If you’ve never heard of Sam & Max, you’ve missed out on one of the craziest dynamic duos there is. Working as “freelance police”, cartoon dog Sam and his decidedly weird bunny sidekick Max live in a world devoid of logic, plausibility and responsibility, yet it all comes together in razor-sharp satire that works beautifully once you’ve let go of all common sense.
The game is structured like an old-school adventure along the lines of Space Quest, Zak McKracken, Maniac Mansion and others, where you point-and-click your character around to interact with objects, talk to people and so on. It should take a complete novice about 20 seconds to get the hang of the controls, less for someone who has actually played a game since the Atari 2600 days.
What do you mean, episode 3?
After several failed attempts to create a sequel to the famous Sam & Max Hit the Road from 1993, fans finally got their wish in 2006. However, rather than work for years and release a big game for $40-50, the game is released in shorter episodes every couple months for $8.95 each (free for GameTap subscribers). While this is the third episode, you don’t have to have completed the previous episodes for the game to be fun and fully playable.
The mission in this episode is to crack the infamous Toy Mafia and rescue an undercover mole before he’s discovered and executed. Naturally, the path to achieving this goal involves recovering a stolen meatball sandwich from 1957, shooting rats (as in, the snitching kind) with a handgun large enough to qualify as a cannon, acquire a talking cockroach and many other quests that makes perfect sense in Sam & Max’s world.