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Wii Game Review

Sam & Max: Season One


Format: Wii
Jowood Games
RRP: £34.99
9 006113 150510
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 28 November 2008

Sam is a six foot dog with a rather large gun; Max is rabbit on the wrong side of lunatic. Together, in their 1960 DeSoto Adventurer, these private investigators tackle crimes most foul in their own inimical way...

Sam & Max started life as a comic book, created by Steve Purcell. Although never the huge commercial success that it deserved, it nevertheless, through a number of different publishers remained popular with the fans. The pair then started popping up in Lucas Arts games until they were given their own graphical adventure, Sam & Max Hit the Road (1993). The original game was good enough for Lucas Arts to plan another, though this was sadly cancelled. That said, I have seen rumours of another Sam & Max game in production for 2009 - though whether this will see the light of day is anyone’s guess.

Telltale bought the franchise and started to produce downloadable games. These have now been gathered together as Sam and Max Season One. The original release turned up on the PC, where the pair had made their home, now owners of the Wii can experience Sam & Max’s brand of chaotic humour for themselves.

For those of you who have never played a Sam & Max game (I really can’t bring myself to abbreviate it to S&M) they are essentially irreverent point and click adventures. The graphics on Hit the Road were good for the time and given the graphic restrictions of the Wii suit the machine perfectly.

The first thing you have to do with any Sam & Max game is throw sensible logic out of the window. To give you some idea, in Chapter One you can’t leave the office until you provide a rat with some cheese, not just any cheese, but cheese with holes in. All you can find is a bowling ball, Sam’s gun and a cupboard full of the wrong type of cheese. The solution: shoot the cheese so that it does have holes. You’ll find this sort of odd puzzle throughout the game, so put your thinking cap on sideways. When I first played the game this simple solution eluded me until I utilised the lateral thinking of an eight year old.

As the games were originally published on the Net, the disc contains six medium sized games and, whilst they have similar themes, they can’t quite be considered as one long game. Still that’s no bad thing as it means that you can play the adventures in any order. The first, fifth and sixth chapters are the funniest, but then that’s just a personal perspective.

Playing the game on the Wii is simplicity itself - after all it’s a point and click game. The game comes with the usual options to determine the audio levels of the music, the vocals and effects. There are also options for subtitles and for pop up text which will identify objects for you. Extras are restricted to a load of production art and a number of character profiles.

The voice acting is superb throughout, although there did seem to be a small amount of drop out on the audio, but not enough to spoil the game.

I have always been a fan of these games and, for anyone with a taste for zany humour, this should be an essential purchase.


Charles Packer

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