Furry freelance police they may be but Sam and Max are back with another five episodes of comic mischief and crime solving shenanigans. Let’s not beat around the bush any longer when there is a Sam and Max review just around the corner.
I’d have thought if you were here then Sam and Max would need no introduction. However to recap for those not paying attention before, Sam and Max are of course the infamous Dog and Rabbit detective duo that regularly save the world whilst cracking jokes.
Fresh from their trip down to hell at the end of Sam and Max Season Two; we join them both just in time for an alien spaceship to land right outside their office. Now before you start picturing little green men from Mars it’s deathly important to let you know that this alien invasion comes in the form of a suspicious intergalactic primate called General Skunkape.
If you are already thinking that a psychopathic rabbit (Max) and a smartly dressed dog (Sam) would have no chance against a massive muscle bound Gorilla then you’d be right. By strength alone Sam & Max will easily lose this battle, fortunately Max finally becomes of use and developers psychic powers that will aid them both in this mission.
These psychic powers come in the form of special children’s toys. With these simple toys Max gains the ability of Teleportation, Duplication and most interestingly of all; FutureVision. The downside is that General Skunkape is also quite keen to possess them himself and has no qualms about destroying the Earth if that is what it will take. You probably expect another adventure full of zany colourful characters and off the wall humour here and luckily, you get it.
Before we head any further we should discuss the basics. Sam & Max is not any old mouse controlled Point and Click puzzle game; it’s totally crazy and very funny. For the bulk of proceedings you control Sam with Max hanging around to quip in his usual sarcastic comments, your role follows point and click tradition of collecting items in one area and using them in another to solve a puzzle. This could be something as normal as feeding a cell phone to a pigeon in order to teleport to a nearby rooftop or something even stranger.
So what’s the actual idea then? Well it’s actually quite simple. Sam & Max need to banish the evil General Skunkape to the interdimensional void that is The Penal Zone before he gathers too many of those powerful toys. They’ll be a fair dose of help and hindrance from returning characters but let’s not spoil things too much eh?
To confuse matters more our heroes don’t have a clue what to do this time, this is why the FutureVision toy that Max discovers is so handy. At any time Max can pull out the device to foresee what will occur to both the environment and people surrounding him. To put it in a simpler fashion; you’ll need to look forward in time with the FutureVision to help you get clues on how to solve puzzles in the present. This is not only a unique way to breathe life into a point & click game but it plays with your head too.
Once again Telltale Games present a fun frolicking five to six hour production. As usual the game’s dialogue is what stands out the most; a witty script with great voice acting keeps laughing while you brain is trying to work out these fiendish lateral puzzles. If you want top of the range graphics then you’ll have to look elsewhere; Sam & Max is a functional looking game that features lovely design and is well crafted. You can’t expect a game that is available for PC, PS3 and Apple’s iPad and iPhone to be chock full of super particle effects and antialiasing can you?
Sam & Max in The Devils Playhouse is already shaping up to be a damn fine third series for the pairing. Episode One; The Penal Zone is a very funny start to this five part season and fans of the series will be pleased to hear that the gameplay and humour they love is here in bucketloads. I can’t wait for Episode two and find out what other powers Max will receive. 8 out of 10.
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