Telltale has been delivering some great adventure games to the Wii in the form of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. But before the developer started playing with the Homestar Runner universe it resurrected LucasArts' Sam & Max franchise as an episodic PC series. Season One of Sam & Max's new adventures was pretty well-received, with an average score of 7.9 from IGN. These six episodes have now been collected on a retail disc for the Wii, and while they're not as funny as Strong Bad's Cool Game they do provide a heaping helping of old school adventure gaming for just $30.
When it comes to graphic adventures, Sam & Max are superstars of the genre. The original Sam & Max Hit the Road is a beloved classic. The titular dog and rabbit, respectively, are freelance police who spend their days investigating bizarre crimes and trading one liners. These episodes share some recurring characters and locations between them but each has its own story arc. All of them are available from the start so if you get stuck on one you can always skip around and come back later. Using the remote as a pointer is a good substitute for your PC mouse. Most of the puzzles involve using the right items on the right people or objects, and like many games in this genre the solutions can often be esoteric. Completing each adventure takes a lot of experimentation with combinations that don't make much sense, and that business doesn't appeal to everyone.
But graphic adventures are just as much about the writing as they are gameplay and Sam & Max: Season One is stuffed with zany characters and one liners. The problem is, it's not quite as funny as it thinks it is. The back and forth between our two heroes starts getting old before they even leave their office in the beginning of Episode One.
The real disappointment here is that the game doesn't run very smoothly. Interacting with just about any object will cause a hiccup, and any business going on in the background will stutter occasionally.
For details on the story of each episode, check out IGN's PC reviews:Episode 1, Culture ShockEpisode 2, Situation: ComedyEpisode 3, The Mole, the Mob, and the MeatballEpisode 4, Abe Lincoln Must Die!Episode 5, Reality 2.0Episode 6, Bright Side of The Moon
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