Tech News on G4

'Sam & Max', a delightful distraction

September 03, 2007

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Don’t be fooled. The news concerning the demise of adventure gaming has been greatly exaggerated. Although the days of LucasArts and Infocom ruling the market with their point and click exploits died at the exact moment iD Software’s space marine started unloading on hellish demons and zombies, adventure games are still fighting the good fight.

Created by Steve Purcell years before ‘Doom’ was even a glimmer in Id’s eye, comic book characters Sam and Max have been fighting crime since the late eighties. Sam, a trench coat wearing dog who prefers to employ brains over brawn and Max, a slightly psychotic bunny who has a penchant for violence and brutality, combine to make up one very effective and very unorthodox crime-fighting team.

A collection of the first six episodes of the gaming series by Telltale Games, ‘Sam & Max: Season One’ harkens back to such laugh out loud at your keyboard games as the ‘Leisure Suit Larry’ series. Without going into too much detail and to avoid giving away the tremendously wacky storyline, in ‘Episode One’ the duo is hot on the trail of a mysterious villain who’s been brainwashing former child stars and having them commit some really bizarre crimes. Things get even nuttier from there as the hypnotism theme weaves through the other five cases.

The gameplay is ultra simplistic. Besides pointing and clicking, all you have to do is open and use items in your inventory from time to time which eliminates any real need for an instruction manual. It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks.

The real star of the game is not Sam or Max but the offbeat sense of humour. You will be too busy chuckling to notice that the puzzles aren’t all that difficult to solve. They are all trial and error so none of the situational brainteasers are too strenuous if you are a resourceful gamer and you have the right items in your inventory.

‘Sam & Max’ is not really about exercising your grey cells any way. It is about using your imagination and seeing how certain objects or people interact in all sorts of kooky ways. ‘Sam & Man’ is simple, madcap merriment for those who are urgently want a break from all of the gloom and gore of first-person shooters.

Sam and Max: Season OneSam & Max: Season One
Format: PC
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: Telltale Games
ESRB Rating: (T) Teen
Official Site: http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax

Rating: 7 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.