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Description

Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone is the first episode of the third Sam & Max season named Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse. In the beginning of the game Max finds a toy which causes a vision of the future: Sam & Max defeat an evil space gorilla by banishing him to the so-called "Penal Zone". After the vision ends the gorilla's spaceship land on the street and he pretends to trade his advanced technology for an artifact - of course the one Max found. Only Sam & Max know his true intentions and they need to stop him...

The main new feature are Max's psychic powers which can be activated by clicking an icon on the upper right corner. Then the game switches to a first person where Max chooses and uses one of these powers. Besides the tutorial there are two available: teleport to a known phone (mostly used to save walking time) and predicting the future. When using the last power on a person or item a short clip gets played which shows the near future. This mostly results in a more or less obvious puzzle hint. During the episode Sam & Max also get access to a "crime computer": they need to feed it two related pieces of evidence to get a new location.

The rest of the gameplay is similar to the former seasons: the player walks through the levels, collects items and uses them to solve puzzles. Dialogues are a ring menu similar to Mass Effect where the player only chooses the topic instead of the whole sentence. Unlike traditional adventure games the movement of Sam is not controlled by point & click but by holding the left mouse button and dragging the mouse in the desired direction (or alternatively with the keyboard keys). Interactions with items or persons are carried out with a single mouse button.

Like the Tales of Monkey Island series single episodes weren't available for purchase at the initial release. Users were required to buy the five episodes as a whole as they are released on a monthly basis.

Screenshots

Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone Windows Here comes the space ship...
Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone Windows The first person view when Max uses one of his new powers
Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone Windows The sewer
Sam & Max 301: The Penal Zone Windows The space ship

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Critic Reviews

Gaming Nexus Windows May 13, 2010 A 100
TotalPlayStation PlayStation 3 May 12, 2010 9 out of 10 90
Eurogamer.net (UK) Windows Apr 16, 2010 9 out of 10 90
Game Vortex Windows 2010 90 out of 100 90
Onlinewelten.de Windows Apr 15, 2010 88 out of 100 88
Adventure Gamers Windows Apr 15, 2010 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Hooked Gamers Windows Apr 21, 2010 8 out of 10 80
Gameswelt Windows May 03, 2010 79 out of 100 79
PC Games (Germany) Windows May 12, 2010 76 out of 100 76
AceGamez PlayStation 3 May 16, 2010 70 out of 100 70

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Contributed to by Patrick Bregger (156334) and Terok Nor (22576)