Sam & Max Save the World Remastered Review
Last time I played Sam & Max Save the World was back in 2006, in a time where point and click adventures were not a favourable genre amongst legendary development companies. Back then I had a feeling that they were falling off the radar or being replaced by games with light puzzle elements, hidden object mechanics or action elements. I felt that there was a rush to transition to 3D graphics, and that transition was janky at best.
Then a new company, formed by former Lucas Arts developers, decided to develop and finally release the game that was the reason their creation existed in the first place. The company’s name was Telltale Games and the name of the game : Sam & Max Save the World.
You can find this review in video format as well.
Jumping 12 years later, Telltale Games, after a fantastic run with incredibly popular series like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, the company is given credit for being the ones who thought of narrative choices that lead to branching storylines plus for bringing adventure games back to life, does not exist anymore. History repeats itself though and a group of former Telltale Games developers created their own studio, Skunkape Games, bought the rights to Sam & Max and just released a remastered version of the original.
Sam & Max are a duo of detectives, or Freelance Police, that get phone calls from the Commissioner and go about saving the world with their characteristic brand of justice, absurd humour and violence. And this game is definitely absurd. During the episodes of this first season you will have to feed cow poo to a theatre trained chicken actor, you will have to buy exorbitantly priced weapons made from house appliances with the main goal being to figure out who’s behind the various hypnotisms around town. Throughout the game you will hear outlandishly funny commentary from our heroes and other inhabitants of the city.
I’m not kidding when I say that there was a joke in the first episode that took me off guard when I heard it back in 2006 and I still remember it today. 14 years later. I still remember it, 14 years later.
The game dates itself with references to various people that I’m sure were the talk of the town back then, but now I had forgotten they existed. There are also some topics the characters make fun of, that today balance on a very tight rope. There were times I was going “Mmmh, you don’t say that out loud bud”. But this feels like a time capsule where it shows you that topics we could make jokes on before, now are considered taboo. It is very important to not forget that the story of this game is 14 years old and I am glad Skunkape Games did not intervene with it. If we forget our history we are bound to repeat the same mistakes again.
I will be sincere, if I knew nothing about the game and played the remaster for the first time, I would think this is a beautiful game that looks and runs fantastic. I could go on about the updated graphics, the widescreen and gamepad support but I’m not into technical stuff. You can always read the FAQ on the Skunkape Games website if you want more details on that. To me what matters is that it looks great, it plays great and that it’s funny as hell. Pro tip; pay attention to the conversations because there are many puzzles that might seem outlandish, but if you check the dialogue they pretty much hint at what you need to do. Just think a bit outside the box and you’ll be fine. And you know, if you stuck, there are still 14 year old walkthroughs out there, so don’t stress too much.
Personally, if a completely new Sam & Max game released today and looked like this (an adventure one, not a VR one), I would be perfectly happy. The developers did a mighty fine job to breathe life to a beloved franchise and I hope they have the success needed to remaster the other 2 seasons, plus hopefully release an original Sam & Max story.
If you want to get a taste of good old point and click adventures with contemporary quality of life changes, don’t miss Sam & Max Save the World Remastered. Even its price is very good for what you’re getting. I just hope the wheels of history break and Skunkape Games will have all the success of the company they emerged from, but none of the mistakes .
You can find Sam & Max Save the World on Steam
You can watch the game trailer here
~Dimitris “Dimi Kaye” Kalyvas