Point, Click, Shoot
The crime-fighting canine and loopy lagomorph are reunited at last in Sam and Max Save the World! After a long hiatus Sam and Max’s initial Telltale outing has been remastered, ready to introduce a new generation to the point and click genre. Will their anthropomorphic, misanthropic mysteries hold up? Or should they follow their own advice and hit the road?
The most notable thing jumping back in is how sorely missed this sense of humour has been in the gaming landscape. Max’s gleefully sinister comments balanced with Sam’s comically passive and accepting demeanour makes for a winning double act. Self-appointed “freelance police” the duo’s musing on the parody of America they reside in are still on-point and very funny. The main plot in Sam and Max Save the World deals with washed-up child stars, hypnosis cults and eventually leads to the White House. Bonkers, yet brilliant.
The Telltale Heart
This humour extends to the puzzles. An early solution to coaxing an unruly rat out of his hiding place involves the simple idea of using cheese as bait. However, he only likes Swiss cheese, rejecting your plain cheddar wheels. The answer? Using your pistol to blast the cheese full of holes, tricking the rodent into making a foolish exit. This is the general tone of the game’s puzzles, only occasionally falling to the classic obtuse pitfalls so classic to the genre.
Naturally this genre is best on PC, pointing and clicking being most intuitive with native mouse controls. However, on the Switch, it is still very playable. If you choose to play in handheld mode the touch screen is an ample mouse substitute. However, this is at the cost of the sharper graphics options on your TV.
Visually this title has held up extremely well. Telltale did a great job in adapting the simple cartoon style of the original strips and games into 3D. Certain characters such as the former child star the Soda Poppers have a “Ren and Stimpy” style of deliberate grossness, a charmingly off-putting approach. Simple yet extremely detailed, this can be an issue when certain areas have an overwhelming amount of interactive objects. Luckily a simple button click highlights all these possibilities easily.
Laugh it up Fuzzball
Ultimately recommending Sam and Max Save the World is a simple matter of how much you enjoy the genre and whether it matches your comedic sensibilities. It may be worth checking out a trailer or better yet, an episode of their short-lived cartoon series to see if it tickles you pink or boils your blood. Broken into six episodes, this title delivers bang for your buck with plenty of problem solving and guffaws to enjoy.