Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning aren't so Frightening

aka: Pajama Sam 2: Doe niet onder voor Bliksem en Donder , Pajama Sam: Thunder & Lightning, Pyjama Pit 2: Donner und Blitz machen mir nix, Pyjama Sam 2: Donner Und Blitz Machen Mir Nix , Pyjama Sam 2: Héros Méteo
Moby ID: 21113
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Description official descriptions

Sam, it seems, is afraid of thunder and lightning. But not when he's Pajama Sam, superhero! Help PJ Sam as he journeys to World Wide Weather, in an attempt to conquer his fear of thunderstorms.

There he accidentally throws things in a tizzy, sending weather all over the world. He'll need your help to explore his odd world and get past the puzzles and games, as well as help new friends - all before Mother Nature finds out.

The puzzles vary each time you start a new game and, as usual, there are plenty of amusing animations when you click on things. A game for kids 3-8.

Spellings

  • Пижама Сэм 2: молний нет и гром затих - не боимся больше их! - Russian spelling
  • Пижама Сэм. Зачем погоду не любить - её же можно починить! - Russian spelling (Akella release)

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Credits (Windows version)

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Interactive Design
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Programming
Sound Effects Programming
Lead System Programmer
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Traditional Animation
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 8 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.4 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 1 reviews)

Another example of Humongous Entertainment at its peak

The Good
I consider the first Pajama Sam to be the game that initiated the golden age of the Junior Adventures. Although rather flawed in the puzzle department, the game's world had an immense charm to it that really put it in a league of its own. And riding on its success, Humongous Entertainment managed to take Putt-Putt and Freddi Fish to new heights, while also exploring new horizons with Spy Fox's debut. But as good as these three games were, I don't think any of them quite managed to reach the level of Pajama Sam's debut. It's only fitting that the first game to match its quality would be its own sequel.

When I started replaying this game in preparation for its review, I recalled finding its writing to be very funny, but not quite on the same level as its prequel. But now that I've dug deeper into it, I stand corrected. Its script is just as entertaining, if not even better. Once again, it's full of very colorful and funny characters. There isn't quite as much weirdness to the cast this time, but that's simply a result of the more focused setting. With almost the entire game taking place inside of a corporation, the humor focuses more on the inefficiency of its bureaucracy. At times, these parts almost get satirical. It's a bit of a departure from the more whimsical tone of the first game, but I find it just as hilarious. The attention to detail deserves special praise. There is no shortage of hidden interactions that 95% of the players will never see, and many of them are a real treat when you stumble upon them. Dave Grossman clearly had a lot of fun writing Carrot in particular. Despite him being a fairly minor character who only exists in half of the playthroughs, there are lots of Easter eggs involving him scattered throughout the game.

Visually, the game is of a similar quality as last time, with a lot of very outlandish backgrounds and lively animation that's full of personality, but occasionally gets off model. I don't think the coloring is quite as striking as last time, due to the switch to a daytime setting, but it's still of perfectly fine quality.

But one aspect that marks a significant improvement is the puzzles. The game is a bit lengthier than its prequel thanks to increasing the number of main objectives from three to four. Each of them still lies behind one of two randomly selected puzzle chains. The average quality of those has gotten notably better, with some of them now having a level of complexity and creativity roughly comparable to the first game's hard mask puzzle chain. Some of the others are a bit simpler, but still have some clever moments.

The Bad
Not every puzzle chain is a winner however. One of the Velocimomometer's puzzle chains really just consists of a single puzzle. And it's a pretty simple puzzle that barely requires you to move around. But the weakest puzzle chain is one of Wingnut's. Its first step is rather unintuitive, as it requires clicking on something that blends into the background so well, you probably wouldn't expect it to be anything more than a clickpoint. But once you've done that, the rest is a rather straightforward affair that involves a pretty dull minigame. The coins can also be rather tricky to find. They're needed for two separate puzzle chains, both of which are otherwise perfectly fine. But in order to get the coins, you have to do something that you probably wouldn't expect to give you anything. This action is something you'll probably end up doing in the process of playing around with the game, but the problem is that it only yields coins if you need any. If your first playthrough has a setup that doesn't require them, you probably wouldn't think of repeating this seemingly inconsequential action on another one. I don't think this is enough to ruin these two puzzle chains, though. Only one of the six possible setups lacks the coins, so this is unlikely to affect most players. I'd still say that six of its eight puzzle chains range from decent to excellent when judged as a whole. Which is certainly an improvement over the first game, where only two of the six puzzle chains really delivered.

