Telltale had a blasting start on their third season of the Sam and Max franchise, and achieved a top score on their first episode here on Naggy Nerd. The second episode takes a rather unexpected turn and introduces an experiment to the genre.
Still, this is Sam and Max and carries on the Lucasarts legacy with flying colours. If you are like me, completely in love with the series, there is no reason to not continue the adventure in episode two.
In this episode we follow the adventure of two of Sam and Max’ forefathers, conveniently named Sammeth and Maximus. The story is presented in four episodes, where you as a player get to choose the order of which you want to play them. Our heroes watch the story on an old projector, and you can change which reel of film it plays at any time.
This is an interesting concept in many ways. In certain situations you must solve a certain puzzle or gather a certain piece of information in one reel of the story in order to be able to solve a puzzle in a later reel. Of course, if you choose to play each reel chronologically, you won’t have to worry about this. However, if you get stuck in one reel it is a relief sometimes to be able to jump back and forth between reels if you get stuck on that one puzzle and want to do something else for a while. It keeps the player in the game.
In the previous seasons, Telltale were criticised for recycling areas, offering little new to the players in each episode visually. I am thrilled to see that in this second episode, none of the areas from the first episode have been recycled. It is all fresh and new, and going back in time to experience an adventure with the heroes’ forfathers gives a new and interesting atmosphere to the episode.
It plays and feels very different from the previous one, and that’s a good thing.
Still, having played through the entire thing and found the toy box in Sammun-Mak’s tomb, I can’t help the feeling of missing some kind of point. Don’t get me wrong, the jokes are good (I love the increasing randomness of it all) and the story is fresh and lovely, but it doesn’t seem to ever get to the point. I see many set ups for the next episodes to advance the story, but it would be nice with a few answers at the end as a small reward for playing the whole thing.
All in all, this is another great Sam and Max episode, one definitly worth playing. A few puzzles are a bit off and some of the jokes feel a bit forced, but the heroes still shine as they always have.