Bone The Great Cow Race

Bone: The Great Cow Race was the follow-up to Bone: Out From Boneville. It was meant to be the second game in a series of games that were going to cover all of Jeff Smith's Bone comics. Unfortunately, due to Telltale being unable to market the game to their target audience of children and young adults, this ended up being the last Bone game to be made by Telltale.

That being said, this game is still a very good adventure game, and is an improvement over the original in many ways. The positive things from Out from Boneville are still here, such as the nice voiceover work for the characters, including the characters that are new to this episode. Jared-Emerson Johnson once again provides the music, and he really shines here. The music in The Cow Race remains some of my favorite songs from any Telltale game.

The game raises the bar on humor here, adding dialog that is not directly from the comic, but fits the tone and atmosphere perfectly, and adds some freshness to the game. The in-jokes which reference previous LucasArts games were a staple of LucasArts adventure games throughout the 14 years they were produced. Some of those can be found in this game. While it's not a necessary addition, it's certainly a welcome one.

One of the most important improvements comes in the form of giving this game a less desolate feeling. The game is now populated with characters, which can be attributed to it's source material, but it makes me wonder if the first game should have been combined with this game in order to have a more fulfilling gaming experience.

The puzzles are even more fun this time, and the difficulty has increased a little bit, although it's clear it's still aimed low so it would appeal to kids as well as adults. Like the first game, the middle act is the most fun, but here the first and last acts are fun as well. There is also a fun puzzle involving the cow race that acts like an action sequence but is controlled entirely by inventory and dialog puzzles. It remains one of my favorite sequences in a Telltale game to this day.

This game is well worth picking up, preferably with the first game as part of Telltale's Bone game pack. Telltale showed their commitment to listening to their fans here, in that they fine-tuned the game with most of the improvements suggested on their message boards. They hadn't yet mastered the episodic format at this point, but they were clearly on the right track.

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