Sam And Max Save The World


Sam is a dog, I’m not entirely sure what type of dog he is, but he’s definitely a dog. Max is a rabbit, a ballsy, sociopathic, one sandwich short of a picnic type of rabbit. They each form one half of the freelance police, each walk on their hind legs, each talk smack to one another and they’re each as funny as ever. Although Sam and Max look to take on the traditional comedy routine of straight man, funny man, it’s more like funny dog and slightly unhinged but witty sidekick, obviously the latter role is taken up by Max.

We first met Sam and Max in their videogame form when they ‘hit the road’ back in 1993, a point and click adventure with a quirky sense of humour. Fans clamoured for more of Steve Purcell’s creations and ‘hit the road’ was re-released in 2002 for PC. Originally produced by LucasArts their contract with Purcell expired in 2005 and Telltale games managed to swoop in and pick up the rights to make more games featuring the lovable duo.

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Telltale created Sam and Max save the world for PC, which arrived in an episodic form and each episode made up an underlying story arc that formed “season one” Now that season has found its home on XBLA, priced at 1600 Microsoft points, is it time to put these adorable rouges to sleep? I for one hope not.

Sam and Max save the world is broken down into six episodes and each is extravagantly titled. Throughout the episodes you will meet the supporting cast who are varied and original; each plays their part well in the story. Bosco, runs Bosco’s inconvenience store, Cybil pandemic changes her career in each episode but is a close friend to our heroes and Jimmy two teeth, the criminal rat who lives the wall of the office. Although these characters are humorous, they are lacking compared to our protagonists. In fact the script as a whole could be much better; there are many recurring jokes that after time are met with a roll of the eyes rather than a smirk.

However the story is entertaining and fun, it holds twists and turns that will genuinely surprise and the satire found on display is excellent. This is at its high point in the episode- Reality 2.0. This episode is easily the most fun and you will find yourselves in a virtual reality which pokes fun at the internet and everything that comes with it.

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In terms of puzzles, each one is as original as the plot. Some are particularly tricky but some digging around and talking to Max will soon reveal the answers you’re looking for. Even after being ridiculously stumped a few times through my progress the full game took me around ten hours to complete, this to me is still great value. Unfortunately by episode three I found myself struggling to carry on, despite different storylines, new characters appearing and then making cameos later on there is a distinct lack of atmosphere. There’s no real appeal to want to go back and find out what happens next and I believe this is due to the layout of the game world. Other than characters changing their looks, nothing else really changes and starting an episode becomes routine. This makes the opening of each part a chore.

Unfortunately you can add to these few low points, there are moments when the sound cuts out and speech is missed and there are many framerate problems too. However the first season of Sam and Max is an enjoyable romp that fans of the series will enjoy and non fans will likely be converted. The technical problems certainly don’t ruin the game and if you overlook some repetitive features you can have a lot of fun with Sam and Max and for the cost of 1600 points you can’t go wrong here.

Hi-Score – Great one liners, enjoyable story, fun characters.

Lo-Score – Graphical issues, can become monotonous, jokes become repetitive.

Final Score – 6 out of 10

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  1. July 7th, 2009

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