The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Review

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2010 is one of deepest years in gaming ever. We all know about the heavy hitters with the multi-million dollar marketing budgets, but one great game that you guys need to check out is “The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom”. The game is a 2D puzzle platformer on Xbox Live with time mechanics and a very distinctive black and white feel.

The game is set in a black and white 1920’s-like world. The game reminds me artistically of something you would see in a old school Charlie Chaplin movie. In the game, you play as P.B. Winterbottom who is a pie thief who ate a time altering pie that gives him the abilities to alter time and make copies of himself. The main point of the game is to collect as many pies as possible. Think about Mario and coins, or Sonic with rings. Pies are what you collect in this game and once you collect all the pies in the level you move on.

People are going to automatically think of Braid when they hear about 2D platformers with time mechanics, but in reality this game is very unique. The basic time mechanic is the ability to make copies of yourself recording your actions. Then your copy repeats those actions over and over depending on what you want it to do. You have your copies pulling levers, jumping onto the copies to get to higher grounds, and tossing them around.

The game is difficult. Nothing crazy when it comes to difficulty, but there will be some levels that will take some time to think about. I will admit that there have been a couple levels where I thought I was completely stumped. The game is never at the point where it seems impossible, but there are times when you just can’t see the obvious. When you figure it out, you will think you were stupid for not figuring it out sooner.

In between levels, there are no cut scenes to progress the story. There are these slides, similar to what you would see in 1920’s movies. Before sound these types of slides would tell the viewer what is going on. They tell the story in these slides, and each slide rhymes with the past one. These slides only add to the games charm. Making the world seem like a book you would read as a child.

One issue in the game is the music. The music fits the game well, but it’s only one song! The song repeats over and over. After playing for 30 mins, you have this tune humming in your head for the rest of the day. It’s good for the first ten minutes, but by the time you beat the game you are just tired of it.

The game is very charming. The black and white style, the rhyming slides, the creative level design, the unique style, and the time mechanics are all fantastic. The game is a fun 2D platformer. If you like thinking games, then you guys need to check this game out.

The three things I would warn gamers about when it comes to Winterbottom are: the difficulty, the length, and the music. The game isn’t too difficult, but don’t expect a platformer like Mario. This game makes you think (like Portal), and it makes you think outside the box to solve puzzles. The music just gets old after a while. Another problem is the length of the game. You might be able to pull out three hours in this game which is a shame since it’s a lot of fun. You do have challenge rooms and time trials, but I do wish the game was a little bit longer during the single player. The time trials are a lot of fun though, and are challenging/interesting. The time trials are reminiscent of the coin rooms in 2D Marios, if you need a comparison. They do add replayability after the game is beaten, and are a nice addition to play if you only have five mins to game.

Overall, I was very impressed with this game. It’s a early contender for downloadable game of the year. The levels are fun and creative. The developers, “The Odd Gentlemen”, have a lot of potential with their future games. They have shown creativity and depth. A game about a pie thief set in a black and white environment with time mechanics are not games you see everyday. The game is 800 MS points ($10) and is currently available on the 360. Check out the free trial before buying the game, but at least check it out. The game is a lot of fun, and a great game for only $10.


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