I can’t believe it. As soon as I finish reviewing episode one of The Devils Playhouse, episode two arrives – you’d think this was a monthly episodic adventure. Oh wait it is, brilliant. Due to the nature of this episodic series you will undoubtedly find spoilers for the previous episode here, you have been warned! To keep things short I won’t go into depth about Sam and Max yet again because you must already know about them by now right? Listen all you need to know is that you’re in-store for another dose of twisted humour and mind bending puzzles in the latest instalment of this classic point and click adventure from Telltale Games.
Typically things go from bad to worse for our Dog and Rabbit detective friends Sam and Max. You’d think that they’d partake in a well-earned break after defeating General Skunkape, but no. Instead they discover a secret golden toy chest and their own deathly skeletons, very spooky. Normally that would scare anyone to pieces but not Sam and Max; to them this is just another mystery that needs solving. They’re braver than me that’s for sure.
Now last time out we discovered that Max was unfortunate to develop psychic powers and that in conjunction with some mystical magic toys he could do some nifty things. These included skills like being able to see into the future and teleportation. This time around Max has other Psychic skills that will help them through this perilous adventure; not only can he perform ventriloquism but he can also shrink Sam and Himself small enough to hide inside an empty can of peanuts. I must admit to you that I rather like salted peanuts.
It would be no fun having Psychic Powers if there wasn’t any reason to actually use them. Luckily this new mystery is set in Sam and Max’s past and follows their ancestors as they travel to Egypt on the Disorient Express in search of that special golden toy chest mentioned a couple of paragraphs above. To go into more details would spoil things for you but luckily I haven’t mentioned the very clever game play mechanic yet.
As you’ll recall from episode one; using Max’s psychic power to see into the future was essential in discovering how to solve puzzles in the present. In a similar yet different vein you’ll also be using the power of time to complete this story.
Buried along with that toy chest I keep mentioning is an old fashioned movie projector and five rolls of film. Each roll of film is one short chapter in the story of Sammus and Maximus’ trip to and from Egypt. You’ll be required to jump back and forth between each of them to complete the story and puzzles. Tricky to comprehend I know but here’s an example: In film roll one you’ll need to acquire the magic can of nuts from three street elves by providing them with a great new toy concept. Obviously Sammus and Maximus have no clue as to what would make a great toy but b for the youth of today but by stopping the movie right there and moving onto film roll 4 (which takes place much later on in the story) you’ll be able to discover what toy the elves have decided to prototype. You guessed it, then you need to swap film rolls and go back to use this knowledge to your advantage back in the past.
This clever time travel mechanic is very clever and playing the game in such a back and forth setting does screw with your mind a little, but in a good way. It may not be as much of an interactive movie as Heavy Rain for PS3 but it’s closer than you’d expect but much funnier and with a lot less finger chopping too. Once again your adventure here is full of rather amusing characters both old and new to the series. The sure thing is that you’ll laugh your socks off with almost every sentence someone mutters. Just like last time this Sam & Max adventure is a real treat for point and click fans everywhere. Great looks, great voice acting and a terrific storyline results in yet another excellent 8 out of 10.
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Related: The Devils Playhouse, Sam and Max Season One review