Sam & Max is a long running adventure game series based around a talking dog in a suit and a rabbit thing with razor sharp teeth and the need to kill, they also solve crimes. They Stole Max’s Brain is the middle episode of a season run that will make no sense to anyone who hasn’t played the two episodes before it. That is fine, though, because the way that purchasing system is structured the entire season needs to be purchased before any one of them can be played, even though they aren’t all out yet.
It is rare that a video game can successfully introduce new play mechanics in sequels and have them function well. Think about how weird it is that Telltale has done that very thing three times in three months with this one title. This month finds Sam interrogating people in the most obscure, and probably entirely illegal, ways possible. Interrogations play out like a modified dialog tree, just with the ability to randomly yell or strike the person talking to you (which is always a nice touch in a dialog heavy game).
New mechanics aside, the one noticeable difference from this season of Sam and Max is that every episode picks up exactly the moment that the last ended, as opposed to the others that normally felt like some time has passed between them. The reason that this is interesting is that if it wasn’t for the credits rolling at the end of the game, so far, everything that has come out could be played as one adventure game. If this trend continues, this season will very easily be the simplest one of the Telltale games to play through again after it is all out, only minus the pesky little monthly pause for the next episode to come out.
The job that Telltale has done introducing new characters this season, at a very steady clip, is impressive in its own right. Normally a Sam and Max game consists of the same chunk of insane and possibly murderous cast from one episode to another and with the new characters being introduced mainly dying by the end of the episode. This season has done a rather successful job of introducing a new character every episode that plays a key role in the events that unfold throughout.
Mixed in very successfully with all the new characters is the talent behind them. Every Sam and Max game has been expertly voiced, and this installment is no different than the others, but it is rather interesting that Telltale is actively able to find more and more people to fill their ever increasing cast of characters. If this keeps up, next season will look very close to that of the Simpsons cast in pure size.
For anyone that is still wondering if they should spend the money on Season 3, they should. Telltale has managed to craft something so great that anyone who has a PC should pick it up. It is a very rare for a string of episodic releases to be this good.
Not As Good As: Having psychic toys
Also Try: Seasons 1 and 2
Wait For It: Nothing, play this game now
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