Sam and his partner Max are possibly some of the funniest characters in video gaming. This is assisted by the fact that Sam is a wise cracking bipedal dog in a cheap suit and Max is a rabbit thing with razor sharp teeth. Together they are continually hired to solve ever increasingly bizarre mysteries that only seem to happen around them. The entire process feels like a Saturday morning cartoon that happened to forget that children might be watching it.
Sam & Max Save the World is the first season of Sam and Max released in an affordable package. Season one contains six episodes that, strangely enough, are all interconnected to one another. The story plays out so smoothly during the progression of the season that the ending always feels in place, just another cog in the giant goofy machine that holds this bazaar game world together.
Where Sam and Max manage to shine, though, is with the humor. Scattered throughout every conversation is mixed meanings and an ever increasing amount of in-jokes. From Sam’s constant stream of one liners that vary from confusingly insane to just plain funny, to Max’s attempts to devour and destroy everything that he can see, the two characters are played off of each other throughout the course in a sweat harmony of humor.
Probably the biggest and only real complaint is that some of the cartoon puzzles become painfully difficult, even early in the game. The worst offenders are normally ones where correct responses to questions are required to move the game forward. In these rare, rare instants it feels more like an attempt to almost brute force the answer out as opposed to trying to solve what the comic world of Sam and Max would expect the player to say. Sadly the PC version of the game fixes this issue by having a link to the official walkthrough every time the game launches. This walkthrough is still available for the 360 version of the game, but isn’t ever directly brought up like it is in the PC version of the game.
The game itself survives the transition from the PC to the 360 rather flawlessly; although using the analog stick instead of the mouse feels rather imprecise at first it is easy enough to come to terms with after playing through an entire episode. Minor frame rate issues do seem to pop up randomly throughout the course of the entire game, but they never seem to last and only seem to muster the “that was weird” response instead of it ever being an issue.
At 20 dollars, or 1600 Microsoft points, Sam & Max Save the World might seem a little expensive; it isn’t. This is the same package that came out several months ago for the Wii in disc format for full retail price. The entire season arch takes roughly 30 hours, without a guide, to finish which definitely provides a solid amount of content.
There really isn’t a question about if this game is worth the investment and download, because it is. Sam and Max are consistently funny throughout, the puzzles are clever and rarely overly difficult, and the world that they reside in feels fleshed out and tangible. This game is worth the purchase for any person who has a 360 and the internet to download the game, even if it is still a little rough around the edges.