Sam & Max: Episode 203 - Night of the Raving Dead Review
Developer: Telltale Games
Reviewed on PC
Windows System Requirements: 800 MHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB video card, Windows XP or more recent operating system
After a recent jaunt to Easter Island, the Freelance Police have returned home to find their headquarters overrun by zombies. Well... perhaps not overrun, but there is a single zombie indulging in a little petty theft. And a few more in the streets.
Alright... it seems to be business as usual in Sam and Max's neighborhood, but there are a few zombies, shambling around, sloughing body parts as they go. Those body parts mark a trail that leads Sam and Max straight to their next globetrotting destination: Stuttgart.
Sam & Max: Season One had the Freelance Police putting an end to a scheme that involved hypnotism, a new age cult and the Toy Mafia. But aside from a quick jaunt to the moon, Sam and Max stuck around to ravage their own neighborhood. Season Two brings Sam and Max the chance to take a working vacation abroad. After a jaunt to the North Pole and another to Easter Island, it's time for the dog and lagomorph investigative team to head to Germany to stop the flow of zombies at the source.
But all isn't happy on the home front, either. Sam and Max's friend Sybil has broken up with the statuesque head of Honest Abe, leaving Lincoln's head sobbing and Sybil auditioning prospective suitors. Can Sam and Max put a stop to the zombie menace and find love for Sybil along the way? At least if the town is filled with the undead, Sam might finally get a chance to use that "Big Gun" he's been toting around for nine episodes on a real, un-live target.
As the Freelance Police quickly learn, the zombies are being created by Master Jurgen, the vampire lord with the doleful lyrics, goth discotheque (where zombies do the "Thriller" dance) and a manner as effete as his nipple rings. As nemeses go, Jurgen is as cool as the grave he crawled out of and is worth plenty of laughs, himself. Filled with jokes ranging from the subtle (I love the ribbon!) to the obvious (Jurgen's outfit). And let me just go on the record as saying, more games need a "Sepulcher" button.
At this point, there's no question in my mind that you should just go ahead and pay for the whole of Season 2 and save the $10 you'd pay to purchase the episodes individually. Night of the Raving Dead sets yet another high mark for Sam & Max episodes, offering plenty of play, solid laughs and creative puzzles. The puzzles aren't as gamey as in the last episode (although food related puzzles remain the hardest), though they're still interesting, and we even get to see Sam dance.
Mostly, Night of the Raving Dead raises questions I'm excited to see answered in future episodes. Why has Bosco vanished off the face of the earth? Should I be afraid if it's my birthday? What ties together Sam and Max's investigation seen 'round the world? (And how does their DeSoto cruiser travel so far, so fast?)