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Max 305: The City that Dares Not Sleep
Score: 8.5 / 10
Max is definitely not feeling himself at
the end of the fourth episode and immediately beginning the fifth and
final episode Ė The City That Dares Not Sleep of Sam & Maxís third
series, The Devilís Playhouse. He has been transformed from being the
cuddy-but-crazy little rabbit crimefighter to a hulking,
Cloverfield-esque monstrosity stomping around Manhattan. Itís up to his
best buddy and Freelance Police partner, Sam, to find a way to help him
regain his smaller (and less-city-
threatening) stature before one of two
things happen: ďmonsterĒ Max destroys the city, or acting president
Superball destroys Max.
Puzzlingly, The Devilís Playground series concludes with the Devilís
Toybox, the main instrument of all the devilish mayhem throughout the
first four episodes, making only a cameo appearance, and only one of
possessed toys, the Tron robot, being
implemented into The City That Dares Not Sleep gameplay. Maxís psychic
powers arenít even used, either, but thatís a bit understandable since
Max is a crazy, colossal beast nearly the entire episode.
It almost might have made more sense to have the stories of episodes
four and five reversed, with the finale battle against Charlie Ho-Tep
and the destruction of the Devilís Toybox being the ending of the third
season instead of its climactic moment.
But although it concludes with more of a sentimental ending than the
usual hilarious ribaldry of a Sam & Max adventure, once more gamers will
be laughing all throughout this episode, with its bizarre storylines
zigzagging all over The City That Dares Not Sleep.
Where else can gamers find a tale where Momma Bosco returns to human
form from the spirit realm, Superball becomes the acting president, and
Sam, a pregnant Sybil (carrying her hubbyís Ė the living Lincoln
Memorial Ė baby) and a giant cockroach all playing roles in whatís a
combination Innerspace/Meet Dave plot that has them inventively cook up
a giant ďcorndogĒ and willingly get swallowed into a transformed
monstrous Max in order to save not only the city but Max himself? The
funniest moment is when Sybilís water breaks to the sound effect of a
winning slot machine. Her ďwaterĒ splashing down turns out to be
Going against the norm, the majority of the puzzles are intuitively
solved instead of being the usual assortment of ďhuh?Ē conundrums. There
is even a monster-stomping mode where gamers take control of Max as a
monster and take a skyscraper-tall stroll through Manhattan.
Unfortunately, thatís not as fun as it sounds, because the controls
arenít very smooth and itís easy to get lost while trying to find the
locales necessary to solve the puzzle.
Despite not being as good a individual game as some of the previous
four, nonetheless The City That Dares Not Sleep is still a very fun Sam
& Max adventure that nicely wraps up all of the seasonís hilarious and
goofy storylines in typical Freelance Police style.