Telltale Games created some incredible titles before they folded in 2018. This was a sad day for the gaming industry and their absence has left a void that needed filling. They gave the point and click genre fresh impetus and the Walking Dead series was much-loved by fans from an array of backgrounds. When I heard former employees had grouped together and acquired the rights to Sam & Max Season One, I was excited. The group got to work on Sam & Max: Save the World Remastered, and I couldn’t wait to get started.
Developed by Skunkape Games and published by Skunkape Games and Limited Run Games, this is a humorous, inane point-and-click adventure. If you’ve played the original, much of my opening gambit will be wasted. However, for new fans, you’ll need to buckle up, as you are about to receive a brief history lesson.
Sam & Max: Save the World bridges generations.
The crime-fighting duo started life as comic book heroes and their popularity demanded the creation of TV shows and multiple computer games. The witty text, grimy drama, and loveable characters bridged generations, and it was one franchise that could be loved by the whole family. The crass humour was often overlooked by younger fans, and this allowed adults to fall for its childish and borderline inappropriate charms.
Sam and Max are freelance police officers who solve bizarre crimes that would otherwise be overlooked. The good cop, bad cop routine is ingrained in their personalities and the pair use this to their advantage. Sam is a large, suit-wearing dog who is polite but straight-talking. Max is a “wired” rabbit-like creature who speaks first and thinks later. As a team, they search a variety of locations while asking probing questions. They are not afraid to push the envelope and get the job done.
Excellent point and click mechanics and a great story.
With such fine pedigree behind the original game, the remaster was always going to be good. I loved the point and click mechanics used in Sam & Max: Save the World, and I never tired of searching each location. Handy labels are used to highlight interactive objects, and this helps to push the story forward. What was agreeable was the lack of hand-holding! The information was available, so nothing was missed, but no clues were given. This created a challenging title that sparks those detective brain cells whilst making you chuckle.
If a dog and rabbit detective partnership wasn’t absurd enough, then consider the plot that unravels. Helpless humans are committing crimes while appearing brain dead. These individuals spout mindless rhetoric about a fantastic leader who has your wellbeing in mind. The crime-fighting duo won’t stand for this sort of shenanigans in their town, and they quickly take on the case.
The story is ridiculous, but your sides will hurt from repeatedly laughing at the witty and well-written dialogue. The blend of characters and strange landscapes will entertain old and new players alike. Fans of the genre will be glued to the wonderful plot and the twists and turns that arise during each of the six chapters.
Sam & Max: Save the World has polished looks, sharper audio and necessary but poorly executed changes.
Much of the original humour and dialogue was close to the bone and in poor taste. This is no more apparent than when a white actor played the part of the black shopkeep. Understandably, this isn’t appropriate for modern entertainment and the developers rectified the issues. The remaster tweaked lines and jokes while using actors from the correct ethnic backgrounds. This was a great move, though, sadly, some of the dialogue wasn’t proofread, and this lead to confusing conversations. This was disappointing and gave the final presentation a half-assed finish.
Graphically, there are obvious improvements while retaining the original charm. The characters are more vivid and the landscapes are crisper. It was a pleasure to relive the game with a modern polish, and I thoroughly enjoyed the developers’ effort.
The modern touch was nicely complemented with the excellent acting. The perfectly delivered lines will have you chuckling as you question every NPC you encounter. The humour varies from subtle digs, to obvious in your face one-liners. So, no matter what tickles you, you’ll laugh repeatedly at the blend of dry and outright stupid jokes.
Designed with console gamers in mind.
Many point and click games are frustrating to play with a controller. Fortunately, Sam & Max: Save the World runs brilliantly on console. This is thanks to the smooth and responsive movement and the well-labelled interactive objects. You’ll enjoy exploring every area as finding the clues and solving the mystery is fun and easy to achieve.
As with most linear titles, the replay value is reduced. Sadly, this one is no different because the story doesn’t alter. There is no NG+ mode to change the plot, and once you’ve seen each of the six chapters, there is little to make you return. Fortunately, however, the first playthrough is enjoyable and well worth playing, even if you’ve experienced the original title.
Sam & Max: Save the World Remastered has you laughing from start to finish.
It’s rare that a game makes me laugh this much, but Sam & Max: Save the World is humourous throughout. The modernisation was well-considered, mostly, but I was disappointed with the lack of proofreading and the disjointed nature of some conversations. Overall, it’s a great success, though, and I recommend you to buy it here! Can you help Sam & Max solve this bizarre crime? Search for clues, interrogate civilians, and become the heroes.