The second of four planned Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures has been released, and returning for this episode are the titular bumbling inventor and his faithful hound, as do characters introduced in episode one ‘Fright of the Bumblebees’.
Fans will be happy to know changes from episode one are only minor with The Last Resort, though some of the changes don’t go far enough.
The audio has been improved, with character voices no longer being drowned by the – lets face it – delightful background music. But there are still no separate volume controls for the different channels.
Likewise, control of on screen characters can sometimes, but much rarer than in Fright of the Bumblebees, have minor camera positioning issues, nothing show-stopping or totally annoying.
The important part of episodic content such as this is of course the actual episode story itself.
After playing god in episode one, with genetic experiments into flower and bumblebee accelerated growth, Wallace decides it is time for a holiday.
So it is off to the seaside for a spot of sun, sand and lazing under the beach umbrella. Unfortunately, the heavens open up with a torrent of rain that not only stops all plans for an outdoor jaunt, but also floods the West Wallaby Way houses’ basement.
Seeing triumph in tragedy, Wallace decides to not only resurrect his holiday ideas, but to make a swag of much needed money at the same time.
To do this, he decides to turn the flooded basement into a beach-side holiday resort, inviting the town’s folk along for a luxury break at the newly created West Wallaby Waterworld.
This time the action is spread over four chapters, starting out with the task of building the holiday resort and then transforming into a who-dunnit mystery.
As usual both Wallace and Gromit are controllable characters and whilst there is a feel of more content here – especially given the breaking up of the story into definitive chapters – you will most likely find that the game length is similar value to that found in Fright of the Bumblebees.
This is because the game flows much faster than in episode one.
The vast majority of game-play happens within the West Wallaby Way abode and importantly the puzzles are all quite logical. Some may say ‘easy’.
I believe they border more on the enjoyable however. There is a sense of achievement as the story progresses, and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments to be enjoyed along the way.
This episode is less referential to the Wallace and Gromit canon of TV or cinematic work, instead building on the good work, characters and setting of Fright of the Bumblebees. Whilst you don’t need to have completed the first episode, because The Last Resort now establishes Grand Adventures as a stand alone W&G experience all on its own, it would help.