After starting life as an episodic adventure from the brilliant minds at Telltale Games back in 2006, Sam & Max Save The World has now made a triumphant return fourteen-years on in a new and fancy remastered form. Sure, Telltale Games might be gone now, but new developer Skunkape Games (which is made up of ex-Telltale Games staff) is continuing their legacy. What better way to do that than by reviving a Sam & Max classic, right?
Sam & Max Save The World Remastered sees the titular freelance detectives working on a new case that involves hypnotism and mind-control, with more secrets and revelations revealed as you work through the game’s story. Of course, a mind-control conspiracy is just the crux of the tale, with plenty of other oddities and bizarre situations to encounter as you work your way through the case. It is Sam and Max after all, so you can expect to visit more than a few peculiar (and off-planet) locales as well as encounter some strange folk along the way. It’s definitely one of the more ‘out there’ point-and-click adventures you can play…
That’s not a complaint by any stretch of the imagination. I love the humour of Sam & Max Save The World, with the combination of the laidback yet witty Sam and the anarchic wild-card Max making for a brilliant duo in-game that just work together perfectly. There’s some excellent writing showcased throughout the game too, which helps string everything together into a genuinely funny and engaging tale. It’s totally bizarre, sure, but it’s the silliness that acts as the cherry on top of the package.
Gameplay-wise, Sam & Max Save The World Remastered adopts your typical point-and-click approach, with players solving a myriad of obtuse puzzles, scouring the environment for any items that’ll help them out, and quizzing any locals in order to find out pieces of information that can help them out on their case.
The puzzle-design itself is solid throughout, even IF some could throw me a little and saw me resort to the age-old method of simply using every object in my inventory on everything in the environment until SOMETHING worked. Fortunately, this wasn’t a regular occurrence and more often than not I had one of those ‘eureka!’ moments where everything clicked into place and I was able to figure out what I had to do to progress without resorting to frantic pointing-and-clicking (or looking up the solution online)… it’s always rewarding when it happens so naturally in the genre.
Nothing ever felt like it didn’t make sense with the puzzle design either, with some form of logic found in the solution if you really thought about it. Sure, Sam & Max Save The World Remastered is meant to be a weird game anyway so sometimes the answer might be a bit unusual, but it also made sense in the grand scheme of things. This is the sort of puzzling that I appreciate the most in any point-and-click adventure and it helped ensure that the conundrums you face throughout your adventure always remain satisfying to solve.
Just expect to get agitated once or twice when the solution takes a good ten minutes or so to click in place in your mind…
Movement in the game is performed with the left-stick, so there’s no awkward pointing at locations and watching Sam trudge there slowly – there’s even a run button in place, which alleviate the slower pace that point-and-click adventures are often guilty of embracing. Want to really streamline your investigation to focus on what’s important? You can hold down the left-bumper on your JoyCon to bring up all objects of interest in an area, making it easier to know what you can interact with in your surroundings. You can even use the right-stick to cycle through all of these objects, making it easier again to pick exactly what you want to investigate.
Point-and-click adventures have been guilty of feeling a little difficult to play on consoles in the past, but Sam & Max Save The World Remastered felt great throughout thanks to these little innovations. Heck, you can even use touch screen controls to make it easier again if you decide to play on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode, so the lack of a mouse is certainly no hindrance here. It’s good stuff.
The whole package has been given a fresh lick of paint when compared to the original release back in 2006, with revamped textures, character models, and lighting effects helping Sam & Max Save The World Remastered look nice and shiny fourteen-years on from its initial release. It looks snazzy and is complimented by a great jazzy soundtrack that fits the vibe of the adventure and some fantastic voice-acting throughout.
[I’ve got a whole lot of praise for Sam & Max Save The World Remastered, but it does have one issue that continually bugged me: you’re not actually able to skip through the dialogue in the game, meaning you’ve got to hear a lot of the same things over and over again. Believe me, this can get tiresome when you’re in the middle of attempting to solve a puzzle and trying every trick in the book to get through it, with some repeated lines just getting a bit annoying over time. Maybe this is something that can be fixed with a patch in the future?] UPDATE: This issue has since been fixed with a patch (yay!) so disregard this complaint.
Sam & Max Save The World Remastered’s anarchic adventure is just as fun to play today as it was when it first released, with some revamped visuals and improved controller support making it a joy to play on the Nintendo Switch.
Sure, it does have the occasional obtuse puzzle that’ll be tricky to solve, but it doesn’t stop the game from offering a quirky and enjoyable mystery for point-and-click fans to really sink their teeth into. Here’s hoping we’ll also see the sequels hit the Nintendo Switch sometime soon…
Developer: Skunkape Games
Publisher: Skunkape Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC