Developer and Publisher: Skunkape Games Categories: Adveture Release Date: 12.2.20
Since my childhood I’ve been a fan of Sam and Max, the cartoon being the main culprit. Though I never did play the original games, I did play the Telltale games when they originally came out. While I loved them, playing the games on consoles wasn’t the ideal experience, with awful framerates plaguing the games. Luckily, along with a sprinkle of other changes, the framerate is now fantastic.
Sam and Max Save the World is a genuinely funny game, which even nowadays is a rarity, the writing is snappy, and there’s a lot of it. In adventure games, if your writing is bad, the whole thing falls apart, luckily, this isn’t an issue. The humor at times is incredibly referential, which to some might age a bit poorly, but I suppose since these games all came out before social media became as bit as it is now, nothing seems overdone. That’s to say there’s plenty of the writing that doesn’t feel like it aged at all, including one episode of the season being about a TV host being nasty to the guests, crew, and audience. Both the calm Sam, and his insane partner Max are full of fantastic dialog, even if Max’s can seem a bit too random at time, I was laughing really hard at how wrong some of the humor felt, it wasn’t soft or pulling any punches.
I love the small cast of characters, or even the one offs you see. They’re all a little offputting and it’s endearing. A trio of aging, but not growing child stars, who all happen to be related. A woman who owns a tattoo parlor, but ends up having a new job constantly, a convenience store owner who’s paranoid to the point of making insane inventions. The Skinbodies, a gang of rats who only have hair on their heads. A annoyingly calm magician who at one point you have change his color to fool people into thinking there’s aliens. The character’s gimmicks are stay the same each episode and might get old for some, but I enjoyed seeing where things would be taken episode after episode. Each item you get has it’s own set of dialog for each character including yourself, so if you’re like me, it’s fun to just see what they’ll say to each thing.
This is years before Telltale made QTE-fests that would be their modern adventure titles, so you’re going to do a lot of searching and talking. This in itself means that one of the big, glaring flaws that the genre has is going to be present. You’re going to be exhausting every item you have at every opportunity at times and there are moments that just feel obtuse. For example, in the first episode there’s a part where in order to get a key item, you’ll need a large sum of cash, there’s no real explanation as how to do this. Turns out, you need to go driving, shoot a random driver’s taillights out, pull them over, and then tell them there’s a fine for a broken taillight, that happens to be how much money you need. At no other point did I have any issue with proceeding in the story as tehre’s going to be hints somewhere, but I felt lost only to find out I had to drive and do that sequence of events.
Sam and Max Save the World was episodic upon release, a trend that Telltale would keep doing for every game. I think that this is perfect to get people to play adventure games. Each episode feels like a miniature title in itself, which means you don’t need to invest hours upon hours of your life to get fulfilling playthrough. If you liked the first episode, you play the later ones, if not, then that’s it. This port is mostly for fans of the IP, but Sam and Max Save the World is perfect for a beginner’s adventure game too.
Buy Now: $19.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes