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‘Sam & Max Save the World!’ (Remastered Xbox Edition, review)

I’ll be honest, in the last twenty plus years I haven’t so much as touched or even looked in the general direction of a point-and-click adventure game. Sam & Max Hit the Road was my first foray into the gaming subgenre back in the early 90s (during my PC phase), and was immediately followed by Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle.

But having long since moved on to the faster-paced first-person shooters and RPGs of consoles, I braced myself for a rather subdued trip down the memory breakdown lane with the newly remastered edition of Telltale’s Sam & Max Save the World.

And while it was nostalgia primarily driving my bus, Skunkape’s first class update and an entertaining storyline kept me on the highway to a chill, laid back, gaming experience.

Our titular heroes, the dynamic, anthropomorphic dog and “rabbity thing” duo of Sam and Max, Freelance Police with a penchant for violence and wise-cracks, are back on the case! This time involving washed-up former child stars and hypnosis that will take them from the mean streets of New York to the White House, Moon…and back! As the self-contained six episodes, that will most likely take you a couple of hours each to finish, unfold to give way to a bigger conspiracy that would make Bosco proud.

In what is essentially a story and character driven interactive cartoon, you’ll find yourself exploring locations, examining seemingly mundane objects, and talking with every nutball you meet in order to get clues to the light puzzles you need to solve in order to progress. With solutions usually requiring you to incorporate items you’ve collected in your inventory.

Of course, in the early stages at least, this can involve a lot of trial and error and dreaded back-tracking, but once you get into the swing of the mechanics it will eventually become second nature. The puzzles tend to have satisfying, fun conclusions which help keep you involved and wanting more. (There’s also a handy-dandy hint button showing you all the things you can interact with if you ever get into a jam.)

And while it may seem simple on the surface, Sam & Max Save the World thrives because of its colorful, irreverent characters, sharp dialogue, and dark humor, taking you on an adventure without having to leave your mom’s basement. While never outright hysterical, I dare you to get through a playthrough without your face hurting from smiling…or at least smirking.

If you’re a fan of Steve Purcell’s loveable duo this is a no-brainer buy. If you’re new to the genre, sit back, relax, and play your Comic Book.

 

 

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