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May 16th, 2007, 07:44
This adventure game has quite a history.

Starting with Steve Purcell adding Max to his brother's Sam drawing in order to harass him, his brother eventually gave him the rights.

Then as a specialty comic Sam and Max got some attention that drew the notice of Lucas Arts of all people.

Sam and Max is at the top of the pile of the great Adventure games that Lucas Arts put out. It was so successful that this is what they are largely known for today, as a video game. Bundling it with several Star Wars games in discount packs doesn't hurt for recognition either. Sam and Max comics are even bundled into many Lucas Arts games.

With Warner Bros. starting their own network and pulling (and eventually killing) their popular Animation Franchises from Fox, Fox gabbed after replacements and this including the Sam and Max: Freelance Police cartoon series. The series was, to put it mildly, hyperactive. It lasted 10 episodes and although the voices were a bit different it lived up to its quirky predecessor, but unfortunately at 400mph.

After many, many years of work the sequel adventure game Sam and Max: Freelance Police was nearly done only to have internal suits at Lucas Arts canceled it as they felt the Adventure market was "soft". Their resources and marketing were better channeled elsewhere they said. ie. something else they can stick a Star Wars label on. The reaction to this news was so negative that they eventually pulled any mention of Sam and Max from their websites including refusing to sell the back copies of the games. The forums still exist but are completely ignored and unmoderated.

Steve Purcell gets work at Telltale games and starts working on their uniquely marketed Bone adventure series, also based on a comic.

Steve then gets 100% rights back for Sam and Max.

A experimental online comic has been started with 10 pages complete and painted in watercolour.

Sam and Max is then released in Episodic Format similar to the Bone series. As well, these games have been released to the subscription Gametap and have become their most popular games and will likely be released as a box series after its final installment. It is now in its 6th Episode. New actors are doing their voices and we've been introduced to mostly new characters and one similar old character.

So far, its great to see Sam and Max again and I'm happy to say that the voice acting is pretty good. Its better than the actors on the cartoon series but they weren't bad either.
The format is in a 3D engine. The episodic method of selling the game in chunks is an interesting idea. It gets the product out there and money starts to flow in as you work on the next chapter. The next chapters are done easier and quicker because the system is down pat. However, its lead to a lot of repetition. Sam and Max say a lot of the same things in later games about the same places. The writers try to mix it up sometimes by switching things in Newspaper Boxes in each epsiode but that's not enough. A lot of the same areas and characters are reused to a fault. Fortunately, they have something to say about everything. If you ask the same question multiple times there tends to be at least three answers.
The puzzles are not terribly hard either. Some of them are overtly obvious. If you get stuck on something it doesn't usually take more than a day to figure it out, but usually you can get through an episode in a couple of hours. But this is the unfortunate trend for all games these days. The game is more like a linear RPG in that sense with the puzzles being delays to learn the next part of the story.
Its also a bit too cutesy. The Telltale S&M's try to have that edge but the Bone influence really seeps out, especially in the animation. I don't mind this so much as the other end of the spectrum is Purcell's actual comics which get crass at times and sometimes resemble an underground comic. It took mainstreaming and some writers who are paid well to really bring out S&M's quirkiness and charm. Don't get me wrong, these episodes try hard, such as if Sam shoots out the open window the neighbour starts crying about his poor cat, but on the other hand they sometimes resorts to potty jokes.

I have about 2 more episodes to go at this point. My favourite thing is when Max gets out the megaphone.
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May 16th, 2007, 14:19
Yep, I've played and reviewed all of them … and love them!

Here are links … yeah, I know they are all similar … shoot me Note there are two reviews for each game - the title leads to the AceGamez review and the '@GamerDad' leads to … uh …

Episode 1: Culture Shock (@GamerDad)
Episode 2: Situation Comedy (@GamerDad)
Episode 3: The Mole The Mob and the Meatball (@GamerDad)
Episode 4: Abe Lincoln Must Die! (@GamerDad)
Episode 5: Reality 2.0 (@GamerDad)
Episode 6: Bright Side of the Moon (@GamerDad)

— Mike
Last edited by txa1265; May 22nd, 2007 at 14:19. Reason: Episode 6 review went up at AceGamez
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May 22nd, 2007, 13:38
Old Sam & Max Comic, as part of the old on-line newsletter "The Adventurer", still embedded within the Web Archive

Direct link to the picture : http://web.archive.org/web/199704160…mnmax14_sm.JPG

There are a few more still out there.

Another comic.
Direct link : http://web.archive.org/web/199612250…ammax12-sm.JPG

List of old, archived "The Adventurer" newsletters : http://web.archive.org/web/199704011…urer.main.html

Edit: There should be at least one more comic out there …
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; May 22nd, 2007 at 13:50.
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June 16th, 2007, 14:49
The episodic Sam & Max games have now been released on Steam. I'm giving them a try for the first time.

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June 16th, 2007, 15:18
They will also be coming out in a boxed version soon with bonus material

— Mike
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August 15th, 2007, 17:18
The old comics are being re-released !
http://www.telltalegames.com/company…releases/id-54
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August 15th, 2007, 18:27
Oh, and I have played through the Season One collection with bonus stuff and have reviews at GamerDad and here (nearly the same).

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