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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Adventure Game

 

Publisher

Telltale Games / GameTap

 

Developer

Telltale Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

February 12, 2008

 

 

- Yet again a smartly written and typically funny episode, with more simultaneous storylines happening at once than ever before

- Adds another locale to the ever-expanding Sam & Max world

 

 

- Some puzzles still are “clueless” endeavors that can get frustrating with the required amount of back-and-forth “what do I do next?” gameplay

 

 

Review: Sam & Max 202: Moai Better Blues (PC)

Review: Sam & Max 201: Ice Station Santa (PC)

Review: Sam & Max Season One (PC)

 

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Sam & Max 203: Night of the Raving Dead

Score: 9.0/10

 

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. And it finally did – with all the death-defying shenanigans and recklessness they’ve exhibited throughout their new adventures, the Freelance Police duo of Sam and Max has avoided serious harm –until now. In the latest episodic adventure for the hare-brained heroes, Sam & Max 203: Night of the Raving Dead, Sam and Max have gotten themselves killed.

 

night of the raving zombies          night of the raving zombies

 

No fear, Sam and Max fans, though, they’ve just managed to turn themselves into walking undead zombies, and after a battle with yet another creature from the realm of the unknown and mysterious, Sam and Max do indeed spring back to life (or at least one for them does) by the episode’s conclusion.

 

After fighting Santa and unveiling the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle and the Easter Island stone heads, Sam and Max find the earth populated with an ever-increasing zombie army, raised from the dead courtesy of Jurgen, a wannabe Euro-trash blood-sucking vampire. He’s an annoying and unlikable German emo poseur living in Stuggart in the Zombie Factory, a so-15-years-ago 

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dance club. It’s up to Sam and Max to stop the undead horde, and the only way is to wipe out Jurgen.

 

How’s Jurgen keep his evil influence over the zombies? It’s his “style”, from the way he dances to his bust-a-rhyming skills. He’s not very good, though, as apparently zombies are lousy judges of real “style” and Sam and 

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Max are out to show even the no-taste zombies that Jurgen is out of, not in, style.

 

As has been standard throughout the entire run of Season One and now Season Two, Night of the Raving Dead is extremely well written, with a surprisingly entailing and branching storyline. There’s still the requisite Sam & Max humor in the game, though it’s not chock full of the usual amount of laughs that other games in both seasons have contained. Still, game writing doesn’t get much better or funnier than even this less-funny episode of Sam & max.

 

In what is a big positive for dedicated gamers of both seasons, there’s yet another new locale added to the Sam & Max universe, as the detective duo traverses to Stuggart to fight Jurgen. And the cast of characters has been increased once more, most notably with Jurgen and his Frankenstein creation. Old standbys are again ensnared into the web of Night of the Raving Dead’s story, although the most familiar of characters, Bosco, is missing! (That’s apparently the story that drives the beginning of the next game, Sam & Max 204: Chariot of the Dogs).

 

night of the raving zombies          night of raving zombies

 

Unfortunately, another typical Sam & max feature, the sometimes-complicated puzzle, is here, too. This reviewer wouldn’t have gotten through the D.J. Booth puzzles without using a walkthrough. Paradoxically, although some of the puzzles become nothing more than shot-in-the-dark guessing games, there are other puzzles where character dialogue and clues help the gamer figure out the solution. That D.J. Booth puzzle is definitely one of the more ill-advised and hard-to-solve-without-help puzzles in the entire run of new Sam & Max adventures.

 

Dig out the garlic and wooden stakes, because Sam and Max face their enemy that sucks the most – Jurgen. Yet another great point & click adventure will get both Sam and Max along with gamers through a definitively not-sucking adventure. Once more, gamers won’t be able to find a more smartly and funnily crafted story along with the usual Sam & Max hijinks to enjoy.

 

– Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(March 5, 2008)

 

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