Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures Ep 3: Muzzled! Review


Muzzled: an ignominious title for the third installment of Telltale's Adventured of Wallace and Gromit. Muzzled drops us back on West Wallaby St. where Wallace and his canine companion Gromit are once again up to their old tricks. This time round, there's a big fair in town. Wallace, of course, has an "ingenious" plan to combine his love of ludicrous gadgets and moneymaking schemes. He and Gromit build a giant ice cream mixing truck.

It's the kind of sublimely outrageous plan that reminds you that you are visiting the world of Wallace and Gromit. Like the movies on which the games are based, the most inane, boring plans (selling "special" ice cream out of a ridiculous truck at a fair, for instance) always lead to or get caught up in more and more outrageous encounters and predicaments.

Which is, as in the previous episodes, what tells you that while this may sound and look like a Wallace and Gromit tale, it is decidedly not. As always, West Wallaby St. has been rendered impeccably, if drably. The inclusion of a new fairground location is not enough to change the insidious boredom that creeps into every scene, every line of dialogue.

Take the opening scene, for instance. Wallace (and, in his wide-eyed, silent way) Gromit are excited: not only is the fair arriving on the weekend, they have nearly completed their new ice cream truck. Wallace, in a bloated bit of exposition, informs Gromit (and us!) that not only will everyone be impressed by his ice cream mixing prowess, but the money will also go to a good cause. Thanks to a recent local catastrophe, many dogs have been made strays, left to aimlessly, hopelessly wander the cold streets surrounding West Wallaby.

At that moment, a pack of dogs conveniently (almost as conveniently as Wallace's exposition) break into the workshop basement and steal bits of the ice cream truck, rendering it incapable of producing ice cream. Wallace is a bit put out, and in another lengthy expository speech, informs Gromit that they won't be ready for the fair unless they can get the pieces back from the rambunctious, homeless dogs.

Amazingly, that scene is even less exciting than it sounds. It's a far cry from the opening to Last Resort, where Gromit had to carefully paddle around a flooded, electrified basement. In fact, it's a far cry from most adventure games put out under Telltale's new adventure game blitz. I understand that you have to introduce a) the fair, b) the truck/invention, and c) the dogs, but there must have been a less boring way to do it.