Holy jumpin mother o' God!!! What a game this is!!!
Hot off the success of Day of the Tentacle, LucasArts crafted another bizarre cartoony adventure game, and this time they upped the ante and delivered the most whacked-out adventure game ever and one (if not the!) best adventure game ever. Seriously, Sam & Max stands firmly as one of the most fantastic adventure games ever even when faced against LucasArts legendary collection of adventure games.
The game puts you in the shoes of the dynamic duo of Sam & Max, the Frelance Police (Tm), who take on the case of finding a missing bigfoot from the local circus. From that point on the game develops into a deranged road trip across the United States filled with equally deranged characters and puzzles to solve in order to single out whoever got away with the circus freaks and put a stop to his obviously machiavellian schemes involving .... *shudder* Country music...!
Your main avatar in the game is Sam, who (as the most rational and collected of the pair) goes around asking questions and getting items. Max, being the most perfect cartoon incarnation of all that is irreverent and chaotic, goes around raising havoc in the best tradition of Bart Simpson only with far more twisted and dark motivations. He moves around freely, poking and touching things and adding sarcastic remarks or exchanges with Sam whenever you try something in the game thus providing the right ying to Sam's yang and creating some truly amusing situations. He's even available as an individual "action" pointer, but be careful whenever using Max... dire consequences await!
Keeping in tune with the characters, the gags in the game are tremendously bizarre, but also tremendously funny and range from sight gags, to sarcastic remarks and situations (love the Virtual Reality sequence) as well as scatology, jabs at pop culture icons and enough bad jokes to make you die of laughter. I cannot stress how good the comedy writing in this game is, in fact for me (perhaps because of my rather twisted sense of humor) this stands as the number 1 comedy adventure game ever. That's right pal, take your Monkey Island and shove it below the equator!
The locations are some of the most imaginative places ever created for a videogame, with the mistery vortex taking all awards home, and these locations are all lovingly drawn and presented in fullscreen glory thanks to the new interface that thankfully removes the traditional SCUMM-bar that took 30 or so percent of screen room.
Furthermore even if the script wasn't as thight and well-written as it was, the game has plenty of other diversions in the form of memorable characters, multiple mini-games, and loads of funny things to try out and discover! Ain't that enough for you??
Can be too weird for some people, and too hard too!! Some of the puzzles here are waaay into advanced territory, especially because of the incredibly crazy leaps of logic you have to take some times...
The Bottom Line
Laugh-out funny, with a clever script and even more clever writing. With enough technology upgrades to be a standout in it's time, winner mini-games like "Car Bomb" and loads of funny extras, a psychotic bunny/wolverine crossbreed and enough wacky and challenging puzzles to spare, Sam & Max is the adventure game to take with if you are going to a deserted island. (that and a computer to play it on!).
Man.... Max is my hero!! I want to be like him when I grow up!!!...well, except for the whole "going around naked poking at things" thing... I already do that on my own thank you very much.