E3 2008: The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Hands-On Preview

What combines silent films, Back to the Future, and a love for pie? If you answered The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom you’d be correct. This black-and-white indie title and from lead designer, lead artist and programmer, Matt Korba, has been in development for less than a year and it’s one of my personal favorite titles of this year’s E3.

Coming into the event, I was already well aware of Mr. Winterbottom and his time-bending ways. This last February, the title was one of the finalists for the 2008 Independent Games Festival’s Student Showcase. It may not have won the award, but it gained national attention and, as Korba told me, may even appear as a downloadable title on the PlayStation 3 and/or the Xbox 360. He’s unsure of exactly how it will be released to the public as the details are still being worked out.

Currently, the game is comprised of two modes. The single-player story mode is where the player learns how to move and operate in the strange Edward Gorey-inspired world while facing different types of challenges while advancing the story. It sounds pretty standard, but recording Mr. Winterbottom jumping on to a pit of spikes in order to provide your future-self with a platform to stand on is like having a bunch of suicidal overweight Charlie Chaplins at your fingertips. Has committing murder in a silent film ever been this fun? The puzzle mode has the player solving different challenges with no one answer being the only method for completion. As I was playing, Korba himself said he’d never seen anyone solve the puzzles like me and noted his love for this kind of gameplay. Since the puzzle mode informs players how fast the level was completed it’s absolutely screaming for online leaderboards.

As stated before, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom still hasn’t found a home on the console so we can’t confirm a release date at this time, but judging from our quick hands-on the game is looking very polished. Hopefully Korba and the rest of the development team will use the remaining time to continue developing content as whimsical and mind-bending as what we’ve played.


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Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

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