Back To The Future Part II

Publisher: Image Works
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #66

Back To The Future Part II

Suffering a bit of timewarp itself, Back To The Future II arrives just in time for the arrival of III. Thankfully, the brain-spinning plot has undergone a bit of simplification in its binary conversion, so It all makes perfect sense now...

The Doc has seen the future, and it doesn't work. Not for Marty it doesn't, he's become unemployed and his son - Marty Jnr. - has been arrested for patty crime. So when the Doc returns to 1985, both Marty and Jennifer (his wife to be) jump into the De Lorean to put things to rights.

The first level takes place in October 2015: Marty goes to the Cafe 80's to prevent Marty Jnr. getting involved with the evil Griff and his street gang. The game begins with Marty zipping along on his hoverboard through the horizontally-scrolling city with the gang In hot pursuit. Cars zip by which Marty can catch a quick lift on. Marty can also punch gang members, jump over manholes and gratings, as well as picking up bonus objects for acceleration and extra energy.

Back To The Future Part II

The next level (shown from overhead) is the scene where Jennifer has been taken to her future home by the police; if she meets herself, a disastrous time paradox is caused. You can't control Jennifer, only open certain doors for her to move through. It's an arcade logic puzzle against the clock.

Level three takes place in an alternate 1985, where multi-millionaire Biff (Griff's grandfather) dominates the town. In a horizontally scrolling beat-'em-up. Marty has to get back to the De Lorean to fix things. Some of the baddies carry weapons, which you can take and use.

After all that physical exertion, level four presents another brain-strainer. This is where Marty sees himself playing in the band in 1955 in the first Back To The Future!

Back To The Future Part II

The scene is presented on a number of tiles, which are promptly shuffled. You must move the tiles around to recreate the original image before time runs out...

The final level is much the same as the first, only it's set in 1955 so the background graphics are different and Marty has a skateboard instead of a hoverboard.


"Marty! You've gotta come back with me! It's the programmers of this movie licence!" Yeah, well it's what Doc should say, because travelling back in time to make Imageworks redesign and re-program this game seems like a very good idea to me. True, there are five sections but the first is enough to put you off. In theory, it's an interesting cross between Metrocross and Paperboy, but, in practice energy is lost quickly, cars appear out of nowhere and new lives begin at the start of the level. The C64 version isn't quite as bad but has naff expanded sprites, as opposed to the decidedly ST-ish Amiga version.

Back To The Future Part II

Perseverance may save the day for some, other levels using simple game designs to inject variety.


The film is a non-stop showcase of Industrial Light & Magic's special effects genius, a rollercoaster trip which was always going to test programming skills. Imageworks have made a good stab at the plot and the game structure is imaginative, combining fast-moving skateboarding, a beat-'em-up and puzzle games.

The skateboarding is a fairly routine Metrocross variant. Rescuing Jennifer is a tough logic puzzle which can be frustrating, while the beat-'em-up section is disappointingly limited - especially on the C64. The tile puzzle is better, if unoriginal, while the final skateboard scene adds little new to the original, apart from different graphics.

Verdict (C64)

Back To The Future Part II

Presentation 80%
Jerky, but nice, intro adds another load to a heavily multi-load game. Good inter-level screens.

Graphics 59%
Skateboarding has blocky, dated looking sprites but good scroll. Beat-'em-up is poor, while puzzles are okay.

Sound 63%
A continuous rendition of the movie's main theme.

Back To The Future Part II

Hookability 61%
The first section is one of the most playable, although that isn't saying too much.

Lastability 59%
Later levels offer variety, but not much fun.

Overall 59%
A disappointing movie conversion.

Verdict (Amiga)

Back To The Future Part II

Presentation 75%
Nice intro and okay inter-level screens add a quality touch.

Graphics 77%
Lots of detail on the first level makes for an impressive ST-ish game.

Sound 58%
The movie's main theme is translated into an okay soundtrack.

Back To The Future Part II

Hookability 66%
Difficult first level, but playable.

Lastability 64%
Later levels are a bit more impressive on the Amiga.

Overall 64%
An uninspired conversion of a dazzling movie.