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Sam and Max - a canine shamus and a hyperkinetic rabbit - are the freelance police: private investigators who receive missions from and are answerable to "The Commissioner". Upon the completion of a rescue mission from the clutches of a mad scientist, the duo drives through the opening credits and immediately receives a new assignment: Bruno the Bigfoot is missing from the circus and seems to have kidnapped Trixie, the Giraffe-Neck Girl. Sam and Max are on the case and will follow the mystery all across the United States, even if it takes them to such locations as The World's Largest Ball of Twine and The Mount Rushmore Dinosaur Tarpit.

Sam & Max Hit the Road is a puzzle-solving point-and-click adventure game. The player directly controls Sam, though Max will usually follow closely behind and is even available to use directly as an item in the inventory. Sam is able to be directed anywhere on the screen, look at objects, try to use objects, try to speak to objects and use items from his inventory on objects. Sam and Max must unravel the mystery piece by piece in order to unlock new locations on their map. They can travel between these locations at any time by using the car keys on their police car.

During conversation, the player is able to make Sam ask questions of persons, speak non-sequitur exclamations, or ask about specific objects, people, and locations (which are also unlocked as clues are discovered). The verb interface from previous LucasArts adventure games has been modified to icon-based commands, allowing the entire screen to be used for the playing area, similarly to Sierra titles.

The game also features a variety of mini-games, which can be accessed at any time once found. These include Highway-Surfing: a game where the player must jump over exit signs on the interstate, Car Bomb: a variant of Battleship, a Sam & Max coloring book, a Sam & Max dress-up game, and a Whac-a-Mole variant entitled Wak-A-Rat. The CD version of the game includes voice-overs for all the conversations.


Sam & Max: Hit the Road DOS Listening to a hilariously bad song performed by Conroy Bumpus, an evil country singer!
Sam & Max: Hit the Road DOS Max can be very eloquent sometimes, and also emotionally fragile
Sam & Max: Hit the Road DOS Sometimes, there are too many dialogue topics to fit on one screen
Sam & Max: Hit the Road DOS You can pick up Max and use him as an action icon. Try that on different objects for humorous remarks

Alternate Titles

  • "萨姆和马克斯" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "妙探闖通關" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "סם ומקס מתגלגלים בדרכים" -- Hebrew spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Sam, should I confront or subdue in front of the suspected perpetrator? DOS Cor 13 (174144)
The Adventures Of A Shamus Canine And Hyperactive Rabbity Thing Windows MasterMegid (897)
The game that was followed by a stupid cartoon show DOS *Katakis* (38149)
Holy jumpin mother o' God!!! What a game this is!!! DOS Zovni (9318)
Holy jumping mother o'God in a side-car with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib! THIS GAME ROCKS! DOS Kaddy B. (753)
The "Life of Brian" of video games DOS Zokolov (66)
So funny I nearly blew my head off! DOS pottyboy (67)
LucasArts at their most bizarre humoured; LucasArts at there very best DOS Jayson Firestorm (153)
When your Bigfoot disappears, who you gonna call? Sam & Max! DOS Colonel Olrik (8)

Critic Reviews

About This Particular Macintosh Macintosh Jan, 1996 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Electronic Entertainment DOS Mar, 1994 10 out of 10 100
The DOS Spirit DOS Nov 21, 2007 6 out of 6 100
Absolute Games (AG.ru) DOS Jan 16, 2002 95 out of 100 95
Pelit DOS Aug, 1993 93 out of 100 93
Power Play DOS Dec, 1993 91 out of 100 91
Joystick (French) Macintosh Jan, 1996 90 out of 100 90
Génération 4 Macintosh Feb, 1996 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 67
NZGamer DOS Apr 05, 2007 6.5 out of 10 65
GameCola.net Windows Jan, 2009 6.3 out of 10 63


Topic # Posts Last Post
Sam & Max TV show on DVD? It can happen! 3 WildKard (12126)
Jun 18, 2007


1001 Video Games

Sam & Max Hit the Road appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled sequel

A sequel to Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sam & Max Freelance Police, was developed, but canceled on March 3rd, 2004 because LucasArts thought it was "not the appropriate time to release a graphic adventure game on the PC." Despite many petitions and negative feedback about the cancellation, the game was not put back into production.

Sam & Max

During the time in which Steve Purcell worked at LucasArts, Sam & Max (or only Max) made cameos in many other games, including Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2, The Curse of Monkey Island, Day of The Tentacle, Rebel Assault II, Jedi Knight, Full Throttle or Shadows of the Empire.

Sam & Max franchise

Sam & Max were not invented for this game, but are part of a whole franchise by Steve Purcell. The media they appeared include the original comics and a cartoon which aired on FOX kids in 1997/98 (awarded with the 1998 Gemini Award for Best Animated Series). Purcell also made one-page Sam & Max spoofs of Lucasarts games for The Adventurer, a periodical newspaper for LucaAarts employees.


The CDROM contains four Redbook audio tracks that have the "Sam & Max Theme", "Moleman Music", "King of the Creatures", and "Bigfoot Shuffle" music from the game.


  • The music that plays at the World of Fish locale sounds an awful lot like the song "Fishing Blues", which was originally written by blues musician Taj Majal.
  • When you go to Snuckey's, the man serving you is Bernard Bernoulli, a character from Day of the Tentacle.
  • There are multiple references to LucasFilm movies in the game. When Shuv-Oohl karmically links with the Yetis, he says "It's, like, several voices screaming out in terror... and then suddenly silenced.", a reference to a classic Star Wars quote. Using the droid manual on the security droid in Bumpusville results in the droid projecting a hologram of Princess Leia, like R2D2 did. Finally, using the Conroy Bumpus eggplant on the toupee in his bedroom results in a parody of a classic scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • When asked what he's reading, Lee-Harvey replies, "Dialenics, by Elrod Hubbel, It's changing my life." This is a reference to L. Rod Hubbard, who started a religion based on a novel he wrote.
  • During the conversation with the Cat outside the office building, Max comments "He looks cute Sam. Can I make a tennis racquet out of him?". This is in reference to the fact that the strings in tennis racquets used to be made from a natural fibre called Catgut, which is produced from the intestines of animals such as cows, horses, mules and donkeys. Despite the name, Catgut has never been produced using a cats intestines.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #95 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) –#7 Funniest Computer Game
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #8 Most Memorable Game Heroes (Sam & Max)
    • February 2006 (Issue #259) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2005 - # 45 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 06/2005 - #5 Likeable Secondary Character (for Max)
Information also contributed by James1, John Wallace, Mitch Kocen, NatsFan, Paul Graves, PCGamer77, Satoshi Kunsai, shifter and Trixter

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Contributed to by Sciere (361104), Ben K (23053), Nathan Kovner (49) and Jason Savage (38)