The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom

A mustachioed, Victorian-era man has no greater goal in life than eating all the pies in the world. Suddenly he gains the power to travel through time--a power he then uses to steal more pies. Mustaches, pies and time travel: It's like my list of “awesome things” got smashed up into one weird LSD trip (if it had only been cake instead of pie, I would've sworn they were reading my mind).

The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom takes another jab at the time-travelling platformer genre pioneered by Cursor 10 and Braid, however it takes a decidedly unserious twist by introducing the story through Dr. Seussian rhymes and a genuinely funny art style. You play as P.B. Winterbottom and your goal is to steal pies. As you go through the level, you can hold down Left-Shift to begin recording yourself and let go of Left-Shift to begin playback in a loop. You can have multiple recordings going at once. This can be used to stack upon your selves to climb to great heights, activate remote switches, hold down the other end of a see-saw, or even smack yourself with your umbrella to send your oddly-shaped ass flying.

The goal is, of course, to eat all the pies in the level. You can use your umbrella and your recorded selves to find ways to reach all the pies. In many ways it's a standard 2D platformer, however the time travel with your recorded selves adds wrinkles into the formula. At one point I had 6 recordings of myself doing various activities throughout the level, and it became hard to keep track of my character's actions.

The art style is a cross between Twisp and Catsby and World Of Goo and it's decidedly wonky. The detail and polish is top notch, coming from 2K Play, which is the casual game brand of 2K Games. The music is just as wonky as the rest of the game, though it fits the odd theme very well. The game also supports saving your achievements and saved games to the Steam Cloud, which is helpful. Sadly there is no demo, however the full game only costs $5 and, considering the amount of polish clearly evident here, the game is a steal at that price.

Why You Should Check This Out: A fat man travels through time to steal pies to the meter of a Dr. Seuss rhyme. How can you not love a game based around that? A physics platformer with a Cursor 10 twist, The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom has a wonky, but funny, art style with an odd sense of humor about itself. It's a time-travel platformer that isn't asking brooding philisophical questions but instead is just fine with having a little fun.

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Comments

This is also available on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MS points ($10).

Thanks, I updated the post. I didn't realize it was on the XBox as well.

PyromanFO wrote:

Thanks, I updated the post. I didn't realize it was on the XBox as well.

It actually lead on the Xbox.

It's a neat little game. I've had my eye on it for a few years, now, and I'm happy to see it finally getting released. I haven't had a chance to play much past the tutorial stages, but what I've played I've really enjoyed. How far in have you made it? I've heard that the later stages start relying less on puzzling through a situation and more on twitchy platformer reflexes.

Did anyone else find that this game is really goddamn hard? Fortunately, for me at least, it's just the right kind of hard, leading to some extremely satisfying "aha!" moments once you finally get your head around a particularly difficult level.

I am really enjoying this game. Got it on steam and while I think the controls are ok, it really begs for a controller I feel.

Ummm... *cough*?

I'm glad you made a Front Page Article on this one, it deserves the attention!

Like ClockworkHouse, I've been eying this game for a few years as well-- ever since I saw it on display in the Indie/IGF section of GDC a while back. Well worth the wait, in my opinion.

I have a weak spot for these. I don't have a console, so I was delighted that PB Winterbottom came to PC. It's downloading as I type this. Thanks for highlighting it, Pyroman!

Is there any reason that this wouldn't be included in one of the "indie game packs" that Steam (and some other DD retailers) run periodically? I've decided I want to try this game out--as Pyroman pointed out, at $5.00, why not?--but the only thing giving me pause is the fact that there are several other indie games I'd like as well, and if I could get them all in one shot for an even better deal, I'd like to.

Just to comment: there IS a demo, at least on XBox Live. Personally I found it less engaging than Braid and other games; I'm leaving the demo in my 'maybe' box for the moment.

I enjoyed the demo, but I wasn't sure it could keep my interest long enough, so I have been reluctant to purchase. Not to mention the pile of $60 games that I've bought but not yet played :-\

So, I had a chance to play a bit further into this, and comparisons to Braid are both inevitable, inaccurate, and to the detriment of this game. While both games play around with time and (at least for a portion of Braid) interacting with past versions of your character, Winterbottom is less interested in exploiting novel uses for established mechanics and instead operates in the same vein as something like Fantastic Contraption where you'll use a small handful of tools to work through a problem in a number of ways. In this sense, Winterbottom is more flexible in its solutions than Braid, but unfortunately, it's not (so far) as consistently elegant or inventive.

I just bought this game last night. It's a solid value for $5 (and the only games I can afford these days), though I find it a bit hard. I've always had a problem with time-traveler-esque games. I'd make a lousy Dr. Who. I'd be accidentally killing my grandfather all the damned time.