film" aesthetic set to old-timey music.

Winterbottom is sort of like the British version of Wario, except that instead of being fixated on loot, his obsession is for delicious pie. In his quest to gobble every possible pie in town he somehow unleashes a really creepy giant floating Queen Pie or something, whom of course he makes it his life mission to devour. While following the Queen Pie, things get all trippy and abstract and somehow Winterbottom gains the power to record himself doing stuff for brief periods then set his clones to keep performing that action in an endless loop. He can also jump and float surprisingly well for a hefty pie addict, and can smack stuff with his umbrella, not the least of which are his own clones whom can be sent flying through the air in a high arc to attain otherwise unreachable pies.


So you just go through a series of one-screen levels wherein pies are situated in inconvenient places and you figure out how to use Winterbottom's powers in tandem with various objects in the level to get to them all. There's five sets of ten levels, plus a whole bunch of "bonus levels" gradually unlocked as you play which tie into an online leaderboard for quickest completions.

Playing the Steam version of the game, I had a few technical hiccups. It would hit massive slowdown inexplicably once in a while (at seemingly random times.) More of a problem was that often, the "shadow recording" feature refused to record for as long as it was supposed to, making some puzzles unsolvable until it decided to start functioning properly. The hinks put me off of completing the game, but I'm not seeing them mentioned anywhere else online, so if you get it through some other source besides Steam (or play the Xbox 360 version) you probably have nothing to worry about. I'm not factoring the technical glitches into the scoring as I think they may have been an anomalous thing. Otherwise, this is a charming and extremely solid action-puzzler and easily worth checking out at the lowest-end prices it tends to go for.


Videos :

* Gameplay Video
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