Sam And Max: Ice Station Santa Review

ice-station-santa

Sam & Max have returned

TellTale games hit a major home run last year with the re-introduction of two of gaming’s most comical adventure characters: Sam & Max.  These characters were originally popularized in the early 90s when LucasArts released a PC adventure game: Sam & Max Hit the Road.  Unfortunately, the PC adventure genre was on the outs at the time, and adventure/puzzle games haven’t been popular (except for Myst, perhaps).  Great adventure games like Myst have made it through the adventure recession, proving that a game can always be successful if it’s great.

For those who don’t know already, Sam & Max is an episodeis series of adventure games created by Steve Purcell.  TellTale games had greatly improved upon the original game by making their series fully 3d, which even PCs from several years ago are powerful enough to run.

The story arc carries over from Season One, and the theme appears to be hypnosis.  In Culture Shock, Brady Culture is hypnotizing the Soda Poppers.  In Situation: Comedy, Myra has been hypnotized by the villians of episode 3 (the Toy Mafia).  In Episode 4, the Toy Mafia was a pawn of a consipiracy by someone in the U.S. Government (who ended up being The Internet itself).   The Internet in turn was a puppet of Hugh Bliss, who has been trying to hypnotize the entire world into becoming followers of the Prismatology cult.  In the last episode of Season One, Sam and Max confront Hugh Bliss himself, who is actually a colony of bacteria that feeds on “true bliss”.

Sam is the voice of reason in the duo, and wears a clichéd detective fedora hat and wide tie.  Max is a “hyperkinetic rabbity thing” and is rather hyper and violent (his usual solution to problems is to beat them into a pulp in various creative, but disturbing,  ways.

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