Telltale Games is one of the few developers to be tinkering around with the point and click adventure game genre, recently developing games revolving around the Strong Bad universe on PC and Wii. After years of being exclusive to the PC, LucasArts’ Sam & Max franchise has now been resurrected to the Wii. The franchise’s entire first season is now available in one neat $30 package.
It is hard to talk about the point and click adventure genre without talking about Sam & Max. A tall talking dog and a smart-mouthed rabbit assume the role of freelance police officers who spend their time investigating wild and off the wall crimes. Each episode has these two quirky characters trading one liners while trying to uphold the law. The compilation disc contains the series’ first six episodes and all of them are available from the start. This plays to the player’s advantage because if you get stuck in one episode, you can simply bypass it and start up the next adventure by easily making a new save file.
For the most part, the wiimote works as a nice substitute for a PC’s mouse. Finishing each episode revolves around finding the right items by clicking on them and using them on the right characters. The concept is further explained in the game’s optional tutorial level, which is basically a remake of the first part of Episode 1. Because of the high level of trial and error and slower gameplay, adventure games are truly only enjoyed by a select few. So if you like your high speed FPS’s, you will probably not going to enjoy Sam & Max. Completing each adventure often does not make any sense in the progression of the story, which is why there is so much trial and error involved. But patience players that have a higher level of interest in the story line rather than gameplay will get more enjoyment out of this title.
In all honestly, the game is built with comedy in mind. And while the game is packed with one liners, kooky characters and crazy items, it really is not as funny as one would hope. There are times when a chuckle might spill out of the player’s mouth, but do not expect to be laughing your head off with every press of the A button. The game definitely has its humorous moments, it just seems to take a back seat to the completely absurd Strongbad.
Technically speaking, there are some problems with this Wii port. First off, the game does not run smoothly, dropping frames more often than not. Secondly, the audio is not of the highest quality. Dialog often gets chopped off early at the end of a character’s line, giving the game a lower presentation value.
If you are fan of point and click adventures, there is absolutely no reason why you should not buy this game even with the shoddy programming code. Each of the six episodes will take a few hours to complete if you don’t play along with a faqs, giving the game a solid 25 hours worth of unique content. Unfortunately, once the game is finished, there is little reason to go back and play them again. But at a cheaper price point of $30, this is one game that fans of the genre cannot afford to miss.