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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Publisher

Telltale Games / GameTap

 

Developer

Telltale Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

April 26, 2007

 

 

- Brings back every character in cameo roles for the finale

- Story once again holds true to the hilarious form of the entire series

 

 

- Just like a lot of game endings, not as satisfying as one might expect

- Puzzles are the hardest yet, with more than a few choke points

 

 

Review: Sam & Max: Reality 2.0 (PC)

Review: Sam & Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die! (PC)

Review: Sam & Max: The Mob, The Mole, and the Meatball (PC)

 

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Sam & Max: Bright Side of the Moon

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

Itís to the moon, Alice ó and everybody else ó in the sixth and final episode of Sam and Maxís Season One, The Bright Side of the Moon. Finally, the once-mysterious leader of the hypnotism hijinks, the more-devious-than-he-seems Hugh Bliss, is revealed for his evil masterminding self. Bliss is the guru of Emetics, the insane self-help guidance based on the colors of the rainbow. Itís Bliss thatís attempting world domination by spellbinding every citizen of planet Earth from his moon base.

 

sam & max episode 6          sam & max episode 6

 

And itís the detective duo of Sam and Max that have to go to the moon to defeat the nefarious color-happy Bliss (And yes, for older gamers that remember Ralph Kramden, Sam does indeed drop a Honeymooners reference by saying ďTo the moon, Alice,Ē every time he drives Max in their DeSoto to the moon ó although I canít remember it ever being explained how they were actually able to drive to the moon).

 

After five episodes defeating all those unwitting minions of Bliss, Sam and Max now must at last face Bliss. This isnít the best episode of Season One. That title goes to Abe Lincoln Must Die! But once again, this adventure is a well-scripted

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saga, with the usual Sam and Max brand of smart-ass humor driving the story to its conclusion.

 

This time around, however, the puzzles are the toughest yet, almost like the developers saved the hardest for last to make you really build up a good mental sweat to finally complete the season-ending journey. Some of these puzzles really have some 

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brain-gagging choke points, mostly due to the fact that youíre going to have to use objects and people that you may have not had to use ever before in puzzle solutions (hereís a quick hint: be sure to open your office closetís door).

 

They also require more traveling back and forth (in this case, from Sam and Maxís office locale to the moon) than previous episodes. That also increases the gameplay time needed to finish off Bliss, as The Bright Side of the Moon may be the longest-lasting episode all season, although the payoff finale is somewhat ó and only somewhat ó disappointing (thatís probably from me wanting more of Sam and Max adventuring as the credits roll), although youíll reacquaint with a lot of old friends (especially during those ending credits).

 

sam & max episode 6          sam & max episode 6

 

Everybody and I mean everybody from the entire season make some kind of an appearance, from small cameo to starring role, in The Bright Side of the Moon. Youíll see the usual recurring cast, of course, with Sybil (now the Queen of Canada who buys the entire U.S. from Sam and Max), Bosco (disguised as a sassy mamma), and Jimmy Two-Teeth the rat (who has the most ďnauseatingĒ role, involving vomiting and the removing of body parts).

 

Others that make a finale appearance include Mr. Pennyworth (the chicken actor from the Midtown Cowboys TV show that Sam and Max fleetingly starred in from Situation: Comedy), Myra Stump, the Lincoln Memorialís head, the Soda Poppers (who started the whole adventure in the beginning of episode one), and of course Bliss.

 

While reuniting with old friends (and enemies), donít forget the task at hand of vanquishing Bliss ó even after Maxís vices (slothfulness, violence, and gluttony) literally separate from him. While reconnecting Maxís outer and inner selves is a lot of fun, the final showdown with Bliss can be slightly frustrating. But eventually youíll be able to figure it out and fade the colorful guru to black.

 

The sun has set on the first Sam & Max season with the rising of The Bright Side of the Moon, but this isnít likely the last adventure for everybodyís favorite Freelance Police. The Bright Side of the Moon has a stellar and hysterical script, which taken in the entirety of the season, simply cannot be topped today. More challenging puzzles than ever and a reappearance of the entire cast that has made Sam & Maxís Season One such an enjoyable adventuring journey more than make up for a slightly disappointing ending. See you on the other side of this moon, Sam & Max, in Season Two.

 

- Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(May 7, 2007)

 

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