Sam and Max Save The World was an excellent Xbox Live Arcade game that brought back to life two of the most well known adventure game characters. Beyond Time and Space builds on the foundation that the first season laid adding new characters, new laughs and new locales to explore. Do these new additions permit your purchase? Sure, if you loved the first season.
Beyond Time and Space packs in five episodes (1 less than its predecessor), which is still a good deal because each episode can last between 3-4 hours or even longer, depending on how big your thinking cap is. There are some challenging parts in each episode, such as having to hit bag pipes in a Guitar Hero-esque mini-game, or just figuring out many of the word puzzles throughout. Essentially, if you have played adventure games in the past and found them challenging, you’re going to feel right at home with Season 2 of Sam & Max.
I don’t think I need to go into much detail about the gameplay in Sam & Max. Essentially, it’s a point-and-click adventure game where the object is to solve puzzles in order for Sam & Max to save the day. Of course, they’re trying to add variety with the mini-games spread throughout the episodes, and that’s nice to see. Still, this is probably the fifth or sixth adventure game I’ve played within the last few months, and I’m pretty much done with them for a while. After playing through Sam & Max Season 1, Wallace & Gromit, Monkey Island SE, Tales of Monkey Island, Axel & Pixel etc., I’m just done with them for the time being.
Not that there is anything wrong with Sam & Max Season 2, it’s just that my personal taste for adventure games is now depleted. Season 2 still carries Season 1’s biggest feature which is its humor. Being stranded on Easter Island with Jimmy Hoffa and talking Moai statues was pretty hilarious, I must admit. Each episode has a vastly different theme; for instance, a Christmas episode where Sam & Max must save Christmas, and another episode taking place in a gothic castle with a Frankenstein-esque monster. This means that each episode is as fresh as the last, although each episode starts on Straight street and is still seen often throughout.
Graphically, Season 2 looks a bit better than the first Season. I can’t really pinpoint what makes it better, but the framerate is smoother and the graphics have a much crisper look. The sound is also well done with some nice music (and even a hilarious rap in one episode) and top-notch voice acting. I don’t think I could really ask for improvement in these two areas as they fit the style of the game well.
In the end, Sam & Max Season 2 was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, it does everything just fine, but on the other hand, I am done with point-and-click adventure games. The gameplay and characters still manage to stay interesting throughout the episodes of the season, but I am just largely tired of playing them. With each episode taking about 3-4 hours to complete, I’d say the $20 price tag is well worth it, providing some frequent laughs and some wild puzzles.