Who is Sam and Max?
Originally released on the PC in 2006-2007 as Sam & Max: Season One, Save The World is an Xbox 360 point-and-click adventure game featuring six episodes of comedy. The story revolves around two private detectives named Sam (dog) and Max (rabbit) with cases that don’t involve dames in distress, but rather ego driven wierdos (that could use therapy) hungry for world domination. Every episode begins with Sam and Max getting a call from the police commissioner and then end with the duo attempting to foil the evil plot cooked up by a sinister villain.
Story (4 out of 5)
Sam & Max: Save The World is easily one of the funniest games on the Xbox 360. It looks like a cartoon made for kids but it’s actually more for teens and adults because of its satire and references to pop culture. The comedy has its parodies on religions like Scientology, United States politics and military, and video games.
The game is carried successfully on the shoulders of Sam and Max, two opposite personalities that complement each other very well. Sam plays as a more straight up detective reminiscent of ones from Hollywood, always focused on the case. At the same time has his moments of funny exchanges with Max and the other characters.
Max on the other hand is simply malicious and cruel in a funny manner. In his conversations he enjoys mocking things and making references to guns, destruction, and anything else that involves bodily harm. It’s surprising that this rabbit with bad manners is actually a detective.
There is plenty of dialogue in this game, and some of it can be pretty pointless because it’s not funny and doesn’t help move the story. If you can’t stand Max making jokes all the time, even about the most mundane objects, then this game will not be for you. Most of the characters play off each other pretty well, and the best ones include recurring characters like Bosco, a paranoid convenience store owner who dabbles in conspiracies, and Hugh Bliss, a weird religious magician who runs the Prismatology cult.
Presentation (4 out of 5)
Even though the characters in Sam & Max is in 3D, the art design stays faithful to Steve Purcell’s vision. They should remind you of the old Sam and Max games from over a decade ago and that’s good company to be in. The character models move and lip sync well enough to provide entertaining cut scenes and conversations.
There is some minor frame rate issues that pop up but it shouldn’t ruin your experience with the game. At first the controls may be awkward since this game is a port from the PC version. Adventure games like Sam & Max were born to be played on the PC because of the mouse, and on consoles they have a far different feel because you have to use a controller. For this game you move the pointer on the screen with the left stick, an awkward feeling at first, but later on it should be less distracting once you get used to it.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
There will be a fair share of challenging and unique puzzles, requiring you to go to one place, find the items, and then travel to another area where those items will work. In the fourth episode, Abe Lincoln Must Die, the President’s secret agent won’t let you into the White House, and the final solution to get past him is by making a phone call from your office.
You will be required to really have a keen eye and investigate every object you can find, because even the mundane ones can help you solve a puzzle, like a poster or a telephone. There will probably be plenty of guesses and misses before you figure out the right items to use for that particular station. The game will still remain accessible because there will be available hints provided if things get too hard for you.
If there’s anything about this series, it’s downright unpredictable as far as storytelling goes. Sam and Max’s adventures will include child stars, a talking arcade machine and computer, the mob, and the President of the United States. The two will go on a TV show called “Who’s Never Going To Be A Millionaire,” chase down a giant statue of Abraham Lincoln, and participate in a fictional video game called Tic Tac Doom. So combine that with Telltale’s excellent writing, and the dialogues and adventures will be something you won’t find in a typical video game.