360 XBLA Review - The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

19th March 2010 - When Xbox Live Arcade is at its best, it brings us gamers a very strange and unique game that few before would have ever heard of. Quirky, artsy games have finally found a place to call home on a major video-game console, and the people behind XBLA are credited once again for doing so because The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is certainly that.



The titular character of this game, Mr. Winterbottom himself, is a black and white rendition of a colonial Frenchman from way back when. The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom is fairly challenging and some key-points that I really wanted to get out there is that P.B. Winterbottom takes time and strategic planning as I’ve came across a few puzzles that I had no idea how to get passed, however most of the puzzles can be solved with some good old fashioned thinking and after a few play throughs make it fairly easy game with very little replay value.


This constant challenge to your mental abilities is what will keep you focused on beating The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Rarely did I feel like the game was being unfair to me, but rather that it was truly challenging my cognitive (dis)abilities. As far as solving challenges go, the ones on display in this game will make you feel mentally superior when they are conquered. Who doesn’t like feeling mentally superior?


While that basic concept may seem like it would get old after awhile, it thankfully doesn’t because of new gameplay mechanics that keep getting layered on as the levels unlock. Portals come in to play; “evil” clones enter the mix, some puzzles require that pies are grabbed in a certain order and so on. The format in which the levels are unlocked, where categories that contain a number of levels are unlocked at the same time, also give you the opportunity to skip to a different puzzle if the one you are on is giving you fits. Bonus levels with time and cloning goals just add to the different ways you can play the game.


Graphics & Sound:

Mixing Victorian landscapes and vintage cartoon shapes the whole experience of Winterbottom is wrapped up in a silent film motif that leaps of the screen. Illustrator Vincent Perera creates a character that is both adorable and sickening in all his traditional villain revelry while art directors Matt Clausen and Vidal Perez keep every step Winterbottom takes consistently fresh from level to level. With an accompanying score, composed by David Stanton, that’s an odd blend of ragtag piano and haunting wind instruments the whole experience delivers an unsettling comfort that’s as amusing as it is paradoxical.



With a unique, albeit short, campaign that twists the conventions of time-platforming just enough to feel fresh, and an artistic style all its own this is one of those XBLA titles you’ll always remember.


AAG SCORE: 6.5/10


Reviewed & Written by Daniel Emmerson


"Read other reviews at TestFreaks. Overall media score 8.8/10"