Sam & Max: Season Two

Weird, funny and eerily familiar.

10The first reboot of Sam and Max pretty much came out of the blue. It has been a series left in gaming purgatory after LucasArts axed Freelance Police, their long-awaited sequel to Sam and Max Hit the Road. After passing a gauntlet of legal hurdles, developer Telltale acquired the license and managed an episodic format of the beloved two-legged dog and hyperkinetic rabbit crime-fighting duo. The second season plays identically the same as the first, keeping the great great writing, puzzles and witty jokes intact.

It’s also gotten a whole lot weirder. Operating Santa’s toy machine because he’s on a psychotic rampage? Check. Help a heartbroken Abe Lincoln’s Head find love again? Check. Deliver internet services to German zombies? Check. The story arcs are a lot more complex, with several sub plots weaved together with the main one, though they all converge nicely in the end. Each individual episode plays out like a show you’d see on Netflix, with an intro, mid point and climactic end that hints at the comeuppances of the following episode.

1There are a few new additions, but they’re hardly noticeable. There’s a nice hint system which you can set to varying levels. Setting it higher will make Max blurt out clues if he notices you’re having issues solving a puzzle, though he’ll never outright spell out a solution for you and ruin the fun. His insights can throw a different perspective on an issue that you haven’t considered, though you’ll rarely need it. If you’ll remember the original game, you’ll know that the puzzles aren’t that hard to figure out if you’re reasonably versed in item-based adventure gaming.

Other minor changes from Season One includes a very helpful run ability (simply double click anywhere and Sam will run instead of slowly walk), an ability to control your car with the keyboard and a lot more arcade sequences. The arcade bits are easy to the extreme, but are mildly amusing and always required (you get some important items as rewards). Overall there’s little to Sam and Max Season Two that you haven’t already seen before. But with the great humor and gameplay, that’s definitely not a negative here.

System Requirements: Pentium IV 3 GHz, 256 MB RAM, 1.5 GB HDD, 32 MB Video, WinXP

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