Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - They Stole Max's Brain Review

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Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - They Stole Max's Brain Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PC and Mac
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 2 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, DirectX 8.1 compatible video card, Windows XP or more recent operating system

One of the hardest things about freelance police work is when your partner's skullcap is flapping in the breeze like a paperback cover hanging out a car's side window. The portly man-dog detective Sam always did most of the talking, but now that the lagomorphic Max is a little short in the "Brains" department, it's up to Sam to ride hard and roughshod over potential perps.

Kyle Ackerman

Fresh from liberating the Devil's Toybox from the Tomb of Sammun-Mak, Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - They Stole Max's Brain changes things up for the hump-episode of the latest season of Sam & Max. Before getting into the usual adventure-style puzzling, Sam takes off his (suit) coat, loosens his tie and somehow allows stubble to grow through his muzzle fur so that he can practice his interrogation skills on a few uncooperative informants as he searches for his little buddy's underused and underappreciated brain.

Once Sam gets enough information to continue his search, the player is ultimately aided by someone other than Max, while Max works out how to introduce unnecessary violence with only his pickled brain to serve him. Oh no, the newness doesn't even end there, as Sam & Max's neighborhood at the corner of Straight & Narrow experiences its biggest transformation since Sam & Max experienced Reality 2.0.

The humor in They Stole Max's Brain is more hit and miss than in most Sam & Max episodes, but the adventure-game puzzles were spot-on. Mostly, Sal the cockroach just wasn't Patrick Warburton, as much as the voice actor tried. The puzzles, however, really hit the sweet spot of difficulty, being just creative and challenging enough to make players think, but offering enough clues so that none should prevent anyone with a little adventure-game experience from solving the puzzles and furthering the plot. Mostly, the Toys of Power make their greatest showing yet, being integral (without being telegraphed) to most puzzles, and the audio tour puzzle was brilliantly conceived.

Now that the season is more than half-way completed, with three of the five episodes released, it seems a safe bet that your $35 for the season will be well spent, but you'll still be betting on the delivery of the final two episodes with no way to purchase individual episodes piecemeal. General Skun-k'ape would be proud.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on August 29, 2010 1:22 PM.

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