More Reviews
REVIEWS Journey (PS4) Review
The critically acclaimed Journey makes the leap to the PS4. Is the PS3 classic still a trek worth taking? Duh.

Rare Replay Review
Rare has had a profound impact on the gaming industry, and this collection is a catalog of its timeless designs.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Preview
Fans were mad about Beyond Earth. Rising Tide should fix that.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Goat Simulator
Release date: 08/11/15

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Release date: 09/01/15

NHL 16
Release date: 09/01/15


LATEST FEATURES Microsoft Just Killed It At Gamescom 2015 With These 10 Xbox One Announcements
The best Xbox showing at Gamescom in history.

BAMF BABES #12: Talia al Ghul [Batman Arkham City]
"Thousands of warriors have fallen in pursuit of the Demon. Would-be successors have proven to be nothing more than children battling the enormity of creation."

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Sam & Max Season 1 Review

Andrew_Podolsky By:
Andrew_Podolsky
12/19/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Adventure 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER The Adventure Company 
DEVELOPER Telltale Games 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco

What do these ratings mean?

A bizarre adventure game with puzzles too clever by half.


The original Sam and Max Hit the Road, developed by Lucasarts, was a riotously funny point-and-click adventure game featuring a wisecracking dog and rabbit detective team. Fans of the original will be happy to know that the personalities stay intact in this new series by Telltale Games—Sam and Max still have the same strange, biting sense of humor. Even though Season 1 on the Wii gets off to a bit of a shaky start and the puzzles are completely ludicrous throughout, this comedic adventure steadily improves over the course of six episodes.

click to enlargeEach episode involves a supporting character who has fallen under hypnotic influence. Dealing with cases surrounding everything from the former child stars the Soda Poppers, to the pushy talk show host Myra, these goofy entertainers are all wrapped up in a nonsensical conspiracy involving the mob, the US Government, and space-faring bacteria. Sam and Max end up on a wild goose chase (not literally, although it wouldn't be out of place in this weird game) and are randomly thrown from one unusual setting to the next.

The situations they find themselves in also grow increasingly absurd, and by the time this season hits its stride around episode 4 (where Max runs for President of the United States against a giant stone Abraham Lincoln statue), you'll finally start to appreciate the perplexing narrative. This season does take some time to ramp up, but it's worth sticking around for the later episodes.

click to enlargeThe convoluted plot twists are especially fun to watch due to the hours of punchy dialogue. Every background item you click on produces a snappy observation from the main characters, and a lot of these are quite amusing. However, the back-and-forth dialogue can become exhausting, simply because there's so much of it throughout the game.

Even though the story is a lot of fun, it's a shame the game itself is going to try some players' patience. All of the solutions to the game's puzzles involve cartoon logic, like stuffing a rat into a cannon to knock out a hypnotized victim. With only one solution to each puzzle, it's easy to get frustrated when all you want to do is advance the plot.

A better hint system would have been the best way to handle this problem for more casual players, and the few in-game hints that are provided aren't specific enough for the more confusing puzzles. In the second season on PC, Max offers more dynamic in-game help if you start to get stuck, and the Wii version would have benefitted from this addition.

click to enlargeAlso, one problem unique to the Wii version is the fuzzy graphics, which can blur some of the background text. What's the point of including a newspaper headline or billboard in the background if the visuals aren't sharp enough to let you read them? While most of the character models and environments look good on the Wii, this lack of detail will mean Wii owners will miss out on a few extra jokes.

Because of the clever story and interesting characters, it's worth struggling to the end through the more tedious puzzles (or cheating with an online walkthrough). But if you were hoping for a more player-friendly adventure, you might want to skip straight to Sam and Max Season 2.
C Revolution report card
  • Clever dialogue and interesting story
  • Episodes improve gradually
  • +/- Return of point-and-click adventures
  • Nonsensical puzzles
  • Inadequate hint system
  • Blurry background text
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Sam & Max Season 1
Also known as: Sam and Max Season One


More On GameRevolution