Sometimes I wonder how these early adopters, i.e. Kickstarter backers or sniffers of early scoops, can hold out so long for the likes of Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack. Why? I played a few demos a while back, and it feels like a long wait to get back into this excellent point and click adventure.

Oh, you impatient swine! Why the haste? I don’t know, possibly because it’s such a beautifully illustrated game, hit the notes with the comedy, and the protagonist has a terrific first name. So, it is with great pleasure to affirm that it’s as good as expected.

New to Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack? No worries. You initially play the title character – an IT ner.. technician who stumbles across a rip in the time-space continuum via the way of a microwave and some tin foil (don’t try at home, kids). Transported back into the age of dinosaurs, a native hiding in the bushes takes his place by jumping through the portal, to which extent it disappears, leaving J-Dawg stranded.

Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack Review - Oh dear
Oh dear… Source: Screen capture

Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack Review

Your task is to return Justin to the present day, get the girl, and perhaps pre-empt any sort of Skynet future. Emphasis on the Skynet protocol as you’ll be chased through time by some robotic agents with a Sean Connery voice modulator. So, in true Day of the Tentacle style (it makes a cameo), you have three timelines to jump through and have the same number of playable characters – yahoo!

There were notable differences between this and the Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack demos. First is the change in voice actor/impersonation for Justin. I think. It was way better here, in my opinion, and despite the limited cast, they were well acted, though not a fan of the agents. The second notable difference was that the same puzzles didn’t exist, which was great. While the Duck Amuck unfinished scenery outside Justin’s office was hilarious, the new setting was well received with its douchebag aesthetics.

Writing about a point and click can become formulaic, i.e. Monkey Island references, general in-jokes, plus illogical puzzles. The problems here worked well as, sorry to spoil it(?), you can switch between characters on the fly like Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders (yay – got that in there!) should you get stumped, plus share an inventory by dragging and dropping items on the character’s avatar. There’s also a hint system, but I didn’t use it, though it was close when I had to work out a PIN.

Get To The Point (And Click)

Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack is split into three acts that are well-balanced and never drag. The comedy is frequent, but it’s never over the top and mostly has a smug look on its face as if stifling a fart. That’s a good thing, as some point and clicks try too hard. There will always be other in-jokes, not just to the adventure community (nice Dude, Where Is My Beer? nod), but sci-fi (Doctor Who perhaps – stay away lawyers) and rock fans. Van Halen, Ozzy and Dimebag mentions in a point and click that isn’t about rock? Yes, please!

I couldn’t give you an accurate idea of playtime as I clocked in about 12 hours or so, as on my second playthrough, which might indicate whether this is any good (it is, you fools!). As mentioned, there are three acts, and it feels like a big game despite its relatively small play area, albeit three time variations. Again, another DOTT nod, without mimicking it – it simply has its own style and achieves it very well, and not remotely crapotulous.

Though Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack isn’t my favourite point and click now, I can’t give you a BBC ‘balanced’ view and throw the cons your way. My only reservation is I can’t get 100% achievements as I believe you need a physical version of the game to unlock. If it means buying a big box copy, that’s hardly a negative. So yes, we got there in time: Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack is a perfect example of how to make an engaging point and click, and even warm up the old ticker with such a feel-good story. Oh, and Warm Kitten is such a small team! Well done, guys; this is a definite recommendation.

Check it out on Steam, and tell them Ken sent you.