But there are some areas where the game doesn't really live up to its predecessor. Such as activities. Unusually for a Junior Adventure, the first game actually had a lot to offer in that regard. This game's activities on the other hand are a bit lacking in comparison, though still somewhat better than the usual Junior Adventure fare overall. The best one is once again the trivia quiz. It's a bit of a retread of the first one and not quite as funny, but there are still plenty of fun questions and answers on offer, including a number of joke questions where every answer is correct, no matter how absurd. And in Pajama Sam tradition, there are optional collectables hidden throughout many of the screens. They're a bit easier to find this time and give you a more meaningful reward when you find them all. There are also a few toys here and there that can be fun to play around with and are occasionally relevant for some of the puzzles. But aside from that, there's not much. The snowflake designer is a cute idea, but not something I'd expect most people to spend more than a minute or two with unless they have a lot of printing paper to waste. The developers also decided to follow Spy Fox's lead and incorporate a minigame into the pause menu. But it's just a very simple board game. It's a pretty luck-based affair, but still easy to win thanks to the relative ineptitude of its AI. The absence of a multiplayer mode is a bit strange, considering this game could easily work with up to four players. But it's not a big loss, given the game's rather uninspired nature.

Also, the randomization is pretty restrictive. You can actually control it yourself by choosing between six different setups (whereas most other Junior Adventures require you to use hidden debugging features only meant for the developers to do that), but even if you leave things up to the game, these are the only setups it will ever pick. On some level, it makes sense that the game's randomization is more restricted than usual. Due to overlapping elements, some puzzle chains don't play nice when combined (you'll probably learn that the hard way if you use the usual debugging features to create your own setups without thinking about the consequences). But there are still plenty of setups that function perfectly fine, yet will never occur naturally.

On a side note, the plot is also weaker. I don't really consider this to be a big deal, given that Pajama Sam games are defined much more by their character interactions than the actual stories themselves. But the fact remains that whereas the first game's plot was actually incorporated into the journey and only got a resolution at the end – and a rather charming one at that – this game's initial conflict already gets resolved rather halfheartedly at the end of the prologue. If there wasn't a need for there to be an actual game, it could have ended right there, but there obviously was a need, so it ends up tacking on an excuse for Pajama Sam to go on an adventure that doesn't really do much to advance the theme of the plot, seeing how that already got wrapped up. Again, this isn't really a major flaw. You don't play these games for the plot. It's just a minor disappointment.

But it's the soundtrack that really lags behind the original by quite a bit. Julian Soule's take on Pajama Sam is not necessarily a bad effort. It has a bit of an elevator music feel to it at times, but it's rather nice elevator music, and it fits the setting (especially considering that one of the tracks plays inside an actual elevator). But it doesn't have anywhere near the amount of variety and surreal charm the first game's soundtrack had. It's also surprisingly short. There really aren't a whole lot of tracks. The presence of a few duplicates in the game's data seems to suggest that it got cuts at some point in development, but it would have needed more than just a few more tracks to feel expansive enough for a Junior Adventure. It's unfortunate that a game that otherwise had so much effort put into it ended up getting a rather insubstantial soundtrack.

The Bottom Line
Much like its prequel, this is one of those games that I'd point people toward if they want to see what the Junior Adventures were like at their peak. I can't really say if I consider it better or worse than the first game overall, as while the puzzles are a clear step up, there are some aspects where the original reigns supreme. But much like its prequel, it absolutely delivers when it comes to creating a memorable world with a hilarious cast of characters.

Windows · by SomeRandomHEFan (164) · 2021

Discussion

Subject By Date
The same version every time I play Nowhere Girl (8680) Aug 1, 2013

Trivia

This game is infamous for it's demonstration of the impracticality of capes, in which Sam trips over his cape.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Dave Timoney.

Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. PlayStation 4 added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Linux added by Sciere. iPad, iPhone added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Windows 3.x, Macintosh added by Andrew Shepard. Android added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Iggi, Andrew Shepard, Klaster_1, Mr. Eight-Three-One.

Game added February 6, 2006. Last modified January 21, 2024.